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Apr 4, 2011 09:03 AM

Guy Savoy lunch special, is it worth it or can I do better?

I was originally going to try Piège for lunch, but after reading some comments about the quality of his food I am not sure I want to take the chance. So I just got my reservation for Guy Savoy for their lunch special and my question is how tasty is the food? Can I do better for under 110 Euro for lunch at a place with creative, tasty and if possible visually appealing food? Thank you.

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  1. Maybe Ledoyen? I preferred Les Ambassadeurs under Piège (as well as now) to Savoy.

    9 Replies
    1. re: fanoffrance

      Thank you. It seems that Ledoyen service is not that great, they rip you off with water and I read the room could use an update.

        1. re: mrsjoujou

          Completely disagree with you mrsjoujou. Was one of the finest meals of my life. Would recommend it to anyone lucky enough to have the opportunity to dine there.

            1. re: Parigi

              What I meant was, when you tell them you would like tap water and they bring you bottle water. That is a total disregard for dinners and their wishes no matter how good the food is.

              1. re: mrsjoujou

                At Ledoyen, did you asked for carafe of tap water and they brought you bottled water and charged you for it?

                1. re: PBSF

                  I didn't personally, but I had read a report of someone asking for tap water and they recieved a bottle water and sometimes you end up paying 30 Euro for the water you didn't ask for in the first place. Obviously if you dine at this type of places you could afford to pay for the bottle water, but it is just the matter of principle.

                2. re: mrsjoujou

                  Have checked my recieipts from our two visits to Ledoyen. Lunch receipt from two years ago has 6 Euros for water, and dinner a few weeks ago included water for 12 Euros. I really can't see how those sums should break the bank.

                  1. re: MrsQuesne

                    12 euro? I don't see pawning one's underwear for that either, much less calling it a ripoff.
                    You spent 12 euro while the no doubt very thirsty OP cited 30 euro.

          1. As has been said on this board, Savoy's food is good, desserts very good, wine list great and expensive ( with my 100 euro 'coupon' spent over 600 euros for lunch 2 years back due to wine ).
            Can you get better food, probably, can you have a better time elsewhere, probably not. They make you part of a great party, pleasing you in every and any way they can. You order from the same menu the people without 'coupons' are ordering from and you may have whatever you wish. In my opinion, do Savoy at least once in your life.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Thank you. I appreciate your feedback. Service is very important and I will always remember the grat service at Le Bernardin and L2O.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                Can you order Colours of caviar as a stater as part of your deal?

                  1. re: mrsjoujou

                    Nope. Also not the lobster or the sweetbread. But seabass, cote de veau, petits pois, etc.

                    1. re: souphie

                      So basically you are paying mostly for the service and not so much the food. So where do you suggest for my lunch?

                      1. re: mrsjoujou

                        I've not been to the Paris location, but I did visit the Vegas version and - well - the food was good enough that I'm heading to the Paris location in 10 days for the lunch special. Admittedly I've already tried many of his signatures - the bass, the sweetbreads, the aritchoke soup, colours of caviar, rasish Foie, and the artichoke/chicken terrine so for me the minor restrictions on the lunch menu do not turn me off.

                        Does the service trump the food? I'll let you know in 10 days - but if the food weren't exemplary I'd not be going back.


                        1. re: uhockey

                          Thank you uhockey. I always refer to your blog for various restaurants and can't wait to read you reviews. Looks like we get to paris a few days after you.

                          1. re: mrsjoujou

                            I'm worried my list may be over aggressive, but it's always easier to scale back than to try for last minute reservations.

                            I'm glad you like the blog - I enjoy writing it and its helped me meet some great people on my travels.


                            1. re: uhockey

                              I'm eager to read your posts as well. You are my restaurant "hero". My husband and I always plan excellent dinners for our holidays in a similar "aggressive" approach. For our 16 dinner July trip, I have reserved most of the tables. Although we only have one important meal a day, we are always able to sustain the pace.

                              1. re: Nancy S.

                                Wow - I'm honored. That said, I personally favor a number of other epicures and gourmands and the like over myself. Delucacheesemonger, alas without blog, has eaten at some stellar places and Souphie is an absolute wealth of knowledge here on the Paris board. I owe them, many other paris hounds, and persons like ulterior epicure, foodsnob, and chuckeats a great deal of respect for guiding my choices - I just try to give back to the community as I find Chowhound to be perhaps the best source of food discussion (globally) on the internet.


                      2. re: souphie

                        the seabass and the petit pois are so good you won't mind that you didn't get the colours of caviar too...

                        1. re: TheFoodEater

                          The sea bass and the artichoke soup are sublime - I'm hoping "Peas all Around" (petit pois) is on the menu when I visit as it was not in season when I was in Vegas.

                          I will note that in addition to the $110 special we requested the voile de bresse en vessie as a special addition and they happily agreed to source a bird since it isn't currently on the menu.

