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Paris, Burgundy and Champagne - Preliminary food itinerary - Advise requested!

bethandben Jan 13, 2011 10:27 AM

My husband and I are visiting Paris, Burgundy and Champagne in the early spring and based on the help of many of your posts, I have put together the following preliminary food itinerary for us. For point of reference, we live in NYC and enjoy foods that range from the high end to the great but inexpensive sandwich shop. We are looking for a mix of food experiences in France, however, we do not eat pork, organ meats or poultry but love all seafood and other meat (i.e., if cote de boeuf is on the menu we will likely order it), so pre-set menus without any flexibility/choice generally do not work for us. Also, trying not to cram in 2 huge meals in one day and trying to hit a range of price points. Here goes....looking forward to any advise, comment or critique...please let me know what I'm missing!

Paris (staying in the 6th for 3 nights and in the 8th the following weekend):
Fri Breakfast/Lunch (after redeye from NY) - grab and go crepes/baguettes/cheeses/etc.
Fri Dinner - Chez L'Ami Jean
Sat Lunch - Le Cinq
Sat Dinner - Garnier for oysters/raw bar
Sun Lunch - Saint Germain/Raspail/Bastille Market
Sun Dinner - La Cagouille
following weekend:
Sat Dinner - La Regalade St. Honore
Sun Lunch - L'Atelier de Joel Rubuchon
Sun Dinner - L'Ami Louis
Thinking maybe L'Ami Jean, Regalade St. Honore and L'Ami Louis are too similar.....

Burgundy (staying outside of Beaune for 2 nights and Chablis for 1 night)
Mon Lunch - open
Mon Dinner - Ma Cuisine (how far in advance should I try for a reservation?)
Tues Lunch - open
Tues Dinner - Hostellerie de Levernois
Wed Lunch - open
Wed Dinner in Chablis - Maybe Hostellerie des Clos but read many mixed reviews? Other suggestions?
Unsure about lunches in Burgundy and very open to suggestions; read about Olivier Leflaive wine lunch but while the wine sounds great, I'm hesitant about the food. Do any wineries do wine tastings with lunch?

Champagne (staying in Reims)
Thurs Lunch - Assiette Champenoise
Thurs Dinner - Brasserie Flo? Other ideas for a light dinner in Reims?
Fri Lunch in Epernay - hoping to grap some cheese and bread from a market? other light lunch ideas in Epernay for between visits to Champagne houses?
Fri Dinner - Le Parc at Les Crayeres

Thanks in advance!

  1. Parigi Jan 13, 2011 11:07 AM

    "Burgundy (staying outside of Beaune for 2 nights and Chablis for 1 night)
    Mon Lunch - open
    Mon Dinner - Ma Cuisine (how far in advance should I try for a reservation?)"

    1 week. 10 days to be safe.
    Your choice for Burgundy - and elsewhere - is good. But you may want to bear in mind that Burgundy cuisine is quite rich. One good resto meal per day is quite enough. I know I can't possibly dine out twice a day in the kind good restos on your list. We did that once and simply did not enjoy it.
    On warmer days I would have suggested a picnic...

    Lastly, you realize that the distance between Chablis and Beaune is not great. If I were you, I would keep just one base - Beaune - instead of two, for logistical reasons and because I despise packing and unpacking.
    Bon séjour.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Parigi
      bethandben Jan 13, 2011 11:16 AM

      Thanks for the quick reply. I was thinking that the extent of dining out may be too ambitious and I appreciate the advise and I am hoping to be able to find places to grab small bites (not necessarily sit down meals). I love the idea of picnics, although it may be questionable whether it will be warm enough (last week in march/first week in april). Do you have recommendations for places or markets to go in the Burgundy area or Champagne region for small bites (lunch or dinner) for those other meals?

      As for the distance between Beaune and Chablis, I was thinking that by staying in Chablis it would break up the drive from Beaune to Reims, which I believe I looked up to be around 4 hours. We are not fully set on the night in Chablis though....

