9 Snowy days in Burgundy - a wrap up
First of all, many thanks to all the Houndies that posted earlier on my call for suggestions. It was extremely helpful. That said, we ran into two problems trying to take many of your suggestions: the dreaded conges annuals (even though it was only mid-December, lots of places were closed); and snow… which kept us from venturing far a field, and sometimes venturing… AT ALL. We were staying in a cottage in the Haute Cotes de Nuits… once the snow arrived, any car travel became dicey, at least at evening. Only one road was ever plowed or sanded, and not often. We ended up eating in a punishing 4 nights. Fortunately, the markets provided terrific meals at home. Some highlights below: In general I only list the food I ate, or in some cases, stole a taste of, or out and out plate swapped at the half-way point. After a spell this seemed the most practical thing to do to try the most dishes… In general, unless otherwise stated, meal prices shown included entrée, plat and dessert and coffee.
Hostellerie des Clos, in Chablis
Started with Gougeres and a few other amuses, including a Foie Gras Crème brûllée (Nice place, nice fireplace, cozy, found some of the food kind of odd… but…not bad. I had a chilled (?) Brandade and artichokes, followed by a pan seared Dorade, a plateau de Fromage and a tart tatin. 92€ dinner for two, 26€ bottle of Chablis. Lots of seeming, wine-biz gents dinning solo.
Le Marronnier, in Buffon, en face de Canal du Bourgogne
Stopped here on our way south to Fontenay because there was a good crowd of vehicles out front, including a few Orange tele-com trucks. Again, seemed like a table full of wine-biz guys on the road had the same idea. No one else seemed like they were there for the first time. Had filet de Harengs aux pommes de terre a l’huile, Couronne de Sole avec Sauce Crustacee and plateau de Fromage. 28€ lunch for two, 12€ demi of Petite Chablis.
Loiseau des Vignes, 31 rue Maufoux, Beaune
It was late, and we were spending the night next door at Hotel Le Cep so we popped in without a reservation. Plenty of room to spare on a Wednesday in December. Had Poitiron soup amuse, Nuit St Jacques in a veloute, Joue de Veau grand mere et pomme purée. Ended with a sort of apple napoleon with apple chips and basil ice cream. The schtick at this place is supposed to be all wine by the glass only, and very good ones at that. But after hesitation on my part for round two (do we really want to keep choosing a wine for each course? Maybe…) the waiter offered a traditional wine list of bottles. Overall I found the place a bit fussy and stuffy for my taste, and not all that memorable, except the joue de veau, which was delicious. 118€ Dinner for two, 49€ for a bottle of St Aubin, 9-25€ for individual glasses of wine.
La Cabotte, Nuits-Saint-Georges, on the pedestrianized Grand Rue. Thanks Laidback for this suggestion. We loved it, and went twice. Had a Coronet avec frommage amuse, then a marvelous champignons veloute amuse. Started with Coccotte (these little cocottes now appear to be everywhere… were they always?) of escargot, morels, chataignes, et vin jaune. I sampled Bman’s Morteau Roti et crème de chataigne. We both had filet de Cannette, eclats de dragees et ecrasee de pommes de terre. The Jordan almonds on top of the duck were weird but delicious, and the sugar coating melted as you made your way through the perfectly cooked duck. Nice cheese plate followed with Brillat Savarin, Salers, cindered Chevre in a ring, and Epoisses. A little chocolate pot de crème accompanied the coffee. A real journey for the tastebuds. Not the warmest host, but serious and delicious food and overall a lovely experience. 56 € lunch for two, 29 € bottle of Hautes-Cotes de Nuits rouge.
Ma Cuisine, in Beaune. LOVED this place. The chef/owner was funny, warm and charming, and the food was incredibly good. Had pate de campagne, Veau roti (more like a braise) and finished with Epoisse – which was a point et parfait. 49€ lunch for two
33€ bottle of Champy Pernand Vergelesses blanc. We have happily gone back several times. The next time we tried we found they were closed for a month. Ordinarily only open M-F, closed Wed.
Made 3 of the 4 meals at home in the snow from a great Poulet Fermier Rotisserie from the Marche at Nuit-Saint-Georges. Had the pomme de terre from down below, natch. Salad of mâche et bettrave (love that you can buy pre-roasted beets, seemingly anywhere…) and followed by a cheese course of Vieux Comte et Brillat Savarin.
Restaurant L’Industrie, close to Les Halles, Dijon. Your basic local café, but cheap, lively and good. Had Oeuf mimosa au thon, and Steak Frites and Tarte aux poire. On our way out the owner offered us a glass of his homemade…. Wine? Marc? Vielle Prune???? Not sure, but a nice and festive gesture as we got closer to Christmas. 22€ lunch for two, 10€ pichet de vin rouge.