                          Aside from pressed duck and lievre royale (which I've still been unable to find on any spring menu since it is a winter dish) this was one item I simply had to order while in Paris and Guy Savoy, much like my Vegas experience, was glad to oblige.


                  2. I had lunch at Savoy a few months ago. I have also had dinner there and the service was perhaps the best of all the 3 stars I have been to! The lunch was very nice. I think I might prefer lunch at Taillevent even though it has lost a star...Savoy vistis all tables and he always gives me a gift!!

                    24 Replies
                    1. re: grace3

                      Thanks. After researching for days and checking Le Cinq, Gagnaire(mix reviews), Savoy and Ledoyen I decided that most of this restaurants serve one or two good courses and lot's of sweets in some cases to compensate for lack of creativity or a sevice that is not perfect except for Savoy. So I probably cancel my reservation.I did try for L'Astrance, but I guess I was too late. just made reservation for La Bigarrade because they are creative and you can eat there twice for the price of a safe 3 star.

                      1. re: mrsjoujou

                        You bring up an interesting conundrum: neither my husband nor I have a sweet tooth. We wince when we are served a pre-dessert followed by a progression of sweet things...then a plateau of mignardises. My husband hacks his way through a few while I usually just bypass them all. Sitting through dessert is actually a stressful time, and I do, as you, wonder why some of this product and creativity couldn't have been evident earlier in the meal. .

                        1. re: mangeur

                          Me too, order braised lamb's neck for dessert, Going to Gagnaire Sunday and sure to skip the elaborate dessert. One of reasons rarely order prix fixe.

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              Please report back soon as I am going a week from Tuesday!
                              The only part of desert tI love is the plateau of mignardises. I always enjoy them more than the "main deserts", hence my love of the cheeses option in France.

                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                ...funny how that worked out. And how great the meal - even with the elaborate dessert - and the souffle - and the extra duck.


                                1. re: uhockey

                                  True, but if l had the available funds and the menu options ALC were something l wanted to order, l would have gone that way. IMO dessert was OK, souffle included.

                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                    souffle was decent, I quite liked the 5 small desserts. That noted, every single savory was a knockout with three amongst the 10 best savories I had all trip.


                                    1. re: uhockey

                                      Care to give a spoiler and rank the 3 stars on your trip? Having heard such good things about your Gagnaire experience is tempting me to switch Arpege back to Gagnaire...but the desire to try a different 3 star and curious to see what Passard can do in May is keeping me firm unless you tell me Arpege was a total disaster.

                                      1. re: Porthos

                                        Gagnaire > Arpege >> Ledoyen > Savoy = Le Pre Catalan >>>>> L'Astrance.

                                        Honestly, Gagnaire is the best meal I've ever had, all inclusive of food, experience, and "wow" factor.

                                        L'Astrance was the only "disaster" of the trip - and by that I mean boring, soulless, and unrewarding.


                                        1. re: uhockey

                                          Gagnaire was and still is the best high end meal I've ever had. I suspect it's the reason why I thought so little of French Laundry. Good thing you went to Twist before going to PG Paris.

                                          1. re: Porthos

                                            I very much enjoyed TWIST, though Gagnaire was in the kitchen there just as he was in the kitchen last week, so perhaps that is a part of it?

                                            He was a fantastic host and his team/staff are incredible.


                                            1. re: uhockey

                                              With Gagnaire in both kitchens, how would you compare/contrast his Paris restaurant to Twist?

                                              1. re: ellenost

                                                Ineresting question - I think the difference actually is his role in each setting: At TWIST he was acting as teacher - he never left the kitchen, he was notably watching plates at the pass, and he was quite serious while in Paris he was out talking with the crowd, jovial, and a stellar host both before and after the meal.

                                                The food at both was progressive, but not "out there" - yes he uses odd ingredient pairings and satellite dishes, yes the table is often overloaded - but that is his style. Compared to what I experienced at L'Astrance where Barbot was seemingly just throwing random things on a plate for "shock" effect I find Gagnaire to be a true master of taking things that seemingly don't work and MAKING them work - a odd dash of licorice that only lingers on the palate, apple mixed with cod that only makes the cod "more" cod and the apple "more" apple. Brilliant pairings, imo. The morel dish had both myself and my dining partner scraping a hole in the dish with our sauce spoon and the duck - well - I'll go on about that whole thing at length when I write my longwinded report - but we ended up with seconds and my dining partner's compliment to Gagnaire was amongst the ten funniest/most honest things I've ever heard in a restaurant.

                                                Paris is CLEARLY more expensive - more than 2x the price actually - and I actually liked the room better in Vegas, but overall what happened at the flagship was magic while what happened in Vegas was simply damned good. Lets just say that God Willing I'll return to both.


                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                  "my dining partner's compliment to Gagnaire was amongst the ten funniest/most honest things I've ever heard in a restaurant."

                                                  Knowing your dining partner I expect the best/worst. Could you share, or is it not for CH prime time?

                                                  1. re: Parigi

                                                    "Monsieur, I just want to tell you I'd rather eat your duck than have sex with the prettiest girl in the world."


