AUX BERGES de THIL, Thil-sur-Arroux, Burgundy
This is the co-owner, co-hostess, partner of the chef. It is a mom-and-pop restaurant (though they don’t have any children) which supports local farmers by serving their products. The chef trained in London and they both get along well in English. The food was inventive and served proudly. A restaurant has existed in this tiny town for many decades, changing hands once or twice, and now has landed in the capable hands of these two. It is off the beaten path, undiscovered, unsung, and will not remain that way for long, so get there quick. No problem parking.
LA PETITE AUBERGE, St. Didier-sur-Arroux, Burgundy
Pictured, the indefatigable, ever-present, charming owner, Anna. She runs this thriving restaurant in the middle of St. Didier, where the population has declined over the last century from over 900 to 261. Her restaurant is bringing it back to life. It is very well reviewed, and the reviews are well deserved. The food is inventive and delightful. I love the spirit of the European Union. It has brought to us this restaurant, run by a woman born in Germany, where the chefs come from Germany and Byelorusse, in a town populated by, among the native population, many people from The Netherlands. The garden ambience is charming.
LAMELOISE, Chagny, Burgundy, France
Feast your eyes on their website (http://www.lameloise.fr/en/restaurant-lameloise/).
Here’s Terry finishing up with Crépes Suzette, flamingly prepared at the table, taking a gander at the after dinner drink list. The restaurant has three Michelin stars and has kept them for years. The food was exquisite, beautifully presented by a sometimes unctuous staff—they tried, but they didn’t convince me that they really cared. I felt subversive taking photographs of the food, I think you’re supposed to look like you go to places like this once a week or so. This impression might be the result of my feeling out of place in such an elite place. I’ve been in other topflight restaurants, but the weight of history in this restaurant (established in 1921) in the middle of the Burgundy region of France which is the apex of French cuisine, if you don’t count Lyons, lay heavily on me. The tasting menu we chose was 195 euros, double that to include wine worthy of the food, add the tip, and you’re over $600. If you’re willing to mortgage yourself against four or five meals, or six, or seven, at lesser restaurants, it’s worth the experience. It would be nice if everybody could go there once in their lifetime.