      1. re: bethandben
        Parigi Jan 13, 2011 11:38 AM

        "Do you have recommendations for places or markets to go in the Burgundy area or Champagne region for small bites (lunch or dinner) for those other meals?"

        Both Dijon and Beaune have a good market. For their market days, see:

    2. ChefJune Jan 13, 2011 11:33 AM

      I have always had wonderful meals at Hostellerie des Clos, but if you want to go somewhere else, nearby in Joigny is the wonderful Cote St. Jacques. Jean-Michel Lorain is a great chef, a wonderful host, and the place is drop dead gorgeous.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune
        bethandben Jan 13, 2011 05:58 PM

        Thanks, I will look into that. Do you have any recommendations for more casual places to eat in Chablis or any recommended wineries to visit that are open to the public for tastings?

        1. re: bethandben
          ChefJune Jan 14, 2011 07:11 AM

          My favorite winery in Chablis is Domaine Laroche, and they will gladly welcome you for tours and tastings. Their "home:" is an old abbey, the Abbaye de l'Obedience. and the tour is fascinating... not to mention the delicious wines. ;-D

          Most wineries are available to you if you contact them in advance and make an appointment. Others are only available to the trade. Domaine Francois Raveneau is among those, sadly.

        2. re: ChefJune
          lecker Nov 4, 2013 06:53 AM

          ChefJune: Have you stayed at La Cote St. Jacques? If so, how was it? I am trying to decide between an overnight there or at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau? Both look so wonderful...I would appreciate any insights you can share. Thanks!

          1. re: lecker
            ChefJune Nov 6, 2013 12:23 PM

            I have not stayed at either, but I have seen the accommodations at both. My niece and nephew stayed at Cote St. Jacques. Both are very luxurious.

            I have to say I'm a bit partial to the Lorain family, though...

            1. re: ChefJune
              lecker Nov 7, 2013 01:42 PM

              ChefJune: Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately my initial plans have taken a major change so I will not be heading towards that area of France this time around. But based on your reply, I have noted Loiseaux as a place to hit the next time we head that way. Three more days until France; so excited!

              1. re: lecker
                ChefJune Nov 7, 2013 01:55 PM

                Bon Voyage! Have a wonderful trip.

                1. re: ChefJune
                  lecker Nov 8, 2013 04:56 AM


        3. b
          bethandben Jan 14, 2011 07:09 PM

          Also considering a stop in Troyes...any food suggestions there?

          1. fanoffrance Jan 16, 2011 03:15 AM

            I see nobody has mentioned Lameloise in Chagny (maybe 15 minutes drive south of Beaune), one of my favorite restaurants. I've been there 3-4 times, never disappointed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: fanoffrance
              bethandben Jan 16, 2011 04:30 AM

              Have you (or anyone else) been to both Lemeloise and to Hostellerie de Levernois? During the time that we are in the area we will probably only want to do one restaurant like that. Fanoffrance (or anyone else), can you provide a comparison of the two restaurants? Note that we will be staying at the Hostellerie de Levernois so that may play into things too.

              1. re: bethandben
                fanoffrance Jan 17, 2011 09:18 AM

                I had dinner at Levernois once. I enjoyed it a lot, but would definitely prefer Lameloise if I had to choose one. Compared to Lameloise, Levernois struck me as simpler, less imaginative and distinctive, just standard excellent food. Also, I don't like the decoration of the dining room at Levernois.

            2. DaTulip Jan 17, 2011 03:44 PM

              I also agree with Parigi, "...you may want to bear in mind that Burgundy cuisine is quite rich. One good resto meal per day is quite enough." A couple of lunch possibilities in Beaune that are quick and good are Le Carnot on Place Monge (oddly has good pizzas - also good soup/salad bistro fare) and Crep' Anges near the Place Madeliene. Le Gourmandin on Place Carnot is also a place where you can get a full meal or just a little and still feel comfortable. Finally, Cheval Noir just across from Jardin des Remparts has great food and you can feel free to order as much or as little as you want. Picnic is a great option too. Some cheese from Alain Hess, some bread from 3 Epis, fruit from the market, and of course wine!

