A Love Ballad To Black Truffles

PARIS — At least once a month someone asks me what I would choose for my last meal on earth. If you asked me today, it would be the sublime meal I had recently at one of my long-time favorite restaurants, Guy Savoy.

Perfect simplicity in food is difficult to achieve, but the talented Savoy gets it right in his culinary love poem to the fresh black truffle, now winding down its season.

His vegetable millefeuille included paper-thin slices of vermilion-red beet chips interlayered with crunchy slices of earthy, fresh black truffle. A quartet of the season’s first green Provencal asparagus lay in a pool of magnificently balanced vinaigrette. An avalanche of textures, flashes of bright and solid colors, touches of brilliance — it’s a palate pleaser all the way.

A signature as ever, the meal was augmented by Savoy’s famed artichoke soup, adorned with slices of truffle and shavings of moist Parmesan.

The rich, toasted miniature brioche slathered with truffle butter was perfect.

Spring in France means Easter lamb, and Savoy’s creative juices turned to a dish that offered three textures and flavors.

The fragrant main course included choice morsels of lamb from a tender and meaty roasted saddle, chewy braised shoulder and the rarely seen panoufle, those fatty, muscle-filled little belly flaps from the saddle. The tasty panoufles were seasoned with herbs and grilled to perfection.

Dessert was as discreet, colorful, and original as the rest of the meal, with a trio of blood- orange flavors: The pastry chef offered a sunset-toned sorbet with a sweet blood-orange confiture folded into the cooling delicacy, decorated with crispy, paper-thin dried slices of my preferred winter citrus.

Wine choices here are luxurious, so ask the sommelier, Eric Mancio, to guide you along the route.

Guy Savoy
18 Rue Troyon
Paris 75017.
Tel: 01-43-80-40-61
Fax: 01-46-22-43-09.
E-mail: reserv(AT)guysavoy.com; Web site: www.guysavoy.com.
Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, and from July 16 to Aug. 21. Tasting menu: 980 francs. A la carte, 800 to 1,000 francs. All major credit cards