Loire/Burgundy itinerary feedback
We are going for a ten day trip in a couple of weeks to Loire and Burgundy and I 'm looking for some feedback. We have reservations at Bon Labourer in Chenonceaux, Chateau Breuil in Cheverny, L'Esperance, and Ma Cusine in Beaune. Pretty open on price range but prefer French food, either traditional or modern.
I am looking for lunch suggestions in Amboise, Blois, Autun, and Dijon. At this time of year, is it easier just to wander around and find something that looks good?
Would you suggest Chez Guy or one of the wine lunches between Beaune and Dijon?
Any "don't miss" restaurants or foodie experiences?
Thanks in advance!
I would suggest visiting the Moutarderie of Edmond Fallot in Beaune. They have a great tour, and they do make the best Dijon mustard in the world. Also, if you enjoy liqueurs, you should arrange a tasting at Domaine Lucien Jacob in Echevronne of their lip-smacking Cassis, Framboise and Mure. You'll be glad you did. Theirs are unparalleled.
Not a stupid question!
For Fallot mustard you can make an appointment online: www.fallot.com
For the liquer tasting:
1) Chateau L'Ange Gardian will allow you to taste their Casis at their shop in Beaune (open daily) at 38 Blvd Marachel Foch (on the ring road - no real sign out front to ID it, but look for the flags.
2) for Domaine Lucien Jacob you can make an appointment for a tasting (either of just wine or just liquer, or both). They don't have a direct website that I know of, but Burgundy Eye has a phone number and email address. FYI - the wife is English and gives great tours. http://www.visionbourgogne.com/wine/d...
I was a little underwhelmed by the food we had in the Loire in general, but we enjoyed a place we happend upon in Blois, Le Marignan on the Place du Chateau. Simple but good food. Do try the chocolates and caramels at Bigot Patisserie in Amboise. YUM! We ate at L'Alliance that I'd recommend - but it was just very good not fantastic.
Autun is beautiful and I'd recommend grabbing some picnic items and having a picnic. There is a great natural area nearby off the D120 with the Cascade d'Brisecou.
In Dijon I've liked the recommendations on this site: www.lisasdotcom.com/dijonrestaurants.htm
I think you're wandering around idea is pretty good this time of year. Just do your research for the names to watch out for (good and bad) and then enjoy. There are a lot of good/great places that don't require reservations and typically aren't too busy. Of course, if there is a place you really want to go, reservations are a must since you may have to go with choice 3 or 4 when just stopping in.
Though I'm an advocate of the wine lunches, clearly I have a problem :-), I would still say Chez Guy would be my pick...though I've only been at dinner.
If you go as far west as Villandry, I'd recommend l'Etape Gourmande in La Giraudiere, about 1km south of the chateau - a lovely ferme-auberge. The owner, Mme de la Ferroniere, will also be happy to give you tips on wineries, etc., in the region.
In Blois, I really enjoyed Le Bistrot du Cuisinier, on the south side of the Loire right by the Pont Jacques-Ange Gabriel. Had perhaps the best pigeon of my life there. Blois itself is a lovely little town, rather less touristy than Amboise, I think.
Unfortunately, at this time of year, you'll miss out on one of the best foodie parts of the Loire -- the gorgeous, gorgeous produce in summer. The farmers' market in Tours is one of the best I've been to in France. Still dreaming of the heirloom tomatoes we got there last August.
I was impressed by the white and rose wines of the Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau appellation, which I hadn't known before. In the town of Azay-le-Rideau, there's a caveau municipale very near the chateau. Two growers I really liked: Marc Badiller and Nicolas Paget. Ther's also an excellent caveau municipale in Montlouis-sur-Loire.
Enjoy, and PLEASE report back -- I'd love to hear of any food/wine discoveries you make on your trip.
Amen. One of the best stays of our many French visits was this apartment in central Dijon, 50 yards from the Place de Liberation, 5 minutes from Les Halles. The lovely hosts have outfitted this apartment as their retirement quarters when they move from their larger space. Excellent kitchen, inside and outside dining areas, on-line Apple. :) http://www.luxuryflatindijon.fr/benig...
Since you will be right in Cheverny, and will doubtless go to the chateau, do stop at the cave cooperative which is right at the gates to the chateau. You might think its location would guarantee "tourist-trap", but it is beautifully laid out and has a truly comprehensive collection of very local wines. Both the Cheverny and Coeur Cheverny appellations are worth trying, but the latter is particularly interesting, since it is the sole representative of the romarantin cepage in France. There is a small charge for tasting, but the staff are very knowledgeable and helpful - they know many of the growers personally.
Yes to Chez Guy and I've been for lunch. The Joue de boeuf braised in Pinot Noir for 12 hours was amazing. Chapitre in Autun was recommended to me but was closed on our visit near Noël. Adored Ma Cuisine, best epoisse of my life. Also loved La Cabotte in Nuits Saint-Georges.