Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Burgundy and The French Riviera (8 of 12) - La Chevre D'Or, Eze

En route to Eze on the Middle Corniche
A morning drive along the Middle Corniche brought us to the town of Eze. This is one of those hugely pretty drives where the views are stunning and demand regular stopping for photo ops. We had allocated one hour for the drive - two would have been better and keep slow because the opps whiz by quite quickly.

View from Oriental Garden, Eze
As I remember, getting to the Middle Corniche required a drive through Nice to get on to the road which also took a little time to get through the mid morning traffic. 

Eze is one of those mountain top cobbled stone path villages with that pink red brick medieval feel about it.  There is an Oriental Garden at the top with great views across the bay, though it gets to be a hard climb up the hill and the stairs to get there - not for everyone if the knees are a bit creaky. But the plants were pretty and so were the views. 

Cheesy bits and Rose fizz overlooking the Med
Was also a good way to work up an appetite for our lunch which was to be at the Chateau de La Chevre D'Or, a two star Michelin perched on the side of Eze village and overlooking the cliff down to the sea below. The name means "House of the Golden Goat" and the goat was well in evidence both at the entrance and as a mascot looking out to the sea.

The food is fading into memory, but the view was stunning. The restaurant has a truly breathtaking view across the Med and was worth the price of admission in itself. We got escorted to a balcony area where we started with Rose Champagne and some tasty cheese bits and crunchies on the Terrace under an awning to totally enjoy the breathtaking aspect across the midday Mediterranean. The weather was being truly kind to us - brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Can still taste the salty cheese biscuits and bubbles now and soaking in the sound and sight of that breezy cliff top overlooking the Med. Brilliant memory.

After about twenty minutes of lazy lounging in this perfect spot we got told that our table was ready and could we please be seated. On the way, I got a photo of Lenglui with a Buddha headbust that was parked next to an Oriental style indoor pool. Seemed an odd location for a Buddha, but with the water flowing there, the Qi was indeed very positive. Just to digress a shade, Qi (pronounced "Chi")is the Buddhist concept of the lifeforce that flows through everything, and good Qi is attracted by indicated by motion. Flowing water in particular creates good Qi and the positive vibes. So. There was a pleasant sense of peace in the pool. In contrast, the staff seemed a bit frazzled and bemused and not sure of who or where we were supposed to be sat. We made our way up some stairs to a corner window seat that opened the whole vista to us. One one side the hillside and on the other the sea. 

Hello Buddha...
It was a brilliant and perfect place to propose. I think I did and got turned down. Again. Choi…. no luck.

Ambience of La Chevre D'Or
The restaurant interior was delightful in white and splashes of violet from orchid like plants. The Michelin inspector says the restaurant is: 

"An exceptional hotel demands an exceptional restaurant! An institution amongst the eating establishments of the French Riviera, Le Château de la Chèvre d'Or combines the highest quality ingredients to produce sophisticated, fresh tasting cuisine served in a high class setting. Excellent service."

Hard to disagree. 

We had the Euro75 Gourmand set lunch and quaffed Euro500 worth of drinks between eight of us so after taxes it was not a cheap lunch. Coffees and water alone was Euro115 so the wine was also a fair whack. Not sure how they work the taxes but it came out at about 11%. But it is again probably once in a lifetime, and lifetime is never as much as we want or know so sometimes you just have to go for it. Not sure that the food was worth it. There is certainly little in the memory of what it was or how it tasted, though I seem to now recall the lobster was crisp and sweet and succulent whilst the Pollack was light and firm. Tasty wines too. Clearly pretty in its presentation, and clearly paying for the location as well as the food. Michelin + Eze = Whack the Wallet. But the location was magnificent. Perhaps that was the problem - so mesmerised by the view and no chance to concentrate on the food. Even so, to La Chevre D'Or I would like to return. Just for the view. And those cheesy bits with the fizz on the balcony. And that Goat statue shining golden in the sun. And a second attempt at proposing. Have to get her more drunk next time. Maybe I could also write about the food…

The Golden Goat - massive pretty restaurant
European Lobster, Green Beans, Claws in Tartar and Coral Mayonaisse, Razor Clams as a Tartar, Avocado and locally grown Peach;
Filet of Pollack, Truffles, Condiments and crushed Zucchinis;
Pure Creation "Juliene Dugourd" Red Fruites Panna Cotta
Wines: Giraud Rose, Montee Tonne Chablis, St Aubin Remilly 2011

Amuse Bouche
European Lobster and Razor Clam
Filet of Pollack
Red Fruit Panna Cotta
Eze Village
Kien and La Chevre D'Or Sommelier 
Signboard at the Restaurant
Entrance to Chateau de La Chevre D'Or

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