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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Burgundy and The French Riviera (1 of 12) - Introduction

Got an urge to finally write about the Michelin Starred and other restaurants we visited during an amazing ten day Food and Wine trip through Burgundy and the French Riviera in September 2013. Lenglui's daughter had done a brilliant job of booking some stunning restaurants and these became a photo book by her thanks to the magic of Apple. I made occasional writing starts and scribblings of general memories over the intervening months but nothing that coalesced quickly into something worthy of posting for posterity. It all felt a bit large and when other more manageable bits and projects kept plopping on the screen, writing about the South of France Restaurants took a back seat. But there seems to be a bit of a gap in the writing time at the moment, so here goes. Only two years after the event. Hope it all gets remembered. Some say the memory gets more focused and acute after some time has elapsed.  We'll see. Will also have to check to see if these places are still around. Probably so, but worth to check and get some update notes.

For ease and convenience I will break up the tour into sections each of which will cover at least one of the restaurants. A full posting of the entire trip in one posting would be way too much. The notes are on the brief side for most of the places - I think the plan was to write about the places the following day and just enjoy the food and wine on its own. Didn't work - little to no discipline to write notes the morning after. At least now I know. 

I have separated most of the restaurant writings from the travel notes. It is a food and wine blog after all and no point to bore everyone with what are personal memories. They will get posted later for those keen to read the experiences. And for me as insurance against losing marbles. Getting silly forgetful about simple things. 

It's probably best to preface everything by noting that memories of much of the food consumed and wine tasted has pretty much faded. What mostly sticks in the mind is the ambience and the venue, the sunshine and the people, the locations and some magical decor. None of the food was bad, and hopefully any notes I still have will prod and bring it all back. But here in this early noteless state, the memory is of place over taste. 

The exceptions to this are the Steak Frites at the L'Hotel de Beaune, the Baked Fish at the Paul Bocuse in Lyon, the stunning duck at La Route du Miam in Nice and the Lamb and Butter Mash Potato at the Joel Robuchon in Monaco. These seared straight into the memory because they were all in their own ways totally sublime. These are tastes that I would return to. I can still taste them now. 

The other standout memories are the Chevre D'Or in Eze, Le Girelier in St Tropez and the Mirazur in Menton for their brilliant views across landscapes and seascapes and general ambience. Honoourable mention for Le Montrachet for a delightful ambience. All have a sense of the timeless and deathless, since these places will outlive most of us on this planet simply because people will always be prepared to pay top dollar for the best cuisine and locations across the globe. Maybe only once, but the memory and experience can almost spiritual.

Here is the list of the restaurants visited:

Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris
01 42 56 42 42

Caveau des Arches - Dinner
10, bd Perpreuil, 21200 Beaune
03 80 22 10 37

L'Hotel de Beaune - Dinner
5 rue Samuel Legay, 21200 Beaune
03 80 25 94 14

Hotel Le Montrachet - Lunch
10 Place des Marroniers
21190 Puligny-Montrachet
03 80 21 30 16

Ma Cuisine - Dinner
Passage Sainte-Helene, Beaune

Paul Bocuse - Lunch
69660 Collonges Au Mont D'Or, Lyon
04 72 42 90 90
(prix fixe)
Michelin 3*

Le Girelier - Dinner
Quai Jean Jaures, St Tropez

La Roustide - Dinner
34 rue Beaumont, Nice

Cocoon - Lunch
18, rue Bivouac Napoleon, Cannes

La Place de Mougins
41, place du Commandant Lamy
06250 Mougins
04 93 90 15 78

La Chevre D'Or - Relais & Chateau
Rue du Barri
06360 Eze
(Michelin 2*) - Lunch

Joel Robuchon Monte Carlo (Michelin 2*) - Dinner
Hotel Metropole, Monaco

Mirazur (Michelin 2*) - lunch
Avenue Aristide Briand, Menton

La Route du Miam - dinner
1, rue Moliere, Nice

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