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Dinner at Guy Savoy Paris

Dinner at Guy Savoy Paris
Via Swiss and Air France La Première
September 2021

Today I’m off on a quick 3 day trip to Zurich and Paris.   DFW_CK and I are meeting at LAX to fly Swiss First to Zurich and complete the return half of the Lufthansa/Swiss First ticket we started in Athens two months ago.   Our original plan was to connect to Stockholm but Sweden’s new ban on Americans killed that idea.

Denver to LAX on United First
• The Private Suite at LAX
• Swiss First Class to Zurich
• Zurich and the Park Hyatt Zurich
• TGV from Zurich to Paris Gare de Lyon
• Paris and the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
• Dinner at Guy Savoy
• Air France La Premiere Lounge at CDG
• Air France La Premiere to Houston
• Centurion Lounge at IAH
• United 77W Polaris to Denver
After my early morning Covid rapid test at nearby AFC Urgent Care - Cherry Creek, I bid adieu to Mrs. SFO777 and Uber’d to DIA.
North Security PreCheck was packed this morning with a snaking line and a minimum 15 minute wait.  My CLEAR membership really paid off today as the CLEAR lane was wide open allowing me to jump the PreCheck queue.   Ten minutes later, I was at the Centurion Lounge in the C concourse.   

Unfortunately, the Centurion Lounge was at capacity and had a 15-20 waiting time.   So I headed back downstairs to an empty Southwest Gate and waited for the “come on over” text.

My favorite part of the Centurion Lounge, the private suite… aka The Phone Room.

This month's lunch offerings looked noticably weaker than previous months... pasta, rice and pasta.  The Chicken Milanese has so little chicken that I thought Amex had gone vegan.

The 2018 Terlato Pinot Grigio was quite nice.

At T-50, I headed for the train and the short ride back to the B Concourse.  

Denver DEN to Los Angeles LAX
United 289
September 6, 2021

Boarding started at the scheduled T-40.

United's version of the garbage 737MAX cabins.

Today's PDB offerings... the now all too familiar zero, zip, nada.

Once in the air, service improved.  United continues to be the best domestic airline for short haul food as they offer hot meals on all hub-to-hub routes, regardless of length or seemingly even time of day or night.  However, the non-breakfast options have been the same for the past three months... chicken orzo or enchilada.  Probably a little boring for United regulars.  Although I enjoyed the chicken orzo on my last United meal flight, I decided to try the enchilada.  

It was pretty tasty although I only had a few bites, not wanting to stuff myself before what was to come later in the day.

Plus there was no way I could not eat the Pie in the Sky, one of the best chocolate chip cookies... period.

We landed at LAX on time and headed to Gate 71.   More LAX construction, having now spread to Terminal 6.

Pulling into Gate 71A, so excited to see my Private Suite BMW waiting for me.

The Private Suite at LAX (or P/S) is a private VIP terminal completely separate from the regular LAX passenger terminals.  P/S interfaces with all airlines and provides private check-in, private TSA security and private CBP clearance.  And BMW 7 series limo service from the jet bridge of your arriving plane and/or limo service back to your departing plane... all without ever stepping inside an LAX concourse.  In between flights, amazing service in drop dead gorgeous lounges.  P/S has 13 private suites to relax in prior to being escorted to your departing flight.  Initial prices were crazy... in the $3,000 per visit range. But in the past month, P/S made a decision to broaden its market.  They introduced The Salon, same service with all the P/S amenities except that you relax in a larger lounge, The Salon, that you might have to share with others. The upside is that The Salon is offered at a much lower price... only $695 a visit. 

Wonderful P/S rep Olivia met me in the jetbridge right at the door of my arriving United flight.   We walked down the jet bridge stairs to meet driver Alex and a gorgeous BMW 7 series.

From Gate 71A, we headed out to the tarmac for the 10 minute drive around the west end of LAX.

And finally the P/S terminal.

OMG, like a 5 star resort, the staff line up to greet me.