              You said, "read about Olivier Leflaive wine lunch but while the wine sounds great, I'm hesitant about the food. Do any wineries do wine tastings with lunch?"
              Why hesitatant about the food? It is not the best you'll ever have, but it is good and complements the wines well. Other wineries with table d'hotes are Comte Senard in Aloxe Corton and Pierre Bouree in Gevry-Chambertin.

              "Ma Cuisine (how far in advance should I try for a reservation?)" - you can reserve early without them thinking it's odd - so as soon as you know you're dates it would be fine. I'd contact them at least 2-3 weeks before if it is a holiday weekend, but usually not too much of an issue on a Monday. I always reconfirm a few days before, but that is just my habit with all restos.

              I'll also second ChefJune on Domain Laroche in Chablis. Great stuff and very nice people! Chablis is very different from most of Burgundy in that there are some bigger places there that are all open for tasting without reservations - e.g. Laroche, Wm. Fevre, Chablisienne (sp?), and Bichot/Long DePaquit.

              Again agree with June on the wine tastings in Burgundy, most places (other than the really big guys like DRC) will welcome you for a tasting by appointment. Usually you can arrange it all by email. Some stop in /no appointment places in Beaune are Patriarche and Caveau des Cordeliers (these are both the whole self tasting/wandering in the wine cellar experience) near Beaune in Aloxe are Michel-Voarick (AWESOME wines), Corton Andre, and Proprieters de Aloxe-Corton (kind of snotty folks here in my book).

              Hope this helps!

              1 Reply
              1. re: DaTulip
                bethandben Jan 17, 2011 05:32 PM

                Thank you so much! That is a great wealth of information and exactly what I was hoping for! I had planned to visit Michel-Voarick and I am happy to see your enthusiasm too!

              2. p
                Pamdixon1 Feb 9, 2011 06:25 AM

                Just found your post & had to join Chowhound in order to comment. Your research is amazing, here's the coincidence-- my husband & I are doing the same trip in early October-- even beginning & ending in Paris. Thank you for posting & keep the info coming.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Pamdixon1
                  bethandben Feb 9, 2011 08:25 AM

                  Thanks although it's really all from reading everyone else's helpful tips and reviews! I will definitely post a report when we return.

                  A few other things that we are thinking about, and would appreciate any comments or critiques, are a possible lunch at Kitchen Galerie Bis. Also we switched dinners at La Regalade St. Honore and Chez L'Ami Jean b/c I hadn't realized the La Regalade was not open on Saturday. We are also still on the fence about L'Ami Louis.

                  We are considering visits to the following wineries in Burgundy: Meursault, Pommard, Joseph Voillot, Michel Voarick, Trapet, Bertagna, Armelle et Bernard Rion, Tollot-Beaut and Pierre Andrew. If anyone has visited these wineries and has any feedback that is appreciated.

                  As for champagne houses, we are hoping to visit Tattinger, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Krug, Gaston Chiquet, Alfred Gratien, Dom Perignon, Ployez Jacquemart, Canard-Duchene and Vilmart et Cie. Again, any feedback is appreciated! We love champagne and are hoping to visit a cross-section of houses, although I have found this to be somewhat limited as to what is open to the public (and not just limited to those in the trade).

                  Of course I also have notes on other chowhounders picks for baguettes, croissants, crepes and macarons and we are very much looking forward to indulging!

                  1. re: bethandben
                    ChefJune Feb 9, 2011 09:20 AM

                    I think I mentioned earlier that Pommery has probably the most spectacular cellar tour of any of the Champagne houses. If you haven't read Don & Petie Kladstrup's book, "Champagne," you MUST read it before you go. It delves deep ibto the history and survival of the Champenois and their exceptional wine in the face of multiple invasions and 2 World Warx. The Germans stored their tanks in the Pommery cellar during the war, driving them up and down the long stairway entrance daily. This truly is something you shouldn't miss, even if their Champagne isn't the top of the top. Cuvee Louise is, however, quite lovely.

