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….

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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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Clairefontaine, Luxembourg – 30 May 2011

“It was a hot summers night and the beach was burning“….except we dont have beaches in Luxembourg and the calendar only red 30 May. But a warm 30 degrees when driving into town around 6 pm. Pre-dinner glassse of rosê and then of to Restaurant Clairefontaine, which you all know by know is my favourite spot in Luxembourg.

On this warm  night we were in for a “standard” treat – however, on the high end of the scale – impecable food and wine, great service and attention from all staff. May I add great bread.

The first amuse, balls stuffed with tuna mash were “sold” to the boys as being round chicken nuggets. Magic – they asked for extra – and even thirds – but that request from Oscar was halted by yours truly.

As always when possible Arnaud arrange for us to have the seperate room, Didier always arranges some pillows in the corner. So as soon as we entered the room the boys threw themselves on the pillows and turned on their Nintendos. However, we insist that they come to the table when food arrives and remain their until the plate is finished. Emil is an easy customer. He finished his plate of pasta and beef with nothing left. Oscar was more pre-cautious in his exitement of food as always. My favourite food is Pizza Margharita is what he normally states.

The table…

The boys…

Where is my pasta.....

Oscar ! this is not how I taught you to eat bread in restaurants....

Actually we had good fun before the food arrived, the boys producing funny faces en masse for the camera…

Second round of amuses...

Eminence of King Crab - Astrids starter....

Different presentations of Salmon, a beauty on the plate.

Baby Saint Pierre, with beautiful Southern France inspired vegs and aioli...

Slowly ccoked Jarret de veau with leek

As the missus proclaimed afterwards….this is the best meal I have had in a long time. “She took the words right out of my mouth”…My main dish was certainly way up there among the best. Loved it Arnaud. We chose a “simple* Rully 1. cru from Jacqueson – 2008. Great great simple wine. I recently had this wine in Bourgogne together with good friend Uffe, Kjetil and Frode and was happy to re-visit this producer.

So the great thing about being regulars in a place like Clairefontaine is you feel at home, you feel the warmth from the staff, you know what to expect and you are seldom let down, and if there are complaints, you know you can deliver them to Didier or Arnaud himself, and they will be treated with respect and understanding. I give the ambience 5 today. It really is a privelege to have your own room dining with two boys. Not that they cant sit still, its just so more relaxed for the parents. Add the fact that all staff constantly jokes with the boys and in general are interested in their well-being – well, what more do you want as a gourmet dining parent.

So before you spend/waste a good 50 or 80 eur per person on a mediocre meal in Luxembourg – please do visit Clairefontaine, tell them I send you. Our meal today for 4 clocked in at 189 eur. Love you guys – Edwige, Arnaud, Didier and Sebastien – you made us a great couple of hours – again.

My rating for this visit: Food 8.5p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5 (5), total score for this visit  18.5p (20)