France- La Maison Lameloise- ✪✪✪

Seated in the heart of Burgundy wine country, La Maison Lameloise has been 3-star rated since 1979, and has been run by the Lameloise family for three generations (Pierre, Jean, and then Jacques). Éric Pras took over the kitchen in 2008, and has maintained the hotel/restaurant's 3-star status ever since.

 La Maison Lameloise Exterior

La Maison Lameloise Exterior

CHAGNY, FRANCE (BURGUNDY WINE COUNTRY)

SERVICE: 7.5/10

FOOD: 8.0/10

PRICE PAID: $255PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)

VALUE/MONEY: 8.0/10

FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10

Éric Pras is something of a French culinary badass. His career has put him working alongside Bernard Loiseau, Pierre Gagnaire, Antoine Westermann, and many other A-level players. At 36, he took over Lameloise, and has put his own unique stamp on the place- his personal motto, translated somewhat awkwardly, is: "nothing is more difficult than simplicity." 

 First Bites: Snail + Foie Gras + Tomatoes, 8/10

First Bites: Snail + Foie Gras + Tomatoes, 8/10

A strong amuse to start, with several small, entertaining little dishes. 

Clockwise from the top right, tomatoes with a thin crusting of snail is adventuresome and a cool take on a classic dish- and served warm. 

The foie gras is simply great. No other way to say it. 

The circular canapés are all right, a light potato-y dish. 

The second set of spoons is a jumble of fruity and mashed starch textures- it's just okay.

Micro sandwiches with preserved meat are totally delicious. 8/10 overall.

 Course 1: Melon Soup, 9/10

Course 1: Melon Soup, 9/10

What an awesome idea- melon with melon water and goat's cheese in the center. Dashes of olive oil and spices make this thing really sing together. Clever, creative, and the chèvre is quite strong and pairs nicely with the melon. 9/10.

 Course 2: Lobster Ravioli, 10/10.

Course 2: Lobster Ravioli, 10/10.

 Lobster Tempura Claw

Lobster Tempura Claw

I loved this dish. Ravioli with lobster and tempura claw. The claw is piping hot, eaten first on a separate dish, and totally delicious. The strawberries are frozen-cold, which is a fun contrast. Strawberry-tomato sauce ties it together. 10/10.

 Course 3: Turbot + Rhubarb + Pasta, 7/10

Course 3: Turbot + Rhubarb + Pasta, 7/10

Turbot with rhubarb in small pastas. Fish stands out but the small mushrooms and spinach don't match it. Neutral, buttery taste accentuated by the buttery-ass sauce. 7/10.

 Course 4: Rouget + Foie Gras + Haricot, 6/10

Course 4: Rouget + Foie Gras + Haricot, 6/10

Foie gras with coquilettes and haricot. Small hard squares of rouget are good. Foie is unremarkable and heavy. 6/10.

 Course 5: Lamb + Zucchini, 9/10

Course 5: Lamb + Zucchini, 9/10

Lamb with zucchini, and a cracker with yet more zucchini. Deep, smoky flavor, super complex. 9/10.

 Course 6: Cheese, 9/10

Course 6: Cheese, 9/10

 The Cheese

The Cheese

You'd expect a cheese course from a 3-star restaurant in Burgundy to be pretty outstanding. This was pretty outstanding. 9/10.

 

 Course 7: Desserts, 8/10

Course 7: Desserts, 8/10

Lemon ice, small petit fours... Apricot is lovely and bright, chocolate guy tastes just like a s'more. Raspberry tartelette has a nice spice on it. 8/10

 Crêpes Suzette- 9/10

Crêpes Suzette- 9/10

 Prepping the Crêpe Suzette tableside

Prepping the Crêpe Suzette tableside

This next course was super cool- Crêpes Suzette with sorbet and small petit fours prepared tableside. Grand Marnier flavor comes through loud and clear- thanks to the actual bottle of Grand Marnier that is liberally used to flavor the crêpe. Orange flavors play off nicely. 9/10 and great presentation. Sorbet had a marshmallow- shaped ice cream underneath.

 Sorbet

Sorbet

Passion fruit hard/soft candy is awesome. 9/10

 Final bites- 9/10

Final bites- 9/10

Overall, a pretty excellent meal that lives up to its name.