La Cabotte, Nuits-Saint-Georges… encore
Cornette du fromage et Foam de champignon encore. Then a Croustilliant de pied de Cochon topped by Rougie in a sauce moules. Next a Poele Noix St. Jacques et Boudin Noir et cube de pomme de terre. Then the Cheese foursome and the single best dessert in 25 days in France: Molleaux du caramel burre sale. I’ve emailed and begged for the recipe. If you’ve got contacts, this recipe could be your ticket to becoming my new best friend. We talked about it for days. 77€ dinner (1 menu 28€, 1 menu 49€), 33€ bottle of Hautes Cotes de Nuits rouge.
Hotel Chevreuil, in Meursault. Nothing stellar, nothing bad (well, maybe one of the cheeses seemed on the border….) Had Oeufs en Meurette, Coq au Vin blanc, cheese plate but the real discovery was the wine. Loved it and had a hard time tracking it down. 46€ lunch for two, 25€ bottle of Clos du Chateau Bourgogne Chardonnay, Chateau de Meursault.
Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin. Souphie, I think I read a post elsewhere where you recommended this one. Also loved it. Funnily, ran into the gang from La Cabotte, seemingly dejeuning with the chef/owners of Chez Guy. Had Jambon Perseille, Joue de Boeuf 12-heures Pinot Noir on a bed of carrots (amazingly good – they sell it, along with a few other signature dishes for take away. We should have bought some…) and a Dome de creme broulee (kinda stiff, fatty and weird) and glace caramel. 62€ lunch for two, and when in Rome… sprang for a bottle (at 60€, one of the least expensive on the menu) of Gevrey-Chambertin, 2005 Vielle Vignes Naigeon.
Cafe La Fountain, in Autun. We were hoping to hit La Chapitre as Laidback recommended, but it was congele-d. Potage legumes, Estofade Pintade a la Bougignon, Tarte tatin, 40€ lunch for two, 18 demi of Hautes Cotes de Nuits.
La Gourmandin, Beaune
Very popular spot. We hadn’t reserved so were sent to Siberia upstairs. Terrine du magret en croute, Faux filet Epoisses, Fromage, Tart au pommes. 48€ Dinner for two, 32€ Bottle of Chorey les Beaune rouge.
Chez Jeannette, Fixin
Found this place just wandering around the Cote d’Or. Had Oeuf en Meurette, Crepunette de vollaille en chous avec petite legumes (stuffed cabbage with ground chicken… kind of tasty) Mouse de cassis avec sable, grand cart de fromage and very nice Mignardises with coffee. 50€ Lunch for two, 29 € bottle of Fixin, Les Herbues, Maison Michel DEFRANCE. Liked this wine so much we went down the street, found the cave, and had a very pleasant degustation with two other gents from the restaurant that happened to have had the same idea just before us. We bought a case… we did still have several weeks ahead of us and lots of entertaining plans.
La Ciboulette, Beaune. Just inside the Porte St. Nicholas. Had Terrine de Haddock et Lentil, Filet de Boeuf au truffe, Gratin Dauphinois, perfect mini primeurs, Fromage
and pomme, sable et glace de vanilla. Lively, fun, and friendly. Reservations necessary.
75 € Dinner for two, 40 € Faiveley Mercurey… I think…. One of the few places I didn’t keep the receipt.
Other good suggestions folks made:
http://www.lafermedesperriaux.com/ was closed for the season- just missed it by a day!
Lameloise in Chagny: ditto, though once I got a glimpse of the menu I was sort of glad. Tres Cher. Charlemagne was open but also was a bit outside our price range, and all the towns off the N74 were frequently impassable in the snow….
Snow also kept us from Macon and Lyon. Marches at Beaune, Nuits-Saint-Georges, and Dijon were all terrific, and twice a week, and so jolly as we got closer to Christmas. In addition to the great chicken that kept giving, we also had a terrific leek tart, good celerie remoulade, and great fruit and vegetables. Someone should give Marcel Sabatier, the butcher appearing at all the markets above, his own TV show. He and his wife were delightful, funny, and doled out bites of sausage to youngsters on line with their folks who could not have been happier.
Did also do the tasting that VMK suggested, though it was at Patriarche, not the Musee du Vin, which was interesting but had no degusting. Heartflet thanks again for all your guidance.
What dates were you in Beaune? I am leaving for Lyon next Tuesday and we will be spending 4 days in Beaune & Vosne Romanee. How much snow did you actually get while you were there?
I do have a reservation at La Cabotte and I look forward to Ma Cuisine, though I hear their hours of operation are unpredictable. What night of the week did you dine there?
We were there December 17-24th. Ma Cuisine is open M-F only, and closed Wed. We were there on a Thursday for Lunch. Worth it.
It wasn't that it was so much snow, maybe a total of 5 inches or so, but with few plows and "gritters" as the Brits say, the country roads become pretty dicey. But we loved our time there.