I gave my passport, Covid test results and Swiss FOPH tracing QR code to Alexa and was then escorted into The Salon, where DFW_CK was already relaxing.   Simply stunning.

An array of complimentary high end products.

Very attractive bar with our personal server team of four.... Kai, Adam, Jack and Martin. 

Our welcome amuse-bouche.

Here is the current Salon menu.  Our P/S rep Alexa mentioned that their food supplier h.wood group would soon be expanding to full restaurant quality meals.

Our Mezze Platter...

Little Gem Salad...

Noodle Bowl with Steak.

Oh yeah...

Pit stop before heading out for our Swiss flight.

Another wonderful P/S agent Whitley came to collected us at around T-60.

First stop was P/S's private TSA security, with two of the nicest TSA employees I've ever encountered.

Our gorgeous BMW ready to take us to TBIT. 

Amazing up close and personal plane spotting on the way,.

Cool photo op just prior to taking the elevator up to the jet bridge.

Los Angeles LAX to Zurich ZRH
Swiss LX 41
777-300ER (77W)
7:20p-3:35p +1
September 6, 2021
Whitley escorted us from the tarmac up the elevator to the jet bridge door.
We bid adieu and were the first to board and welcomed by tonight's wonderful cabin crew.  
My Suite 2K.
Pre-departure PDB...
Tonight's menu.
And wine list.
Showtime, Swiss First style.
Delicious amuse-bouche.
Swiss' fabulous signature filet of Balik salmon
The Pea and Mint soup was a meh.
For my main, I went with the Roasted beef tenderloin with black pepper demi-glace, rutabaga gratin and seasonal veggies.
OMG, this was spectacular.
After dinner, I moved across the aisle to a vacant 2G and slept for a solid 4 hours.
We landed on time and pulled into the International arrivals E terminal.
The Swiss First Class Lounge near our arrival gate... still closed.
Down to the train to customs.
Very cool video montage of Swiss scenery from the train.
Customs and immigration was relatively painless and we we’re out shortly after.

Does anyone else find ZRH Airport signs to be confusing?   Then again, perhaps that's the point.  We ordered up an Uber and were given a pick-up choice of either Check-in 1 or Check-in 2.  WTF?  The only problem with that is that interior Terminal signs pointed us in one direction, only to then point in the complete opposite direction when you got there.  And no signs on any of the exit doors. It's only when get outside do you see what they mean.  Sheesh.

Nevertheless our Uber arrived a couple of minutes after we walked outside.

And 25 minutes later, we were in the city at the Park Hyatt.

Dated by still nice interior.

We relaxed for a bit and then headed out for dinner, a 20 minute walk thru lovely Zurich. 

And finally to Isebahnli, a tiny resto that got rave reviews for food and wine.

We opted for the tasting menu with wine pairing.   First up, the watermelon and tomato gaspacho was delicious.

Steak tartar with mushrooms.  Outstanding.

OMG, their bread was divine.

The highlight dish of the night was tuna with homemade pasta.  Wow, this was spectacular.

The Angus Beef "from the US" was just OK, although mash potatoes, veggies and sauce were excellent.

A very pleasant experience and great service especially from our primary server Lorenzo.

This morning, we are off to Paris on the TGV.   Breakfast at the Park Hyatt's lovely Parkhuus restaurant, although only one of us made it down stairs.

My Eggs Benedict were delicious.

Zürich Hauptbahnhof is a short 7 minute taxi ride from the PH.

Pay-per-pee lavs.

Time to head for our train.  After some research, I bought our tickets using trainline.com which was selling seats at half the price that sncf.com wanted. 

Whoa, some one needs a good car wash.

Very nice and comfy seats... way better than flying.

We lucked out and got four seats to ourselves. 

On time departure rolling thru Zurich.

Some lovely country scenes along the route.

The food car was a convenient two cars back.

DFW–CK went healthy-ish.

Moi? Not so much.   I ordered both just to in case.

The quiche was very, very good.   Indeed, DFW_CK took one bite and then the entire half.

