Monday, January 26, 2015

A Burgundian Culinary Experience

With fork and knife in hand I am enjoying the culinary experience that Burgundy has to offer. Le déjeuner is from 1200 - 1400. Heaven forbid should you miss it because you'll have to wait until 1900 for the next meal.

Our very first lunch was at Café La Jouvence in Saint-Gengoux-le-National: salade de lentilles, andouillete de pâte avec sauce, vin maison, fromage blanc, déssert au chocolat et café. Filled with locals including tables of tradesmen on their lunch hour enjoying a three course meal with wine. Why not! It might help with the afternoon roofing job three stories in the air!

Most memorable for Jo was La Terrasse in Cormatin. Vivid memory of our first day in Burgundy: bistro tables and blue chairs on the village sidewalk. We became regulars! Curry tagliatelles, pork cheeks, tartiflettes!

Best experience was at Le Bourgogne in Tournus. Escargots de Bourgogne to begin. These were cooked just right. Tender and not rubbery. Followed by poulet de Bresse à la crème grand-mère. Oh my. Rich, creamy white sauce with two different mushrooms and caramelized cloves of garlic. Need I say more! Just when I think I can't eat anymore, the lady brings a tray of a dozen different cheeses and plunks an empty plate in front of me. Oh dear. I pick four and beg Joanna to please help me. If this isn't enough, we order dessert. OK, one dessert to share. The best vanilla ice cream ever with sides of fresh crème Chantilly and hot chocolate sauce. Joanna dives into the fresh cream and I into the hot chocolate sauce. Everything is washed down with a pichet of white Mâcon and petit café. Three hours later, we roll out of the Bourgogne onto rue du docteur Privey. It's official, the kitchen is closed. We don't eat for the rest of the day.

While visiting Dijon and its dukes of Burgundy we popped into Le Bistrot des Halles, 10 rue Bannelier where I enjoyed oven roasted marrow bones with fleur de sel de Camargue and a risotto avec ses escargots.

Roasted Marrow Bones
Risotto avec ses escargots
We came upon La Brasserie le Carnot on a very wet Thursday afternoon in Beaune. We fell in love. It was packed but a garçon quickly instructed us to "wait by the bar" and that "a table would soon be available". The energy was delectable. This was a true French Brasserie. My Jarret du porc was memorable. Our waiter was cocky, confident and poked fun at us. I must say that I was taken aback but quickly decided to make it part of our brasserie experience.

Jarret du porc

We travelled to Lyon to drop off our friends at the Part Dieu train station. We made reservation at the Café du Jura, an authentic bouchon lyonnais. The Fodor's travel guide says "Founded in 1864 (note that the awning in the photo below indicates 1867), the rows of tables, the 1934 mosaic-tile floor and the absence of anything pretty gives this place the feel of a men's club." I rather think that instead of putting the accent on decor, this establishment puts it on the food served. This rue Tupin restaurant, note this, is closed weekends May-Sept., Sun. and Mon. Sept.-Apr. I wonder if they go to the cottage for those summer weekends ; ) ? This is a perfect example of the French Art of Schedules! One would expect a "sauf"... At the table next to us, a regular patron was enjoying her lunch. She suggested that the girolles were delicious. I ordered them for a starter and asked Benoît, le fils de la maison, to recommend a main. Sadly, it was not a great choice. The bavette de veau turned out to be a skirt of tripes. Some organ or rather that Lyon cuisine is famous for... I don't mind organs. But this was not a memorable one. Ah but the girolles were worth it. Thank goodness we reserved. Benoît turned away a dozen who had not...

Bonchon Lyonnais
Buttery girolles


  1. Wow! I don't know why but I'm hungry now. :-) The risotto and escargots photo is sublime! And I can only imagine what the cheeses must have tasted like.

  2. C.
    I will try this again: I think I put on weight just reading about your many "lunches". Excuse me, I am drooling all over my keyboard.