Lameloise, Chagny, France – 26 August 2012

First week of our summer holiday was spent in a rented town-house in Beaune. It was a personal wish and the family played along, even though we all knew that Beaune is not a typical place for family holidays. The focus is for sure on food and wine. There is a playground, there is parks and ducks…..but its not Kapt. Blaubär Club In Hohe Düne.

Lunch in Beaune…

My dream has always been to spend a little bit more time in this wonderful city, than the odd one or two nighter every now and then. And this time we had indeed booked 5 nights and were lucky to enjoy nice weather. We also got to visit Dijon as well as seeing old friends Pernille and Patrick – as well as new friends – our hosts Alain and his wife Marie-Claire. We thank you both for a wonderful stay in your beautiful house.

Our great hosts….

The next day Alain arranged a tasting tour the the beautiful cellars of Louis Jadot, and it was as good and interesting as we could have ever wished for.

Many great drops were tried…

But as I mentioned the other attraction of Bourgogne, beside the fabulous wines is off course the food. And a lunch at one of my old time favourite restaurants was booked for the second day of our stay. First a trip to the traditional Sunday market in Chagny with all its colours, spices, vegetables, truffles, oils, cloths, hats and you name it….

2 gents trying the olives…

Out two cool boys in front of …

Lameloise

The missus took another round at the market, and I ordered a kir on the terrasse. It came with the usual WONDERFUL olives – the best on this planet – escargot flavoured pop-corn as well as the creme of this time mackerel I think.

Emil eating ALL the pop-corn

Seated in the lounge bar this beauty was up just after another round of the same olives etc. served at the terrasse.

An army of small tastings, some prepared gluten free…

Actually each one of them would be worth a report and photo – but I shall give you just one of them

Mackerel

A fresh cheese wonder was the last greeting from the kitchen…Minor flaw, the vegetarian status of the missus was neglicted…a roll of tender roastbeef on the side.

This salty fluffy bread has to be one of the best of its kind in the world. All you even need.

Emil sure loved it.

Frois Gras de canard, in a robe of potato, with bouillon of truffles

My choice of  a starter, is one of the signature dishes of Eric Pras. Its wonderful 10p

Langoustines, cold and warm

When ordering this dish, the waiter came back and informed the missus that they could try to present it in another way, because the rice-crisp on the warm Langoustine would contain a tiny amunt of flour. But, he assured that it was close to nothing. Astrid took the chance and actually had no problems afterwards. It was probably the best dish of the day. 10p

Childrens menu comes at 25 eur. including their share of all the amuses as well. The boys had a childrens menu which could also have included fois gras, but they opted for these 3 dishes…

Ham and salad

A piece of Saint Pierre with vegetables

Pancakes with ice

Since I had ordered the wonderful crepe-suzette I had requested some extra pancakes for the boys and that request was met without a fuss.
Back to our menu  – the choice of the missus

A large piece of cod

Beautilful simple arrangement, but the size of the Cod, made actually Astrid loose her appetite, even before she started. When ordering the menu all dishes are cut down in size, but we had indeed opted for a la carte this time. But – especially with the missus -sometimes less is more, – she liked it, but it never really rang her bells. 7p

But mine did….Lamb.

You can wake me up for this dish – lamb and Lameloise go hand in hand. Just so tender, the outstanding garlic crumble, the beauty and quality of the vegetables. Bonus point lol. It was better than ever….and prettier. 10p
This dish certainly will stay in my memory for a long time.

Time for sweets and dessert

Round 1

Round two…

Some fluffy good looking things for the missus…

Great looking – but the fluffy fellows were a bit boring in taste. 7p

My “pancakes”…

Now they might look a bit boring, but the taste…classic 10p

Final round…

Conclusion:

Its always good to be in Lameloise. And one thing is for sure. I will be back.

It seemed I had a bit more luck with my choices this time than the missus. But that did not ruin our experience. The boys behaved great – with the help of an Ipad, that helped us over the last hour or so. Three hour plus dining is a whole lot to ask from two active fellas.

Emil and I paid Eric Pras a visit in his kitchen and thanked for the wonderful food. The great and elegant Frederic Lamy paid us a few visits during the dining.

