HOME > Chowhound > France >


Guy Savoy or Le Cinq for Lunch?

My husband and I will be having one very special lunch in Paris. I'm torn between Guy Savoy and Le Cinq. Please tell me which you would suggest and why. Thank you so very much!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Only been to Savoy brasserie on Rue Maitre Albert, not great for me. Read my review of lunch at Le Cinq listed under( third/fourth week dining report Paris) It was a great time

    1. I haven't been to either yet, but if I were choosing one, I'm sure it would be Le Cinq. Briffard is known far and wide these days as the top toque in Paris, and his prix fixe lunch menu sounds to me like the deal of the century.

      It's on my "for sure" list for my next trip.

      1. Since your operative words are "very special"... Le Cinq... excellent chow, a great wine list... and the sheer grandeur of it all. You'll feel special as soon as you walk thru the doors of the Georges V.

        As an aside... are there any greater flower arrangements on the planet than at that hotel? I especially look forward to them every time I stop in... and always changing. Leave time to explore a bit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: WineAG

          Yes, it is our wedding anniversary, so I'd really like it to be a lovely experience.

        2. I don't think you can go wrong with either place. Le Cinq, under Briffard, is probably one of the best restaurants in Paris. The room, as mentioned, is stunning, the service excellent. Guy Savoy will give you a superb, but different, dining experience. More modern and more
          "american" in terms of service and atmosphere. I have actually eaten at both restaurants on the same day . That was fun!!

          1. What everybody says -- Guy Savoy is more modern in style, more casual while being very fancy, while le Cinq has all the marble and gold experience and the ridiculously high ceiling and expensive flowers.

            I think Briffard's food is better than Savoy's. But Savoy is a more reliable restaurant, for the very simple reason that there is only one team at Savoy, while le Cinq probably has three different teams in order to be able to open 365/7 and long hours.

            I always argue that Savoy is just the best place for beginners (don't know if you are).

            I just noticed that you're talking lunch. If we're talking value, then Savoy wins because his 100€ lunch menu is every bit as wow as eating ALC, whereas the lunch menu of Briffard, which is great, is somewhat less feasty than the regular, and you'll see dishes around you wish you could afford.

            But again, both places are wonderful and you can't really go wrong.

            8 Replies
            1. re: souphie

              I had a lovely lunch at SAVOY this summer and LE CINQ last year (pre Briffard).

              Now I am planning my trip to Paris for February. So far I've lined up MICHEL ROSTANG for Friday lunch, LE CINQ for Saturday lunch (they ARE open for lunch on Saturday, right?) and LA REGALADE.

              I'm still debating whether or not I should try JULES VERNE after Ducasse took over.

              I am also still in search of Paris's best roast chicken, but don't want the attitude and price of L'AMI LOUIS. I suppose I could try L'ASSIETTE (CHEZ LULU) for Sunday lunch (supposedly the only day they serve roast chicken).

              1. re: theskyflyer

                If you could only have one special lunch would it be Le Cinq or Savoy?

                1. re: DaisyM

                  Agree with souphie, both restaurants are wonderful. I have had 4 meals (3 lunches) at Le Cinq when Legendre was the chef and enjoyed all four. I have also had 4 meals at Guy Savoy, (2 lunches) and thought it was superb as well. I would love to try Briffard's cooking at Le Cinq. You may have to just flip a coin knowing you will have a memorable lunch at either restaurant.

                2. re: theskyflyer

                  Le Cinq is open everyday and the lunch menu is available everyday. Your chances of enjoying dinner at La Régalade after lunch at le Cinq are null unless you have digestive superpowers. Briffard is generous.

                  For best roast chicken, try La Rotisserie du Beaujolais and order from your hotel (we'll have the chicken). Chez Michel sometimes has an awesome one, but that's not everyday. Just warn in advance that it's what you'd like. I would try the same with la Régalade or Chez l'Ami Jean --("could you please make me a roast chicken). The first thing you want is a sensitive and skilled roaster, and this is rare stuff anywhere, even more so in casual places.