The croque was OK, a far cry from Buvette.

The SNCF app let you track your progress in real time.

We pulled into Gare de Lyon just a few minutes late.

Now to find a taxi or Uber.

You win some, you lose some.  Bad choice of Uber today.  5 minutes turned into 15 minutes with a driver who thinks that a shower curtain will stop Covid.  LOL.

Twenty-five minutes later, we arrived at our home for the night, the lovely Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. 

Odd welcome gift of dates, dates and more dates.  Someone must have got a good deal.

With 3 hours until dinner, we decided to explore some of the most picturesque parts of my favorite city in the world... on a blistering hot 92F/33C afternoon.

An hour later, back at the PH to rest up for our evening with Guy Savoy.

Dinner at Restaurant Guy Savoy Paris

We headed out from the Park Hyatt at around 19:00.

And 15 minutes later, we were at the Musée de la Monnaie.

So excited to be here.  And to think that getting a reservation was crazy easy, on lafourchette.com/thefork.fr.

Such a gorgeous, elegant setting.

And away we go, with one of the best meals I've ever enjoyed.  Amazing food, incredible showmanship and flawless service.  

Tonight's amuse-bouche, numéro un.

The bread with crispy crust. Wonderful.

Yeah, those prices will keep the riff-raff away.

And the man himself, working the room and greeting all his guests.

Amuse-bouche, numéro deux.

Tartare of raw oysters with lemon and seaweed gratiné.

Oh wow, this was delicious.

Next up was Shellfish from the sea-bed in ocean mist.  What great presentation and theatre.

... medallions of poached lobster, salpicon of crab and currycomb crab jelly.

Colours of caviar with smoked sabayon.

Caviar cream, caviar vinaigrette and a purèe of Savoy cabbagem served with Royal and Baeri caviars and smoked sabayon.  This was spectacular.

A preview of our roasted veal.  Wow.

An intermezzo amuse-bouche.


Delicately steamed John Dory "polychrome sea"... potatoes cooked in seaweed butter, shellfish steamed with sea-side flavors.  Fabulous.

OMG, Duck foie gras "poché-poelé" with an infusion of buds and kernels. 

Mon dieu.  This was out of this world.  Slices of braised and roasted duck foie gras in a boullion infused with apricot kernels and blackcurrent buds: "muesli" and confit apricots.

Layered mushroom brioche spread with truffle butter.  Outrageously delicious.

Together with the amazing Artichoke soup, black truffle and parmesan shavings. 

While not on our menu, showtime next door with salmon "cooked" on ice with lemon pearls.

Next up for us was the fabulous silce of whole roasted veal saddle.

... vegetable ribbons...  

and pommes dauphine (from my childhood). 


Kohlrabi root and leaves marinated with citrus, with a jus of young vegetable tops seasoned with freshly grated horseradish.

Cheese cart next door.

Our cheese course was a lovely chèvre.

OMG, time for dessert... 7 courses worth.  Wow.

Mille-feuille by special request. 

My decadent Pure Chocolate tartlet.  Chocolate biscuit and cacao pain de mi crisps and hot chocolate sauce.  Sensational.

It never ends... The Trolley of ice creams, sorbets, dessert jars and traditional biscuits.

What a marvelous evening.  Fabulous food with wonderfully imaginative presentation and flawless service.  One of the best meals ever.  

Air France provides La Première passengers with complimentary limo service in Paris.  Our HertzDriveU driver was waiting for us when we came downstairs just before 7am.  Some 30 miintues later, we were at the La Première door... Porte 14 of Terminal 2E.

And then escorted to the La Premiére check-in area and lounge, while our Personal Assistant took our passports and Covid docs to process our check-in and issue boarding pass.

A few minutes later we're off to passport control and security.   This door is new...

... as well as the private walkway...

Sadly, the process broke down as AF has still not provided private security for CDG check-in.  So we join the masses.  We we sort of jumped the queue and our bags were given La Première cards.  Didn't help much as DFW_CK's carrry-on was sent to secondary.