The interaction with the young sommelier very nice and even a blinder served. Thanks for the fun.

The waiter I have enjoyed most over all the years, still remain a prominent figure. He is so kind and service-minded. Whenever Astrid would leave the table he would come over and  entertain and visa-versa. I asked him how it was to be one of the best waiters in the world…he only laughed…no no no…he said…but he is so good, and as I write this I have forgotten his name. but I shalll give you the picture – if you see him say hi from me. Pascal ?

The best waiter in the world? For sure among them.

My rating for this visit: Food 9p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5p (5), total score for this visit  19p (20)

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I shall leave you with a few shots from the wonderful garden of “our house” and a single last shot from Beaune, my kinda town.

The pool, the water a bit to cold for yours truly…but the boys enjoyed it.

The house with garden and pool

One of my favourite spots in town

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Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg – 31 july 2012

“School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces”
Alice Cooper 1972

Even though the termometer reads 19 degrees, its high summer at this point and the boys have started their summer vacation. So I decided to continue the tradition I started last year. Going with them to my favourite terrasse in town for a boys lunch , even though – to our disappointment the dining was going to commence inside this year. Not a surprice since the weather is really tricky this year. Nevertheless, the sun came out and people arriving an hour later were blessed with both sun and al fresco dining.

Big boys….they really are growing so fast.

We were joined by Angel, the big boy of Chef Arnaud and host Edwige. A big boy himself now at 12. Nice to have some grown up chat at the table. Thanks for your company Angel.

I forgot my camera, so I apologize to you readers and to Arnaud if the photos are not quite up to par. Two rounds of (very nice) amuses – which were both tried and almost liked by the boys 😉 –  were followed by my starter:

Variations of tomato

A summer dish, typical for the style of Arnaud, and it was very nice if not out of this world. The crunchy bisquit was a great combo to the delicate tomatoes. A decent starter where the southern or even Italian  influences were clear with pesto and mozzarella etc. 7.5p

Cheeks of veal, macaroni stuffed with tender small pieces of veal shoulder or leg. Can one call that rilette of veal ?

Great dish, the meat so tender, the reduction VERY tasteful, the different preparations of carrot fitting. Really up there among the top for such a simple dish 8.5p

The menu was followed by the usual sweets and 90 min had gone, the boys, mostly due to Angel, had behaved fantastic, even though I forgot the entertainment in the car.

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Emil and Oscar both had veal on basmati rice with vegetables and as soon as the green leaf on top was removed they loved it…

“Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes”
Alice Cooper 1972

Well we had class today. And so did the menu and wines. The wines today were chosen – and served blind as I like it – 2 white chardonnays were followed by a beautiful red. To get such a great taste from a simple appellation. Well chosen dear Julien

Nice drop.

Conclusion:

I hope dear boys we can re-do this traditon every year for many years to come. It was good practicing for the upcoming lunch at Lameloise. And you did well, if not perfect. The food was in good Clairefontaine style. I do think that meat cooking is one of Arnauds strongest sides and the veal today was no exception.

As most times we were today given the seperate salon, which allows the boys to fool around a bit. Didier was his usual charming self, playing with the boys. The staff on their toes and nothing really to complain about. Was the food out of this world ? No. but it didnt need to be. After all it was just “family guy” establishing a little bit of summer tradition and – “an education” for two aspiring gourmets. And they tried both amuses today, and the first one even without any kind of pressure. Well done my boys. You make it all worthwhile. Restaurant Clairefontaine is still holding on strong to its position as the best (terrasse!) dining in town – and among the best anyway. Thanks for having us.

My rating for this visit;

Food 8p (10) service 5p (5) ambience 5p (5),  Total Score  18p (20)

Lameloise, Chagny, France – 12 May 2012

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“Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven’t changed, haven’t much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy”
Phil Lynnot 1976
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Fox Force Four had ther annual dinner at Lameloise as the grand finale of the annual trip to Bourgogne. Expectations were sky high for the day, that included market in Beaune, wonderful visits to a cellar in Gevrey Chambertin and to new found friends Michael and Michael at Mischief and Mayhem in Aloxe Corton – and the visit to Josephine and Martin Prieur at Domaine Jaques Prieur. We arrived at Jaques Prieur at 18.00 in time for pre-dinner tasting and tour of their grand estate. Here is some shots from that fantastic experience.
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The beautiful production building for some of the greatest wines of the area…

Martin Prieur and Frode discussing important issues…

From the moment we entered the estate – Martin was a warm and welcoming host….Welcome my friends – he started…. you want to start with a beer ? – I have to say I was impressed by his warmth and hospitality. Equal hospitality and smile in her eyes – we found in Josephine, who gladly showed us the estate, explained about the history of the family and told some funny anecdotes. We love you Josephine and Martin and hope to see you again next year. Please say hi to Mom from us. What a lady she is.

