France – Jour 12 – Part 2
Dinner at Relais Bernard Loiseu
Dinner tonight was at our hotel – Bernard Loiseu in Saulieu. Bernard Loiseu was a dedicated and passionate chef who secured 3 Michelin stars for his restaurant La Cote D’Or in 1991 – before tragically killing himself in 2003 when rumours circulated that he might lose a Michelin star!! Wow!! This guy was seriously dedicated.
The gorgeous table setting
The restaurant is now in the capable hands of Patrick Bertron – who started with Bernard Loiseu in 1982 as a commis chef, and is now the head chef who continues the tradition. The restaurant is now named Relais Bernard Loiseu. Incidentally, the restaurant never lost any of its Michelin stars and still retains them to this day.
We sat down and our amuse bouche was brought out to us. In this case, it was very different in that it was a very fine gazpacho with an airy meringue of garlic foam on top. Absolutely refreshing.
Carpaccio de crevettes Black Qwehli, jus de tête réduit,
sauce au velouté de brebis et herbes du potager
This dish was artwork on a plate. There was a carpaccio of Black Qwehli prawns sitting atop a crispy wafer. There was also a gorgous lacy tuile that was garnished with edible flowers, and the plate was dotted with a prawn reduction and a veloute of ewe’s cream. It was a beautiful dish – both on the dish and the palate. I had never had raw prawn before – and it was delicious!
Andrew was very happy that he didn’t have to eat prawn – they made him a special bowl of pumpkin soup instead. He was a happy man – although I confess I may have been a bit disappointed because I could have eaten two of those dishes!!
Pièce de veau de lait et ris doré, palet de jeunes legumes et girolles
On this dish was a perfectly cooked piece of veal, golden fried sweetbreads (not exactly my favourite part – but sweetbreads were another thing that kept appearing on menus in France), a gorgeous arrangement of baby vegetables as well as my favourite vegetable – mushrooms. This dish was actually very simple – as there was not a lot of treatment of the elements.
Assiette de Fromages
Of course, it wouldn’t be a dinner in France without a cheese course – and here we were treated to four different cheeses, hazelnuts and dried figs….
… as well as a range of lovely breads to accompany them.
Carrousel de fraises et crème brûlée à la réglisse,
parfait à la menthe et coulis au poivre du Sichuan
And finally – this amazing dessert – layer upon layer! At the bottom was a biscuit base, with a strawberry ice-cream parfait surrounded by fresh strawberry slices and topped by a thin wafer. The next layer up was a mint ice-cream parfait, which was topped by another thin wafer. Crowning this fine dessert was a swirly cloud of the finest liquorice flavoured toffee!
Then along came the waiter who added a stream of strawberry and Sichuan pepper coulis!!
This was an amazing dish – with lots of delicate flavours that exceeded the sum of its parts.
We were also served some petit fours which were affectionately referred to as the traffic lights by the guides. Each one of these delicate mini-desserts contained a sponge base, with a gorgeous individually flavoured mousse, and topped with a uniquely shaped shiny gel covered hat. Amazing…
But wait… there are more petit fours!! At least June had earned all her dinner!!
This final night was an amazing finish to a wonderful tour! Was a 3 Michelin star restaurant that much different to a 1 star one?? I’m not sure that I could tell the difference – the meal on our first night in Beaune at one starred Le Benaton was also delicious! Either way – we had been treated and spoiled all throughout our Burgundy trip! And we still had another week and another tour to go!! Ooh la la!