Saturday, December 06, 2014

An unusual lunch, Friday 31st October

After saying goodbye to Gilbert, we walked down the hill from Chambolle-Musigny and eventually came to the main road. It wouldn't be a trip to Burgundy without a bit of walking along a main road with no pavement, as lorries thundered past just inches away. Fortunately we didn't have too far to go before we reached our lunch destination, Relais des Grands Crus in Morey St-Denis.

I'd heard all sorts of tales about this place and it's probably just as well that I had a rough idea of what to expect, as it was very different from the other places we'd visited. It's basically a truckers' caff and when you go in, there's a room with long benches occupied by a rowdy bunch. The waitress quickly sized us up and put us in the alternative room, which is posher and has individual tables. Clearly she didn't think I'd be able to handle the rowdy room and indeed I was grateful for that.

For a while, we were the only occupants of the posh room, but then an elderly couple were also shown in, who also must have been judged too fragile to cope with the rowdiness. It also looked like they might have been expecting a coach party which never materialised.

The menu was on a blackboard over by the bar. You get a four course meal and half a bottle of surprisingly-decent house wine for 12.80 euros - it's hard to argue with that! Our main dilemma was whether to have brussels sprouts or chips with our main course.

For the starter, we had to go back into the rowdy room where a cold buffet was laid out. Naturally, I went long on rillettes and pate en croute.

In order to reach the rowdy room, we had to walk through a small room which was full of fancy-dress gear including various interesting pieces of headwear (the pink cowboy hat in particular is seared into my memory). At some point in the proceedings, the waitress gets dressed up and conducts a raffle in the rowdy room, creating additional levels of rowdiness. It was all very jolly.

Strangely I didn't take a photo of the main course, possibly because it wasn't very photogenic - I had the rabbit and it came with what seemed to be oven chips, hearty but not the most exciting fare. For pudding I had this creme caramel generously smothered in golden syrup - type 2 diabetes on a plate.

Afterwards, we walked up the slope into Morey proper. Was it me or was the village further away than it seemed at first sight? Maybe that was just the effect of walking uphill after a big lunch. It was very warm and the vines were a glorious golden colour in the sun. We had one more tasting to go.

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