Kjetil with our beatiful host Josephine…

Part of the liquid gold in the cellars of Jacques Prieur…

And here a seldom shot of the 4 Musketeers…Frode, yours truly, Kjetil and Uffe.

Time rushed away and dinner at Lameloise could commence. Due to the late arrival – aperitives were served at the table and not in the bar to the disappointment of Kjetil. Soon after arrival we were warmly greeted by Frederic Lamy, who manages to always impress me with his elegance. There were familiar faces among the staff and sommeliers and we felt confident that a great meal was ahead. The only flaw in the service occured at this point – we had to wait a long time for the water, the first wine and the bread to be served.

The menu was ordered and this is how it went.

First round of amuses…

Almost as good as they get. On all my (many) previous visits to Lameloise, I think the first amuse has always been a salmon creme with green olives preceeding the first “tray” – but not today, – maybe due to the late arrival – or maybe things have changed – however, this tray was wonderful and ranging from good to top notch tastings. 9p

Mackerel…

A dish that showes excactly where the kitchen of Lameloise is these days. The lightness of being. Classic and beautiful. 10p

Homard Bleu & Tourteau

You never go wrong with Lobster at Lameloise. Loved it. It was served on two plates – the second plate coming here…

– le tourteau – Rock Crab

Loved it – loved it – loved it. The texture of the lobster, the crispness of the crab. The celaric and fennel in the dish. 10p

Saint Pierre & Couteaux XXL

The dish was served as you can see with white and green asparagus and wauw…the taste of the white asparagus on the left – under the green ones – was amazing. The dish was enhanced with a sauce – a warm fluffy mayonaise with mustard. Great dish 9.5p

Petit pois and morilles…

I love peas, I love fresh morilles. This dish furthermore had sot l´y laisse – and was served wit a glass lit. The aromas that was set free when lifting the top was amazing. 9.5p

Agneau de lait from Pauillac…

Lamb and Lameloise goes hand in hand. First time I was here around 20 years ago I remember I had lamb like I had never had it before. It melted on your tongue. The lamb chop. It was so tender. That dish from back then stayed in my memory for many years – THIS dish was in each and any way its match. Best dish of the evening. The crispy taste of roasted garlic. Wonderful. A small pot was served next to the main dish with other parts of the lamb and potatoes. 10p

Say cheese…

Lameloise still have a GREAT selection of cheese and you should always make sure to make room for a few. I forgot. Nevertheless – top notch cheese selection. 10p

Pre-dessert…

A coffee inspired thing…did not do the trick for me. It was fresh and nice…but I am not a coffee man.

Followed as always by another tray of

Pre-dessert 2….

and

Dessert

Chocolate for me….my fellow diners had other desserts. The dessert within the menu is always chosen a la carte up front at Lameloise. This one was nice but the weakest dish of the day, and I was runnin out of steam. 8p

After-dessert…

Yup, the sweets finalized a sweet dinner.

Conclusion:

It is always good to be back at Lameloise. That is what I wrote after my last visit. So no need to change that. I could also write I cannot wait to be back – Like last time there was the minor issue with the water. The interaction we had with the sommelier this year was outstanding- He really got into our idea about how we wanted the wines on that evening. Thank you for that dear friend. It was very entertaining and educational, and man there was some nice drops there. I was especially impressed by this one –

Great menu, great service, great bread – really great – Kjetil I am sure you dig the bread the most….The amount of amuses and sweets amazing and the the quality of those stunning. One does not need to even start to talk about the perfection of the ccoking of the fish or the meat. Its perfect. Thats all there is.