                    1. re: ChefJune
                      bethandben Feb 9, 2011 12:13 PM

                      Thanks - in fact I did have Pommery on my list but mistakingly left it off my list above! And I will look into the book too...sounds very interesting! Do you know if I would need an appointment for Cuvee Louise in advance?

                      1. re: bethandben
                        ChefJune Feb 28, 2011 07:04 AM

                        At Pommery, you pay for your tour based upon the Champagnes you want to taste at the end. I believe it's a little more $ if you want to include Cuvee Louise. We didn't.

                        1. re: ChefJune
                          bethandben Feb 28, 2011 08:05 AM

                          Thanks. By the way, upon your advice I read the book Champagne; very interesting read and it made me even more excited for our upcoming trip!

                    2. re: bethandben
                      megamo30 Apr 20, 2011 06:43 PM

                      Hi Beth and Ben,

                      Are you back from your trip? I'm also from NY going to France in June. Would love to hear what you liked and didn't like about your trip! I hope you had a great time!

                  2. g
                    glutton Feb 26, 2011 02:56 AM

                    For a nice lunch in Epernay, check out La Table Kobus, which is in the shadow of the main church. We happened upon it and it was one of the nicest surprises we had. We had been prepared for a pretty basic lunch after not really seeing many great restaurant options in Reims or Epernay. Kobus was warm and inviting, in the way that really old, family-run restaurants can be. On a weekday for lunch, it was about half-full, so we were seated quickly. The other tables were all locals, not that there were many tourists in Epernay on a weekday in February, of course. Everything we ate was very good, but the rose-scented creme brulee for dessert was outstanding. My wife ranked it among the top desserts she ate on our trip, which is no small praise coming from her.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: glutton
                      Jake Dear Mar 1, 2011 08:29 PM

                      Here's a "second" on that: We also had a fine lunch at "La Table Kobus," http://la-table-kobus.fr/ a few years ago. (And it's not listed in Michelin, which reminds us: The red guide is useful, but not a bible.)

                      1. re: Jake Dear
                        BlueOx Mar 2, 2011 05:02 AM

                        Jake, you bring up an interesting fact, its not in the printed guide, but is shown as 2 crossed spoons in the online version. I find the online version much more useful and up to date when planning where to eat. And we have found most of the B&B and gites we've booked have wifi, so accessing Michelin is not a problem.

                        1. re: BlueOx
                          Jake Dear Mar 2, 2011 11:36 AM

                          BlueOx, thanks -- yes indeed I now see it listed on line. Speaking of on line, do you -- or does anyone else -- have experienece with the viamichelin "app" for France?

                          I've often used the viaMichelin (free) web site, but it's quite cumbersome to use on an iPhone, and so I'm wondering if the app is appreciably more "user friendly" -- in which case I should take the big plunge and spring for it ($10). -- Jake

                    2. Delucacheesemonger Mar 2, 2011 04:32 AM

                      Hostellerie des Clos has, as it should, a wonderful Chablis list, even in half bottles. Our party of 6 last time through drank 5 whole bottles and 3 halves. Food other than a great piece of Charolais filet was not overly inspired. Unless you eat like Uhockey, no way you can do Ami Louis after Atelier du Robuchon.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                        bethandben Mar 2, 2011 06:19 AM

                        Good point about Ami Louis after Robuchon probably being a bit much. I think that since I knew that it would be our last night in Paris I set my sights high......

                        As of now, the night before we have a reservation at L'Ami Jean (switched nights between Regalade St. Honore and L'Ami Jean after realizing that Regalade was closed on Saturday), although the recent thread on this site has me rethinking that.

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