                  1. re: souphie

                    I see Le Cinq as open for Lunch only Mon-Fri on a site http://lecinq.abemadi.com/fr/r/Paris/69/

                    By default of not saying otherwise, the 4seasons site would imply everyday lunch as you stated. So, this is a sure thing? I have a Saturday opening I would like to fit it into.

                    1. re: dietndesire

                      It is a sure thing. Why would you rely on some third party website rather than the official one or actual regulars?

                      1. re: souphie

                        Paranoia and stupidity. I would also use sleep deprivation but that sounds like a cop out.

                  2. re: theskyflyer

                    We had a not so great lunch experience at Michel Rostang on Tuesday. This was my second time there. The first time, last year, was much better, they are obviously having problems - food and service. I will not be returning anytime soon.

                3. As said in earlier post, flowers and ambiance at Le Cinq is worth the trip alone.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Thanks all of you. SInce it will be our 5th anniversary...we'll be going to Le Cinq.

                    1. re: DaisyM

                      Ravenau Chablis on wine list are an almost bargain, enjoy

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        Ravenau is a great producer... good tip.

                        The cellar there is fantastic... under the direction Eric Beaumard for many years now. I remember him when he was working years ago at La Poularde... he's one of the world's greatest sommeliers and a fantastic person as well.

                        All of this talk has motivated me to book a Paris trip... thanks!

                        1. re: WineAG

                          Thank you! I'm sure our entire trip will be wonderful.

                          1. re: WineAG

                            I lunched at Le Cinq 4 days ago. Only about half full. Reservation made the same day. I ordered from the standard lunch menu..The service was on the mark. The food was good though there were no standout dishes..A half bottle of a red Burgundy was better than I expected so I asked and got a cheese plate. to replace dessert. Beaumard who was the sommelier when Le Cinq opened, and he was superb, is now the Manager and that probably accounts for the exceptional wine list..

                            1. re: amrx

                              Do you remember what dishes you had? I assume when you said 'standard lunch menu' that's the prix fixe menu? How many selections per course were offered?

                              1. re: theskyflyer

                                It was the lunch at 90 euros They also have a more elaborate lunch at 130 euros. They have a flask of Tuscan olive oil on the table and start you with a slice of Tuscan bread to dip. You also get the usual array of petit pains with a mound of seaweed butter and one of butter. Amuse was a layer of cold pumpkin soup topped with a cold sorrel soup. I've forgotten what the entree was.. Then came another amuse of crabmeat. The main was a thigh of hare braised with a rich dark sauce. As usual in these restaurants striving for Michelin acclaim the plate had many extraneous elements such as two raviolis with foie gras. A good dish but too much showbiz.. If I return I would
                                go a la carte with half portions (at half price) . This was encouraged at Guy Savoy on earlier occasions and also at the three Michelin star Ledoyen at which I dined two days later. That allowed me to get all of the three specialities singled out by Le Squer, the chef. If you desire to get my opinion of Paris three Michelin star restaurants versus the three Michelin star restaurant L'Osier in Tokyo check my post in the Japan Chowhound. It's being reinforced on this trip.

                                1. re: amrx

                                  I recall the entree I chose. It was eel grilled , small pieces with a Japanese like sansho sause. The eel was fine but the pieces were each mounted on potato mounds, . In Japan it is served on sushi rice which is, in my opinion, a superior match for the eel.. Culinary cuteness by Briffard which I don't admire.

                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                      We had the most incredible lunch at Le Cinq. I can't imagine feeling more welcome and cared for or having more incredible and memorable food. Truly an amazing experience. I wish everyone could experience it once in their life.

                                      1. re: DaisyM

                                        And the experience at Guy Savoy will be just as wonderful, though different.