So, musketeers– thanks for almost behaving and for being part of my life in such a prominent way. I love you all.

And to Lameloise and the whole staff – thanks for having us, be sure to find me back soon and the Fox Force Four back in Spring 2013

And to Frederic Lamy –I shall bring Oscar and Emil next time – lets see if they have improved their dining preferences – for your information – Oscar´s favourite dish is Schnitzel these days – which off course is a step up from pizza you may argue.

My rating for this visit: Food 9.5p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 5p (5), total score for this visit  19p (20)

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“That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song
The nights are getting warmer, it won’t be long
Won’t be long till summer comes
Now that the boys are here again
Phil Lynnot 1976
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Caveau des Arches, Beaune – 26 January 2012

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“Morning has broken, like the first morning, blackbird has spoken like the first bird”

Cat Stevens

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What a morning it was. Foggy. The (missing) colours amazing. Like taken from a French Noir movie. The second day in Beaune was ahead of us. An early walk around the impressing Chateau Gilly was to be followed by a wine tasting in Gevrey-Chambertin in the cellars of Dupont-Tisserandot followed by lunch in the Caveau de Arches, a favourite of Gijs. Here´s some shots to get you in the mood.

Like taken from a fairytale, or a movie – the gardens of Chateau Gilly

Monsier Dupont-Tisserandot with my friend.

Hush….Mr. Akkerman at work.

So warming uo to the lunch.. – let me just add, that watching Gijs doing his job, taken notes, writing tasting comments, recording with his brain all the impressions of the wines and cellars we tasted and saw. Learning about the style, working methods, placement of their parcels…etc. etc. etc. Well there is only one word for that. Magic. It was pure magic to be able to follow you around Gijs. Thanks for inviting me and being part of this experience with you.

Well back to the food. “After a hard morning´s work….” – we arrived at Caveau des Arches around 12.00 and were shown to our table in the beautiful cellar. Actually the restaurant consists of two long tubes of cellars. Beautiful. The wine list is amazing. Simply amazing.

We opted for starters and mains…with a bottle of ordinary white followed by a top red.

An old friend of mine…

Having visited the cellars of Remoissenet last year, where I enjoyed their whole range of wines – courtesy of Bernard Repolt – I managed to surprice Gijs with this one. What a taste. For an ordinary Bourgogne this was certainly very very nice and at 24 eur overwhelming. It was also a great companion to the classic starter

Oeufs en meurette

Having had this on many of my visits to Bourgogne it remains one of my favourite of the local cuisine. And this presentation was this kitchen´s version of the classic one. Often you find the roasted bread in the rich sauce, but here it remained on top, letting it keep its crispness. The sauce, the bacon, the poached egg – wonderful. Again not be compared with a 3 star restaurant dish – but in fact all you could wish for. 7.5p

We both stumbled over this one. Funny when a wine-list have hundreds of numbers and you both let your eyes rest on the one.

Thank you Mr. Rousseau for this one,

220g Fillet of beef with sauce epoisse

Gijs had the same dish but with a 400g entrecote replacing the fillet. Both pieces of meat cooked to perfection and with great quality Charolais, Both dishes served with no vegetables but with roasted potatos as a side dish. I simply LOVED the sauce. I spoke with the chef after and were lucky to get the receipe. This one I have to learn to make. I found the potatos a bit too soft and not crisp or tasteful enough. 7.5p

No more room for dessert  – this was just a small lunch. Afternoon programme meant that more tastings were ahead of us. No loosing weight on this trip, but I guess I knew that up front.

My conclusion:

I loved the two dishes we had so much that my upcoming trip to Bourgogne HAS to include this restaurant. And I am going to order the excact same two dishes. May seem a long time away. But I cant wait to be back. Good service, good bread, smiling staff, great wine list, great food. Thanks for introducing me to this one Gijs. I loved it and shall be back. Again, if you are a tourist in Beaune, dont fall for one of the many toruist traps. Book here – and then book Cave Madeleine and you have booked a trip to paradise. You dont even need to spend hundreds on the wine. Take the white we had and the food we had – you will for sure feel that you got value for each and every single penny you spend. Did we have an amuse – Gijs ? Actually I have no idea, but I did not miss one if we didn´t.

