From October 2010
We have dined here twice before, the last time some six year's ago. In the subsequent time it had dropped from three to two Michelin stars, regained the third star and changed major ownership, with the sous chef taking the major stake holding from the Lameloise family. The food has never been better in our not so humble opinion.
This may be the best value 3 star dining experience in France with the 150 Euro set menu delivering a fabulous culinary experience. We arrived with grandparents and children and couldn't have been made to feel more welcome. The kids were given colouring books and we settled in and kicked back with a 2007 Jean-Marc Boillot Puligny Montrachet 'Les Referts'. A wine of great restraint and focus with plenty of white peach and flowers of the same colour as the aforementioned peach. There's a fruit sweet heart and a big minerally finish. It went splendidly with a plate of interesting little morsels.
A complimentary plate consisted of sea urchin roe brulee, a perfectly crumbed and cooked Loire Valley prawn and a chestnut soup, splendid stuff. The first course of the degustation course was raw scallops with caviar, scallops on a Jerusalem artichoke and mushroom puree with crab meat. Everything was in perfect balance and there was real freshness to the dish. To follow, Lotte (monkfish) wrapped in seaweed, served with baby muscles, curry sauce, lettuce marmalade, orange and butter and carrot sauce. The monkfish had a texture somewhat akin to lobster medallions but had a more neutral flavour and was a perfect canvas for the accompanying sauce.
At this stage we realised two things. We needed more white wine and the kids were getting a little fractious. The kids were sorted out with our iphone that has some good children's 'apps' (applications) on them. Patrick chose some funny cat that you talk to who mimics you in a funny voice and as 'hello pussycat' blasted through the dining room of hushed tones we nervously grabbed the phone and switched it to silent mode. The 2004 Roulot Meursault 'Perrieres' was elegant, with cool fruit aromas, a touch of celery, plenty of white peach and loads of minerals. It was very dense and chalky with fabulous rocky detail. It was long and linear and whilst the preceding Puligny was very good this made it look a little pedestrian.
The next course was indeed the perfect match for the 'Perrieres'. A chunk of perfectly cooked lobster lay next to a V shaped bowl that housed plenty of delicious shellfish foam. Once you reached the bottom of this vessel there was a prize of more lobster and earthy morilles mushrooms.
Often in 2 and 3 star restaurants the star dishes of the savoury courses turn up early on in the piece, not chez Lameloise, the main course was sublime. Perfectly cooked saddle of venison rested upon trompet de la mort and had a fresh, palate invigorating cannelloni of radish and butternut pumpkin to accompany. Part of the dish was also a shot glass of foies gras foam under which laid braised meat from the legs of the deer. This was a near perfect match with the 1999 Bruno Clavelier Chambolle-Musigny 'La Combe d'Orveau'. A wine that was extremely fresh, bright and energetic. There's a hint of mineral and earth underpinning lovely sweet, floral laden fruits. It shows impeccable balance and finishes very direct with great cut. Grandpa Geoff almost denounced the venison as tough until he realised his knife was upside down ( this method of cutting would not have severed a rotten banana) but flipped around it was indeed tender and sublime.
Pre-dessert of mango soup with banana cream was both balanced and sensuous. We all had beautiful desserts, Helen's dessert sent her into restrained raptures as a combination of wickedly decadent cherry and chocolate things aligned to provide a near perfect dessert. Heidi's crepes Suzette was a little boring albeit correct and she noted later that she only chose them for the theatre of the service. Geoff's coffee dessert had the most wonderful ice cream and other variations of supercharged coffee things and my tart pommes fine was indeed the most perfect tart tartine. Petit fours were actually petit twenty fours and coffee was very good.
Lamelois is on fire, it is an outstanding restaurant with brilliant service. The food is undoubtedly three star, with a modern twist but not too tricky.
Thank you for the wonderful detail post. Lameloise has always been one of the most understated Michelin 3 star restaurant in France. It hardly get written up, especially since Jacques Lameloise retired. We dined there twice when the Lameloise family owned it. Excellent Burgundian cooking, great wine list and warm service without an ounce of pretension; just a simple elegant country inn with a great kitchen in a non-descript town. It is good to know that the cooking is still excellent and the warm service has changed. Will definitely make a trip to Chagny on our next stay in Paris.
Good write up and very much in sync with my last visit there earlier this year. The Lameloise family sponsor a number of regional cookery competitions, success in these is seen as a serious stepping stone to greater things. A recent winner (April) cooks at our local good value / quality resto, he will be leaving there soon for a one year placement at Lameloise - he can't wait!
Oh my. Jeremy! I was hoping for just such a review as this. Lameloise lays on the route up from Lyon to Paris through the Cote d'Or..... ;)
You have made me extremely hungry!