LOL   Why bother?  Just stay on the mainland.

So good to be back in the world's best First Class Lounge.

Time to eat... even after last night's dinner with Guy Savoy.   It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

While the official menu was the breakfast menu, our server was more than happy to see if the kitchen staff would prepare non-breakfast selection.  Funny thing was when I asked about something from the Déjenuer, he knew what I was up to.... "Coquillettes?" Oui, SVP.

OMG, Coquillettes jambon/truffe noir was out of this world.

Clearly, I didn't like that.  Used the baguette to clean the plate.

Then there was this odd group of mainlanders, in full PPE gear, who had no idea what the LPL was all about.  There were 5 of them which seemed odd considering that there are only 4 F seats on each plane. I heard an exasperated staffer try to explain, twice, that they could order anything they want from the menu at no charge.  Sheesh. 

Air France La Premiere to Houston

At around T-40, our PA came to retrieve us and escort us down the elevator to our limo.  But first, one more doc check.

We had lots of time for photo ops as our PA's key did not work on the door to the jetbridge stairs. 

A few minutes later, another PA arrived with the correct key... and my red La Première EU adapter bag that I had left in the lounge.

Paris CDG to Houston IAH
Air France AF 636
September 9, 2021
Suites 1A-1E-1F-1L
We were warmly welcomed on board by today's wonderful cabin crew.   We lucked out today as it was just the two of us in the 4 seat La Première cabin.

With a pre departure glass of lovely 2006 Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires, so began 10 hours of flawless service by a wonderful crew including Pierre, our lead LP flight attendant. 

The good news is that La Première passengers get free Wifi.  The bad news is that Air France Wifi doesn't always work and is challenged at best.

Today's menu....

Showtime, La Première style.

Caviar with aniseed.

The Tomato and melon gazpacho was delicious.

Next up was the Foie gras and truffle ravioli, with porto sauce and slow-cooked leeks.

OMG, this was amazing, with a glass of Sauternes.

For his main, DFW_CK chose the cod.  Yikes, not my cup of tea but he claimed that it was excellent.  I'll have to take his word. 

OK, definitely looked much better smothered in aiguo-sau fish soup.  

My free-range chicken with rosemary, with smooth red kuri suqash puree with yuzu.  OK but bland.

My decadent Verbena chocolate finger by Phillipe Urraca, raspberry tart.

Our FA Pierre made my bed in 1L where I slept for a solid 4 hours.

Around 90 minutes before landing, we moved over to our middle pair of dining seats for round 2, where Pierre proceeded to serve us everything he had left in the galley.

The Chicory salad with walnuts, apple and Beaufort cheese, sweet potato patties, hazelnut crumble and mango was excellent... topped with a scallop... because why not?

The artichoke ravioli was fabulous, with sauteéd chicory and honey sauce.

Creamy crab, cream of red kuri squash soup, glazed turnips with curry.

The Comté cheese was fabulous. 

At this point, we're taking it for the team... poached pears with spices and orange.

We arrived some 15 minutes early and bid adieu to our marvelous cabin crew for today.  At the door, we were met by a La Première PA who seemed pleasant enough in the jet bridge and while escorting us to CBP.

But then failed miserably when she abandoned us at a CBP facility with no functioning Global Entry..... and then no PreCheck or even PreCheck light to re-enter airside. Seriously?

Miserable IAH ground service notwithstanding, it was another amazing day with Air France and the world's best overall First Class product. 

Houston International - LOL.

Once we escaped the hell hole that is IAH CBP, we're in the labyrinth of stupidity that is Houston International.   Laughed our asses off when we saw a banner trumpeting a SkyTrax Best Airport America rating. 

As bad as IAH is, the funniest part is trying to find the Amex Centurion Lounge.   But of course, hidden at the back of the Duty Free shop.

And consistent with its obscure location and airport, this is one of the ugliest Centurion Lounges in the system.  

With not a single window to the outside.

Oh yeah, and just in case there is a waiting list, this is the holding pen where card members have to wait.  LOL.