Bon Beaune Repas
After our tour of the Beaune Wine Museum, it started to rain, and all the shops in Beaune were closed. In the countryside of France, everything seems to close from 12 - 2 pm for lunch, and there really isn't much else to do but lunch. This would be our official first meal we would take in France during this trip. A few of the restaurants were closed in Beaune due to being the winter, and they will re-open during the spring when more tourists and travelers show up. We walked in the rain into the center of town to see what might be open. We found Le Clos Carnot, an easy going restaurant, tavern and internet cafe all rolled into one.
The lunch here was delicious. The base ingredients, skill and execution of the food at this tavern was quite wonderful. There are no bars in the USA that could deliver this type of food. In Le Clos Carnot, the lunch menu had a few options. The options were a menu where you pick 3 courses, 2 plat where you pick 2 plates, or a la carte. I opted for 2 plat. This will prove to be one of the least volume of food meals we would have in France, and believe me, there was plenty of food.
For my 1st course of 2, I opted for the beef pie and salad plate. The beef pie was a savory beef Bourgogne stew and gravy wrapped in a puff pastry. I have never had a beef pie quite like this. The puff pastry was golden to perfection, the beef was tender, and the gravy was savory, delicate and delicious, leaving me wanting more. I wish I knew how to make this. The salad was made with fresh salad greens and a light mustard dressing. I don't know how to make the mustard dressing, but I was able to bring back a few jars of French mustard to experiment. The salad dressing had a mustard flavor, but it was so light, unlike the overly flavored dressing that I have gotten used to in the USA. I really like the delicate and subtle flavor of the mustard dressing.
To start his meal, Matt opted for French onion soup. Folks, I mean, for our 1st official meal in France, wouldn't French onion soup be appropriate? LOL. Well, it was really good. The soup had a really light and delicate flavor, and quite possibly very little salt in it (YAY!). It tasted like they roasted or caramelized the onions to make the natural sugars come out, and have that deep roasted flavor in the soup. The soup also came plain, with a nice little plate of French bread toast rounds and cheese to sprinkle on top. It was so good! Matt made a good choice. This lovely soup was great, and so not Liptons.
For my second plate, I got the special entree, it was small potatoes, cauliflower and pork ribs with a fabulous sauce that they called sweet and sour. This sweet and sour sauce was not like anything you could get in the USA. It was deep, pungent and complex. It wasn't really sweet, nor was it sour. I could not figure out how to deconstruct this sauce. I believe there must be a demi-glace as the base, there may have been some sugar, perhaps a little red wine reduction, but I can't tell what was in the sauce. I just could not get enough of this sauce. The pork ribs, there were only two, which was plenty of meat. The meat was roasted in the sauce, I am sure, and the meat was cooked to perfection, with the meat available to cut from the rib such that the meat did not fall apart readily, but melted in my mouth when I ate it.
For our 1st official meal in France, we were blown away at this simple tavern in the middle of Beaune. This meal was delightful! To top off the meal we moved over to the internet cafe portion of the tavern. We ordered our cafe au lait, and started using the computer, hoping the rain would stop. We emailed back home to the pet sitter to get an update (Hi Emily!) and she certainly took good care at home. We got home to a very well adjusted, happy and the best well groomed pet ever! Thank you Emily! We also got to check on the Paris - Nice bike race, one of the professional bicycle races passing by us about 100 km to the south of us. We did our final planning on getting to the finish line of leg 2 in Belleville, France in the south of Bourgogne. Leg 2 was a 200+ km race. The bike race is a blog post to come, so I won't give it away. The only thing I have to say is Go SLIPSTREAM! Yes, Slipstream is the new, rugged, tough and fast USA professional bicycle team.