To the Cliffs above Beaune; Fine Dinner

Thursday, June 3 – Orches (south of Beaune): We scooted out of our cute country manor house outside of Dole

at a respectable 10:30a and headed for Beaune. It was day nine out of Paris and the first day of real sun we’ve had. We knew that we wanted to try out our picnic infrastructure so we headed for Abbaye de Citeaux, an important site which has nothing of consequence left to see after the ravages of the Reformation, the Revolution, etc. But it has very nice grounds and we set up for lunch:

We then went into Beaune to the tourist office and found a chambre d’hote which clings to a cliff high over the vineyards to the south. We inquired of the high-school-age daughter of the hosts (she showed us to our room; they were in the vineyards) about restaurants and were told of the Relais de la Diligance in Meursault. We found it, looked over the menus,

[and]

made a reservation and arrived at the appointed 7:30p to find the most motley gaggle of tourists you could imagine — very discouraging! But we forged ahead to have a wonderfully prepared dinner which dragged out to 2 1/2 hours with the exruciatingly bad service. (Turns out that this place in the middle of nowhere appears in all the tourist guide books as the bargain restaurant of the region — it truly was that.}

But the food was superb and extremely well presented: the amuse bouche (the chef really has his edible flowers down!):

the lobster was wonderful (who would have guessed?)

the house-made foie gras three-ways:

the scallops:

the remarkable sorbet of marc to clear the palate:

the lamb chops:

the filet with morels:

All in all, not a meal one could expect for a total bill of 100 euros including a nice bottle of Haute Cotes de Nuits!

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