Michelin dining in Paris is no joke. In fact, it’s not unheard of for the city’s top three-star places to average over $500 per person. Even some one-star restaurants can still end up with bills over $400, especially the long-established ones.
Enter: the prix fixe lunch at Guy Savoy. It’s the perfect way to dip your toe in the pool, without completely breaking the bank.
Location: The chef’s second restaurant is hidden inside the Hotel de la Monnaie, overlooking the Seine. The entrance can be tricky to find, but the Hotel staff are very willing to assist. Head to 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris.
Menu: While there are technically only three courses served at lunch, additional amuse bouches accompany the prix fixe meal. There are plenty of options to accommodate a variety of eating styles. And, if you bring a dining partner or two along with, you’ll end up being able to sample a majority of the haute cuisine offerings (if your companions are willing to share).
But best of all? Many of these very same items also appear on the dinner menu in the evening, at nearly double or triple the cost. It’s a steal.
Thoughts: It’s worth noting that diners here tend to dress up, although lunch is more casual than dinner. Aim for nice shoes, and clothes that fall into the business category (no jeans, shorts, or t-shirts).
The dress code matches the ambiance: the whole restaurant has an air of chic gravitas. Matte black paint covers the woodwork, highlighting both the beautiful marble features and the masterful artwork adorning the walls. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the Seine through the wavy paned windows.
The menu is available in French, English, Japanese, and Russian, but don’t be overwhelmed: your waitstaff will happily answer your questions about each dish, and offer up suggestions based on both your food preferences and hunger level.
During my visit, the chef opened the meal with foie gras and toast bites and selection of prepared vegetables: marinated sweet carrot, potato crisp and creme, shrimp toast topped with herb puree, and more.
These dishes were then followed by one of my favorites: a palate cleanser in the form of a potato-filled leek roll. While it may sound boring, it arrived inside a filigreed double-bowl filled with dry ice, and a stem of tarragon. Crushing the stem and leaf between your hands, you’re then encouraged to enjoy both the scent and the food together, all while ethereal dry ice vapors continue to billow out from the basin below. The entire course was a beautiful show in and of itself.
The artichoke soup arrived topped with parmesan and truffle, and the rich, creamy texture bordered on sinful. The waiter was quite friendly and enthusiastic, encouraging me to dip my brioche directly into the bowl, using it to mop up every delightful drop.
Next came the veal, served two ways. The crisp, light and airy texture of the “croute” contrasted well against both a delicate sauced medallion and a more toothy rib. Spinach, potato puree, and a side of roasted root vegetables glazed in au jus rounded out what turned out to be quite a hearty plate.
Before dessert, another palate cleanser was served, comprised of a beautiful fig spiral, served on top a delicate honey crisp and goat cheese pannacotta. The bright flavors did an excellent job prepping the tongue for its next adventure: chocolate “coins.”
Comprised of 70% cacao, these medallions come stamped with the restaurant name and profile on the top. Inside nestles a delicate cream, and the whole plate is sauced with honey produced by their very own beehives (located on the roof). Other diners nearby chose the “sweets cart”: a wheeled dessert station that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Harry Potter film. Selections including macarons, yogurt-passion fruit sorbet, and homemade marshmallows sit housed inside various apothecary jars. You get to pick your poison and load up a plate with whatever tickles your fancy.
The entire lunch experience more than lived up to the price tag, with dining time running over two hours. So the next time you’re in Paris, spoil yourself: get dressed up, go for the food, and enjoy the rest of Savoy’s beautifully orchestrated show.
Price Range: For 130€, you can select a starter, main dish, and dessert at one of the best Michelin starred restaurants in Europe (just be sure and ask for the online rate when booking your reservation). As mentioned above, additional bites often come with the meal at no extra charge. Wine can also be added by the glass, starting around 10€, and coffee is extra. An ala-carte menu is also available if desired.
Remember, tips in Parisian fine dining establishments are cash only and expected when you’ve received exceptional service.
For Pinterest: Add this picture of these decadent chocolate medallions to your dining inspiration board.