                                                    1. re: uhockey

                                                      Wait till he has sex with Monsieur's duck !

                                                      1. re: Parigi

                                                        Gagnaire laughed, thanked him, and said in rather broken French something along the lines of "but some girls are very pretty."

                                                        Our server took the whole thing in stride - certainly the most "Fun" server I had the whole time in Paris, though the folks at Savoy were a blast as well.


                                                        1. re: Parigi

                                                          LOL, still waiting for cheese rolling before duck intimacy.

                                                2. re: uhockey

                                                  Btw, at Arpege did you get the menu degustation or did you order ALC? Any standout dishes?

                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                    Sister did lunch menu, I did dinner menu - they served us both every course from each (there is a lot of overlap.) The Turbot, the duck, and the ravioli should NOT be missed.


                                  2. re: mangeur

                                    Don't get me wrong, I love my sweets if they are not too sweet and only if they are great. If the best part of your meal is dessert, you can go to a great bakery or Pâtisserie and choose as much as you desire.

                                    1. re: mrsjoujou

                                      Patisseries and restaurant desserts are two different things. Desserts in restaurants can be much more than pastries. Try the just made ice cream at L'Ambroisie or the warm baked to order millefeuille or the sweet tomato at L'Arpege; the souffle at Pierre Gagnaire. And I haven't read many references that say the best parts of the meal at any of the top restaurants are their desserts. They are an important part of the meal. The board is full of references to the truffled scallops, roast chicken at L'Ambroisie, the vegetables, langoustines and suckling pig at L'Arpege, the lobster, turbot, lamb and pigeon at Gagnaire, the caviar, artichoke soup, sweetbread at Guy Savoy. If one is not into desserts, order the cheese or a dessert wine. And I wouldn't dismiss the the service at Le Cinq, Pierre Gagnaire or the creativity of Le Squer at Ledoyen.

                                      1. re: PBSF

                                        Funny you should mention L'Arpege. One of the main reasons l went was for the tomato dessert. l make a tomato preserve and wanted to compare. Along with the other travesties of that meal, there was NO tomato.

                              2. I'd also like to note that after having had lunch there it is ABSOLUTELY worth it - the food was excellent, though not quite as good as a few other places we ate, but the "bang for the buck" was excellent.

                                Really, all the spots we did lunch in Paris were an excellent value for the dollar - the best "bang for the buck" being Le Bigarrade.


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: uhockey

                                  Thanks. I have been waiting for your report. Unfortunately, I can do either Savoy or La Bgarrade due to their opening days(no sun or mon) and unless something happens to my reservation at LB, I will stick to that. The way I see it, you only get two savory courses at Savoy with limitations on the menu and you get more variety and creativity at LB. Can you tell me what savory courses you picked at Savoy,besides the added course of duck?

                                  1. re: mrsjoujou

                                    I left it to the discretion of the chef, actually - and it was a Bresse chicken in a Pigs bladder, not duck.

                                    We got amuses, then the whiting/langoustine dish, then sister got the Artichoke soup and I got Petit Pois, then the Chicken (in 3 services), then cheeses (what a massive pile it was,) then palate cleanser, then dessert, then mignardise trolly. Chef Savoy visited the table twice and we were taken lovely care of by everyone. Total bill was $150EU each.


                                2. We had reservations for the 100EU lunch and, after much thought and the help of a CH thread on the subject, we decided to cancel.

                                  My wife felt the whole thing was too decadent for her taste.

                                  I was excited about the possibility, but got three concerns from the CH thread... First the special rate got a special table,which I figured was probably the worst in the place and known to regulars as the "special table." Second, the description of how one would be tempted with by-the-glass wine to the tune of 200- 400EU extra reminded me of "traps" in NYC. And, third, I can afford anything we want, and what we really wanted was good food at a reasonable price and an experience we could be proud we stood in line at le Comptoir.

                                  We were pleased with our choice.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: hychka

                                    We did not get a special table, either better or worse. In fact we were there a bit early and Hubert said pick whatever 2 top you wish. Secondly, my wine cost was 400 euros, but not by the glass by the 2 full and one 500ml bottle, my choice to get looped no pressure from them. The experience was one on the top tier of Michelin ***, a total great time.

                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                      Same - we were offered any table we wanted - opted for one in the smaller/more quiet room.


                                    2. re: hychka

                                      There is just no getting around that a 100euro lunch will add up to at least 300euro for two with an inexpensive bottle of wine. We general skip the bottle and order two glasses each of white than red. Invariable they are good burgundies and the pour is generous; total around 300euro.
                                      As for the "special table", there is no best or worst table at Guy Savoy Just a series of small rooms each with a few tables. Sit in the larger first room if one wants to see and to be seen as everyone passes it. The subsequent rooms are quieter and more intimate. We are by no mean regulars but always offered the choice of rooms if there were tables not taken.
                                      Sometimes, the occasion calls for Le Comptoir, other times, the "decadent" experience of Guy Savoy.