I want to preface this post; a little bit of history. I lived in NYC for 13 years, and during that time I ate at every restaurant, high and low, across the City and more, for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Been there done that; I ate enough restaurant food to last a lifetime. That being said, I had my going-away lunch for my hand-picked Rock & Co. colleagues at Bouley. It was fantastic. I will never ever forget celebrating that meal with my friends.
I then moved to Paris, where I spent most weekends traveling somewhere in France or western Europe with my love Jean-Francois. J-F meticulously planned each trip, the itinerary (making sure to include my museum and art requirements), the lodging, the travel time, but especially, the meals. We ate our way carefully across France, sampling various restaurants recommended by Le Guide Michelin. I remember one restaurant where we at an entire menu degustation, an 6 course meal, based on truffles, including dessert. Amazing.
The Michelin Guide is a red-covered book published annually, and based on anonymous but trained inspectors’ reviews of restaurants in various countries. The Guide started for drivers in the early 20th century, where to find filling stations etc., but grew into where to stay and where to eat. If you travel anywhere in Europe today, you can find accurate itinerary, travel time, toll fees etc. at their website www.viamichelin.com or if you want to see it in French www.viamichelin.fr. I never plan a trip in France or Europe without this site.
So, let me say, I rarely suggest “eating out.” In Beaune, I cook up a storm, which is easy given that each season, each week, offers something new, seasonal, delicious, perfect. La Ruchotte was an exception, as was our Sunday meal….when I say “let’s go to this restaurant,” my friends take note.
Michelin gives “stars” to various restaurants. The highest designation of Michelin is Three Stars. There are currently, I believe, 28 Three Star restaurants in France, which is not many. One is 15 minutes from our house, in Chagny. Lameloise was started in 1902, and with a long history of great family chefs. With some advance notice I was able to secure a table for the Sunday 8pm seating. In such restaurants you generally find two seating times, afternoon and evening. It is tradition at a nice restaurant to start with a “coupe” - a cup – of champagne. And so we did~
We had hardly sat down when a slate was presented with various “amuse bouche.” This is meant to tease your palate and prepare you to eat more; these are always unique seasonal concoctions of the chef, always amazing! There is one of each for everyone at the table~
this one is an escargot. I could not believe it, but it was. It was delicious~
The table flowers were simple, elegant, French. An orchid? Exotic in France, but perfect with the butter in front of it and the signature yellow and green Limoges of the restaurant~
Tuna tartare but not avocado as you would expect in the States~ beautiful, delicious~
The next amuse-bouche, crab and roe? It’s all delish but not always easy to know what the final ingredients are~
R’s entrée arrived like this; perfect as it was~
But then with the addition of the crème sauce~
My starter, hot & cold Langoustines, with mustard & dill sauce and French caviar~
the lettuce is glistening, you have never ever seen apples sliced so thin;
My main dish, white fish loup de mer with asparagus and saffron; delish~
R had the cheese plate as we showed you; here you can see better the barreled cheese tray that rolls up to your table~
at this time we also had another amuse bouche; not a sorbet, lighter than a mousse, I can not tell you what this was, except that it melted in my mouth~
there were others, a pineapple bite with vanilla bean~
fraises du bois; it was all perfect~
Florentine cookies; everything fait-main, fait-maison~
For dessert, two of us had the classic Crepes Suzette; as I comment in the video, this is indeed “le show.” It is a fantastic presentation a table~
I chose a different chocolate dessert; also amazing~
Homemade caramels and orange rind; did I mention we finished at half past midnight?
Most people stay at the Auberge; roll upstairs to bed after eating a meal such as this…..
Consult le Guide online if you can, before your next trip to France!!