Friday, September 19, 2008

Give the Dog a Beaune

In Beaune on our recent trip to France we stayed at a true treasure of a hotel, Le Cep, a stunning 5 star accalimed beauty whose building dates from the 14th century. My 3rd floor room was like an attic loft, huge thick beamed ceilings, with views of the courtyard and the city beyond. Its lobby and sitting rooms are like a fine country home, and the brick walled celler that serves as the breakfast room is lovely. Next door is the acclaimed restaurant of Bernard Loiseau (whose namesake is, unfortunately famous for having taken his life some years ago when he feared he would lose his 3rd Michelin star - tragically - his restaurant in Saulieu retains its three stars to this day). His wife and family have carried on, transforming the restaurant space at Le Cep into a revelation of fine dining with exqusite food and phenomenal wines (an astonishing asortment by the glass as well, a relative rarity in much of France).

Our last night in Beaune we have a farewell dinner at the beautifully furnished L'Ermitage de Corton, where new owner Nicolas Chambon has taken the reins with style and panache to create a boutique version of an Ian Shrager hotel. The Devil Dog loves a great meal as much as the next man, but the venison at dinner was as beautiful a piece of meat as I have ever put in my mouth. We shared a magnum of a white Grand Cru fr0m 2001 and a magnum of a red Grand Cru from 1994, and left the restaurant swirling with excitement at the luxury of brilliant food paired with impeccable wine.

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