My rating for this visit:

Food 7.5p (10) service 4.5p (5) ambience 5p (5), Total Score  17p (20)

Lameloise, Chagny, France – 1 April 2011

The long awaited visit to Lameloise was due….and it was no Aprils Fool. The gastronomic highligt of our trip. As I mentioned in previous posts about Lameloise, I have a special room in my heart reserved for this restaurant, and I probably always will have. Its classic, its high level – its not food from another planet, but food presented beautifully and with the best of produce. I think tonight was my 10th visit or so over the last 18 years.

So expectations were as always sky high and Frederic Lamy, the Maitre – almost immediately set the tone, when he greeted us all at our table. Good evening – I had expected to see Oscar and Emil here tonight !!!!!!!!

Now I know I forwarded my last review by email to them, and I know its easy to google a guest these days….but still. Its nice when the effort is made by the people in charge to recognize that they know who you are and have taken the time to read the blog or the review. Thanks for that. I almost felt like a king dining at George V.

Well as it turned out, I was not dining with my boys tonight but with my blood brothers, Kjetil, Uffe and Frode..and here they are anticipating the dinner..

Fox Force Four minus yours truly !

The kir was ordered, the amuses brought, the menu booked…

And this is was followed

I think a Lameloise classic, first round of amuses…

Second rounds, as the first round served in the library/lounge.

We ordered the wine, a crispy Rully 1. cru from Jackeson, a fat Meursault from J. Prieur, and a smooth Gevrey-Chambertin from A. Rousseau

Last greeting from the kitchen, Crab on a lettuce creme

Cold and warm Langoustine, the cold on a creme of celeriac

Loved this one….10p in my book. The warm being coated in crisp rice.

A true beauty, Scallops on risotto, Asparagus and Calamares

Unfortunately, the Scallops were overcooked, and we all know what that means. Thus a perfect dish was far from it. So dispite the tasteful asparagus…7p

Fois Gras with apple

Nice, nothing more nothing less. 9p

Different cuts of Lamb

Now the chevre coated in citrus, was quiete a surprice on your tongue, and a true spark to the dish. However, the quality of the dish was in fact the quality of the lamb. Simple as that. 9.5p

Cheese….

Now if you ever happen to be at Lameloise…DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT forget to order the cheese trolley. They are all perfectly mature, and the selection is all you could wish for. Bread and nuts are added. 10p

Pre-dessert

I simply cannot remember what it was. Blame it on the wine or on the dish itself. I shall therefore not rate it.

First round of sweets. We finished them all.

My choice of dessert…a chocolate “thing”

The dish just perfect, the crisp layers, the chocolate mousse, the icy bon bons – a light heavyweight 9.5p

K’s choice….after he broke the shell. Sorbet and fruits…

I did not hear any complaints, and it was a beauty on the plate…10p…according to Kjetil. He dug it the most….

Last round of sweets from above…

and from the side

Conclusion:

It is always good to be back at Lameloise. You feel welcome. The room embraces you. There is a certain vibe. When that is said, the service had a few flaws this evening. We were in fact left alone without water a few times etc. It could have been worse. It could have been the wine. The sommelier where the only one to notice this – the last time – and seemed pretty irritated by it, his own or his colleagues mishab. But for the overcooked scallops there is no excuse. They should never have left the kitchen. So – this might seem like minor flaws, but when you eat at a 3 star establishment, you expect the service to be top-notch and the food to be flawless. And I am sure the maitre will be more bothered about this than we actually were. But, great menu, great inter-action with the sommelier, great bread throughout the meal, the warm greeting etc. made us all feel like we spend a pretty good evening.

So, brood brothers, – thanks for behaving (most of the time). Lameloise, thanks for having us, be sure to find us back – we had a great evening. And to Frederic Lamy – thanks again for reading my blog. It is highly appreciated. I shall bring Oscar and Emil next time…you asked for it.

http://www.lameloise.fr

My rating for this visit: Food 9p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 5p (5), total score for this visit  18.5p (20)

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Clairefontaine, Luxembourg – 30 June 2008

Chef: Arnaud Magnier, Voted best chef in Luxembourg by Gault et Millau in 2005. Michelin rating: 1 star, Gault et Millau rating: 18 points.

