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.
CHAGNY, FRANCE (BURGUNDY WINE COUNTRY)
PRICE PAID: $255PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)
FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10
Renovated into a hotel in 1921, the gorgeous Lameloise building was originally a 15th-Century coach house.
Currently under the leadership of Eric Pras, the restaurant was run by three generations of Lameloise chefs (Pierre from 1921-1944, Jean from 1944-1971, and Jacques from 1971-2009). The restaurant achieved its third Michelin star in 1979, and has held it since.
Eric, only 36, has worked with Pierre Gagnaire, Bernard Loiseau, and many other famous French all-star chefs. He's filling some big shoes at Lameloise.
According to his website, Eric is attracted to ideas like: "nothing is as difficult as simplicity." I like a good chef-philosopher.
First off, a beautiful and diverse amuse; each plate lands delicately and precisely from a different server. It's a very pretty and hearty welcome to the restaurant. Starting with the foie gras spoons, this dish is stunningly good.
Second Spoon is very pretty but flavors are just okay- interesting crunchy texture combined with a nice soft foundation.
All the way on the left, some micro sandwiches with preserved meat. Delicious. 9/10.
Tomato with snail is served warm- a super-Burgundian dish- and the fruits themselves are exploding with ripeness. The circular canapés are bland and don't say as much. 8/10.
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.
The next course is super interesting- ravioli with lobster and a fried tempura claw on the side. The claw is piping hot, and the server recommends that it be eaten first; delicious. The strawberries are frozen-cold, which is a fun contrast. Strawberry-tomato sauce ties it together perfectly. Original, interesting, delicious. 10/10.
This course of turbot with rhubarb in small pastas has stand-out fish, but the small mushrooms and spinach don't match it. Neutral, buttery taste accentuated by the very-buttery sauce. 7/10.
Next is a very pretty plate of foie gras with coquilettes and haricot. The small hard squares are tasty and precisely-made, but the Foie itself is unremarkable and heavy. 7/10.
"Veau avec courgettes," accompanied by a cracker with more courgettes. This dish exhibits a deep, smoky flavor; super complex. Beautiful colors and a confident, beautiful presentation. 9/10.
I would have been terribly sad if the cheese cart in a 3-star Burgundy restaurant was anything short of spectacular. An enormous assortment of beautifully laid-out, delicious cheeses from many different local farms. I asked for the house specialties and got a pretty excellent selection of soft cheeses. 10/10.
Next up is the first dessert course- lemon ice, small petit fours... The apricot-flavored bite all the way on the right is lovely and bright, the chocolate guy tastes just like a s'more. Raspberry tartelette has a nice spice on it. 9/10.
This next dessert was totally over-the-top; Crêpes Suzette made tableside with sorbet, Grand Marnier, and small petit fours. The Grand Marnier flavor charges through loud and clear. Oranges play off nicely. 9/10 and great presentation. Sorbet had a marshmallow- shaped ice cream underneath.
Lastly, a small plate of hard and soft Passion fruit candy. An excellent conclusion. 9/10.