                    2. Is this "Guy Savoy or Le Cinq " thing trotted out regularly as a commercial? Give it a break!

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: hychka

                        Actually, I'm the one who posted the original question. We just got back from Paris and I wanted to state how wonderful our experience was. I really appreciated everyone's input.

                        1. re: DaisyM

                          Sorry, DaisyM, you're a lamb. I was aiming at sethd. This Guy Savoy v Le Chinq has brought out every toadie on many threads and it is very old..

                          1. re: hychka

                            What is a toadie? We went to Le Cinq yesterday because it was the only one on Souphie's list of worth- it -high- end -lunches that is open on a Monday. Am about to report.

                            1. re: Fuffy

                              I am sad to disagree with the Chowhounds I respect most on this thread. We went to Le Cinq for the 78 euro lunch on Monday. We weren’t happy with the food. – nor the overly grand ambiance, but that is a question of taste. The service was excellent -though we thought that having two waiters simultaneously remove the covers of our dishes was a bit over the top.
                              So we prefer Guy Savoy. Although his food isn’t perfect there were some real highs in the one meal we had there.
                              The Food
                              First a basket of tiny shrimp fried in a light batter. Delicious.
                              Amuse bouche: A flavoured shrimp, a tempura fried shrimp head (both OK)and a courgette salad topped with salmon caviar. Dull.
                              Starter: There were three choices a smoked salmon dish we did not have. My husband and I shared the other two. One was slivers of batter fried sole, pleasant enough. It came with a sauce tartar which my husband complained tasted like Hellman’s. Neither of us liked the glass of blancmange with anchovy jelly (didn’t taste of anchovies or anything much) that came with the sole. The other starter was a risotto of the “first girolles of the season”. A few pieces of chopped up girolles and rice that was liquid and barely tasted of girolles . With it came two little juicy dried apricots, and a little pile of uninteresting things. I can’t remember what, perhaps there were almonds.
                              For the main course there were two choices and we shared both. Osso bucco with slivers of fennel and two tiny ravioli. The osso bucco was average. A square of perfectly cooked white fish, juicy and with tasty grill marks. With it came a nice little trail of vegetables including artichoke hearts and a relish of tomatoes and cucumbers chopped very small.
                              There was a pre desert of strawberry sherbet with a chopped strawberry.
                              There was a choice of three deserts. We had an OK peach tarte Tatin with cooked peach puree and two little sticks of a light and crunchy pastry on top. The other desert was a disappointing mixture of milk chocolate creations plus ice cream. Neither was anywhere near as good as pastries at better patisseries. After that, the desert trolley was brought around and we were offered many tempting looking small things but we couldn’t eat another thing.
                              We were given a little box of toffees to take home.
                              I believe the other posters on this thread would have agreed with us about the unexciting Le Cinq food, if not the ambiance.

                              1. re: Fuffy

                                I'm assuming that the above description, Fuffy, is for the lunch @Le Cinq not for Guy Savoy?

                                1. re: Fuffy

                                  Hey, we were there on Monday, too! Were you there for the Saudi Royal Family's arrival?

                                  I have to say that the service experience lived up to my expectations, and many of the courses were good. We had lunch at Astrance a few days before and nothing would have been able to top that for food for us, as it was exactly the sweet spot of our taste.

                                  I asked the waiter to write down the name of the wine I had at lunch and I just opened the envelope at home while unpacking. It was the actual label laminated. These service touches are what stand out at Le Cinq.

                                  I would say that the Four Seasons motive for ultimate comfort for an international crowd dictate much of the meals; no flavor was meant to challenge or make you pause; it was designed to be the ultimate in comfort food.

                                  1. re: hbfoodie7

                                    Yes we were there for the arrival of the Saudi royal family AND we were sitting near a table of men straight out of a George Grosz cartoon. Not wonderful. The most appealing diners were three young women who delighted the staff by squealing with joy and whipping out their cameras each time the covers were, in concert, lifted from their plates.
                                    You are right. Comfort food not meant to challenge.