Lameloise (Chagny, France) – Solid Country Meal

A few hours south of Paris lies Chagny, a small neighboring village to the larger Beaune. It’s quite hard to reach on your first day of learning French directions (they use villages instead of road numbers.) The village is full of old buildings but lying across from the city center is the majestic looking Lameloise. It’s a hotel/restaurant (as most French places seem to be) that had an industrial 19th century vibe.

I was expecting straight-forward food, quality ingredients, and solid cooking.

1. Shooter of Tomato, Olives, & Leeks
The amuse – blend it all together – nothing new but the leeks (or licorice) shine through a bit. Good.

2. Foie Mousse & Potato
Air light, deep, and light fragrance. Excellent.

3. Almond Cream Cone
Very light, ethereal. Excellent.

4. Lobster Three Ways
a – Lobster, Peas, & Licorice Sauce
Cooked well, the lobster would burst while the licorice sauce coated your mouth and led to a long finish. Very good.

b – Lobster Poached in Butter
It is what it is. Very good.

c – Tail w/ Eggplant
Barely cooked, very pure taste. Very good.

5. Crayfish & Asperagus w/ Morels
The asperagus was good, the crayfish good, the morels good; but there was a soup (flavor long forgotten) that gave the dish a ceviche-like quality. Nothing innovative, just an interesting comparison. Very Good.

6. Sea Bass w/ Asperagus
The asperagus and the sea bass were slightly overcooked – watery. Aside from Gagnaire, it seems as if the French like their fish done this way. Ok.

7. Langostines w/ Mushroom Foam and Gnocci
The langostines were of higher quality, cooked well, and the mushroom foam was delicious. The gnocci were pasty and passable. Very good.

8. Pauillac Lamb w/ Asparagus
Cooked 3 ways, this lamb had an awesome deep flavor. This surpassed the excellent piece of lamb I had at Bouley last year. As the Bresse chicken at Ducasse was to American chicken, this lamb was to American lamb. Excellent.

9. The Endless Parade of Desserts
Including, but not limited to, cotton candy (ok, and i’m a *huge* cotton candy fan), coffee mousse (notes say excellent texture), petit fours, chocolates, and probably some ice cream or sherbert in there.

Overall, i liked this meal more than L’Ambassadeurs. Although the food was fairly straight-forward, it felt a tad more “unleashed” than the cooking at L’Amb. The ingredient quality was on par with the Paris 3-stars, the cooking generally as good. I’d put this in the “middle 2 star” category for delicious food that doesn’t innovate much. Coming from the US, I half-expected many meals to be of this quality (thus my 2-star designation) but I’m quickly learning the French are not infallible when it comes to cooking. This is an excellent restaurant choice for those in Burgundy land.

- chuck