Guy Savoy's Innovation-Inspiration Menu (September 2012)
This is Guy Savoy's top of the line offering. Expect to spend three to four hours, and perhaps more.
Even before the amuse bouche listed on the menu, some amuse bouches appear. First was truffle and foie gras vinaigrette on toast: a tasty morsel indeed. Next came a tiny Parmesan waffle. Lastly, a welcome back treat: a tiny wagyu beef tartare burger.
Guy Savoy is justifiably proud of its bread cart. You may choose any of more than a dozen varieties, or allow the bread steward to provide pairings appropriate to the menu. I opted for the latter. Even before the meal, slices of rosemary and juniper fougasse appeared. Unfortunately, the bread was delicious (lemon bread was a favorite). By the fourth course, I requested that my bread plate be removed; I was filling up far too fast. Beware!
In my descriptions below, I may shorten the names of the courses. If you want to see the full description, click on the menu, above, for a large image.
At last, the menu's amuse bouche arrived: a small cup of the restaurant's famous Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup, Toasted Mushroom Brioche with Black Truffle Butter. The soup had a stronger truffle flavor than I remembered, and was the better for it. A good start.
Concassé of Oysters. A small saucer of chopped oysters, seaweed and lemon granité. I really enjoyed this dish, comprising strong tastes: briny oysters, seaweed, acid. I was still eating bread at this point; the pairing was seaweed bread.
Sea Urchin. Sea urchin is a favorite of mine. It was of good quality, firm with good flavor. In addition to black rice, the plate had small drops of egg yolk, lime puree and olive oil. My only criticism is that the mild, delicate sea urchin was a little overwhelmed by the strong flavors, as well as the very firm rice.
Caviar. One of the restaurant's trademarks is the little surprises that come with the food. For example, a plate may have a hidden compartment which contains yet another little goodie. In the case of the caviar, tiny potatoes made up the "rocks" mentioned on the menu. Smoked sabayon came inside a whole egg shell; the server cracked open the shell, and voila! How can a caviar dish like this fail? Very good.
Salmon Iceberg. This was my next to favorite dish. The server placed wild Alaskan salmon on a block of dry ice, searing it with cold. Accompanying the salmon were diced citrus, tiny blocks of chervil gelée, a finger lime (made up of tiny caviar-like spheres of pulp), bok choy and a delicious broth. The contrasts were remarkable: hold/cold; sour/rich; soft/crunchy. Excellent lemon bread accompanied the dish.
Lobster and Peaches. This was a fairly simple dish, but the addition of peaches was interesting: pieces of peach, as well as peach gelée. Hidden in a depression in the center of the plate was a few spoons of chopped lobster and chanterelles. Overall, very good.
Foie Gras. I hate to be predictable, but this was my favorite dish of the evening. Two one-inch cubes of foie gras were seared until crispy on the outside, but buttery rich on the inside. Instead of a sweet foil, mild horseradish was provided, along with potato chip broth. I wouldn't have thought these were good accompaniments, but they were. I may have had better foie gras in the past, but none comes to mind right now.
Duck. Two pieces of smoked roast duck, with natural gravy, some kind of tuile, carrot puree, and a small cylinder of carrot stuffed with duck. This was a fairly plain dish, but prepared very well; I liked it a lot.
Wagyu Beef. Two squares of Australian wagyu, very nicely marbled, with saffron sauce. Simply done, excellent quality.
Mousse de Comté. A very light foam of cheese, served with walnuts and mustard greens. This was an odd cheese course, but pretty good.
"Sunny Side Up." This was another of Guy Savoy's playful dishes. Consisting of Greek yogurt, mango puree, cracked pepper, and a strip of French toast, it really did look like a sunny side up egg -- even the way a partially cooked egg yolk runs. My taste buds told me one thing, my eyes another. Refreshing and fun.
Raspberry. This dessert consisted of layers of raspberry sabayon, something crunchy, ice cream, raspberry drupelets, and raspberry gelée. based on its description, this is a dessert that should have been very good, but I didn't find it exciting.
Chocolate. A small dollop of intensely chocolaty ice cream; served on a cube of ice so it wouldn't melt too quickly. I'm a sucker for chocolate, so of course I liked this dessert.
Mignardises. The after-dessert dessert cart was as bounteous as ever. I was too full to select more than a gluttonous number. Worthy of mention was home made grape soda. Jokingly described by the server as "Pepto Bismal," it was claimed to be a (non-alcoholic) digestif.
The meal was $350, plus drinks, tax and tip.
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