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There are some settings that, when experienced, make you aware that you are living rare and privileged moments. Dinning in this restaurant and hotel is one of these. First...Nothing to dislike but for the setting it is a pity that the food was not a few degrees more creative and the service not a few degrees more perfect...
There are some settings that, when experienced, make you aware that you are living rare and privileged moments. Dinning in this restaurant and hotel is one of these. First of all, take the building itself, its history, and its restoration and you have a unique property worth a visit if for no other reason. Discovered as a ruin in 1987, the castle, dating form the 13th century, was completely restored in a way that respected its origins by over 400 craftsmen over 4 years. Today it is a hotel under Relais Chateau and was previously under the management of the Aman Group.Dinners are served in a truly spectacular hall with 6 metre ceilings, the most impressive open hearth I have ever seen, in what is called the Salle des Gardes. Individual tables are well dispersed around the room so that you do feel an element of intimacy on tables laid with beautiful Irish linen, exquisite silver candelabras, and the largest linen napkins I have had. All the china and glasses are of the highest quality and made just for the restaurant. You drink your water from silver goblets; not something many of you will be able to say you do on a daily basis.You are in the middle of the Beaujolais region and close to Burgundy so the wine selection should not be underestimated and the sommelier should be used to guide your wine selection. Prices are on the high side but appropriate and even reasonable for the level and setting of this restaurant which for now has only one Michelin star but with a little push could possibly reach for a second.The only two things holding it back from a second star would be a few degrees of perfection on service and a few more degrees on food. I had venison which was very well presented but which lacked a complexity of flavour even though the cuisson was perfect and the lentils of Puy, that accompanied it, out of this world. I think when you want to go for the second star you need to really make dishes that not only look good, and are cooked to the right mettle, but where the flavours explode and the tastes linger for days if not years. Voila, I am a food snob, but that is why there are these rating systems. Definitely a one star though although I have tasted better one stars, but rarely in such a setting. In fact I can think of no setting as powerful other than the terrace of the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in summer.Besides an overdose of American clients (sorry my American friends) who come to such places with the finesse of jumbo jets arriving in village land strips, the restaurant is a must for anyone visiting this region. Enjoy.
Nothing to dislike but for the setting it is a pity that the food was not a few degrees more creative and the service not a few degrees more perfect (but then prices might be even higher to justify the perfection), but overall still worth the note given and still a highly worthwhile experience given the incomparable setting.