This lunch was planned out of the blue since my wife had a day off and Oscar didnt feel like attending Kindergarten today. And we had wanted for a long time to bring him here for lunch to test how that would work since he is normally NOT that good in sitting any longer than 2 minutes at the table. And besides – the weather screamed for terrasse dining.

The restaurant has been a favourite of mine for the last 5 years both for business and private lunches and dinners.

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The missus and Oscar at the table at Clairefontaines beautiful terrasse.

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The service and attention I (- and to the best of my knowledge also other visitors) get is probably the best in Luxembourg and the food is very good presented with what I would consider bigger than average portions for this type of gastronomic restaurant. I recently referred an American group of tourists I met in another Restaurant in Luxembourg to Clairefontaine and upon their return to the States, they kindly sent me a really nice mail, stating that the food and service at Clairefontaine was indeed the gastronomic highlight of their European tour and warmly thanked me for this recommendation.

The wine list should satisfy all clients with open wines around 9 EUR per Glass and bottles from 25 EUR and up up up……

With a huge numbers of white Burgundies to choose from – it was easy pleasing my wife and the one Chassagne-Montrachet I spotted was then confirmed as a very good choice by the sommelier Samuel.

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Remi Jobard-Chabloz, “Les Charrieres” 2004.

After a little while in the glass I asked Samuel to decanter the wine since it was still very closed and green. And that helped the wine to finally open up and reveal the force of this village, the minerals and complexity. However, it remained still a surpricingly very “green” chardonnay, almost too young for my taste and I like to drink all wines what most people would consider too young.

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Clairefontaine serves a small menu of the day for lunch as well as two bigger menus both mid-day and evening. But today we went for a la carte since we only wanted a starter and a main course.

We were as always greeted warmly with a smile by the staff and the hosts Edwige and Arnauld and treated to the appetizer which at Clairefontaine always consist of 3 small tastings on one plate.

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 From the right A cold creamy soup of Salmon, in the middle Mashed potatoes with mussels and a beautiful reduction and to the left a Risotto with a roasted piece of sot-l´y-laisse 10p

The risotto was so deliscious that I almost asked for a re-fill……

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For starters we opted for

Le saomon d’Ecosse “Label Rouge” en 2 cuissons, des pommes de terre façon Roësti et crème aigrelette au caviar d’Aquitaine 8p –

and

Une déclinaison d’un thon rouge, mini poivron confit et farci, sushi de légumes maison, tartare et carpaccio au pistou 9p

The highlight of these two dishes was the tartare of tuna which was to die for.

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At the same time Oscar was treated to a

Roasted Filet of veal with a risotto. Dont take his look to serious. He liked it he claimed and was just busy being a big boy behaving to the liking of his proud parents.

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Our main dishes…

Les filets de rougets petits bâteaux cuit à l’unilatéral, des supions farcis et légumes aux senteurs ensoleillées, un milk-shake de concombre et chèvre frais 9p

and

Le homard Breton rôti entier puis décortiqué, purée crémeuse et palets confits de céleri, le jus d’un rôti de viande à la truffe mélanospurum 10p

I love lobster and the above confirmed that. A generous whole lobster served with a fantastic reduction. The Filets de rougets had a nice Provence vibe to it. The tomato flan and the cucumber shake made the whole dish scream “SUMMER AND SUN”…..

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There has been a few visits where the food although tasty has lacked a little in presentation, but I think today was “back to form” for Arnauld and his kitchen staff. The ambience both inside and outside is “As good as it gets” in my book. Didier the Maitre de Hotel makes sure your visit is always met with the same high standard. I consider Didier among the best of his kind in Luxembourg. Always warm and friendly with an eye on every table.

Finally to round this up, while the missus sipped her coffee and I had to find 226,- EUR- a few pictures to get you in the mood if not already……

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Samuel story telling “Ratatoullie” in French for Oscar….

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Didier at the entrance to the inside of the restaurant

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The restaurant from the inside….

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Thanks dear friends for a lovely lunch…..one of the best I have had in a long time.

My rating for this visit: Ambience 5,0 (5) Service 5,0 (5) Food/Wine 9 (10) : Score 19 out of 20.