Today I am sharing our experience at a two Michelin Star restaurant in Dijon, France at the end of October! Whenever we come to Europe, one of the first trips I set up is a train ride to Dijon to visit our friends who live in a small village about 30 minutes outside of the city.
When they heard we were coming over they told us about a restaurant they had been dying to try but hadn’t had an excuse. Our visit was just the justification they were looking for and they set up a lunch reservation during our stay.
When we walked into the restaurant, Chapeau Rouge Restaurant William Frachot, I was struck by the stark and beautiful simplicity of the room. Pristine white on white tables and Aspen tree trunks on a green background provided a bright backdrop on the walls. It reminded me of Le Bernardin in New York City, even down to the hooks they provided for our purses so they didn’t have to sit on the floor.
Each table was assigned a single server who managed our meal and any needs. On the courses where there was a choice, The Artist and I chose one of each so we could sample the entire menu. It was an exercise in restraint as I wanted to take photos of the food to share with you, but didn’t want to be obnoxious or ruin the experience for everyone else. Thank goodness for my iPhone!!
Though there were a variety of menu options, we chose the simplest 4-course menu and boy were we glad we did. When all the plates that were served to us were added up, we wound up with 9 courses!
Each course was exquisite and impeccably sized so we were not uncomfortably full at the end of the meal, but perfectly sated. Each bite built on the last, guiding us on a journey of flavors and textures. It was a little like being blindfolded and having the chef guiding each bite knowing in advance exactly what would be the next perfect morsel.
Here is our meal, by course:
As We Arrived
Perfect Miniature Brioche and selection of breads
Four single bites, starting with a Dijon mustard mousse, minced escargot in pastry, chopped ham and parsley, and a quail egg in red wine sauce (the mousse, ham, and egg are all regional specialties of Burgundy/Bourgogne)
Catch of the Day (firm white fish) with squid ink mousse and pickled leeks on vegetable puree
Course 1 Appetizer 2 (choice of one)
Prawns and scallops in a mushroom-prawn broth
Autumn Perfumes – a selection of miniature autumn vegetable bites
Course 2 Fish
Sea Bass with slivered kohlrabi, broth and foam
Course 3 Meat
Duck Challandaise, medallions with caramelized onions, patty pan squash, figs, and fig sauce
Course 4 / Dessert 1 (choice of one)
Chocolate Mousse & Gelato with Ginger Crumble & Caramelized Sugar Shards
Babas au Rhum, Banana and Passion Fruit Sorbets
Trio of small sweet bites
Pain d’Epices with Marmalade (a regional specialty)
We also shared a lovely bottle of Burgundy wine, Marechal’s Savigny-les-Beaune 1er, that perfectly complemented all of the dishes but especially the duck. One of the benefits of good French wines is that they are blended to be food-friendly and soft on the palate.
When we finally finished, about 2-1/2 hours later, we were satiated and happy. We all agreed that this was one of the high points of our visit and a memory we will hold in our hearts for years to come.
I hope you have enjoyed sharing our experience at a Michelin Star restaurant in Dijon, France and that if you ever have the opportunity, you will be able to do the same. It is an adventure in eating that won’t soon be forgotten!
I know your New Year’s Eve celebrations will be fun and with a bit of luck this week has been relaxing for you. We will be celebrating our love of France with Coquille St. Jacques, a gratin of! Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you back here in 2018!
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