Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lunch Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin

Lunch at Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin
11.5" x 16.5", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Yesterday it was frog's legs and today it's escargots - snails!

I had a giggle when I realised I could complete the set of unusual things the French are renowned for cooking.  After my dinner of "brown food" on Saturday night I continued north through Burgundy in central France and had a very fine and appetising Sunday lunch on 3rd July in the red splendour of the terrace parasols at a restaurant called Chez Guy in the centre of the village of Gevrey-Chambertin.

 I remember when I first started travelling through France being absolutely amazed at how the names of  wines which are well known all over the world often relate to what turn out to be small villages in France - completely surrounded by vineyards.  Gevrey-Chambertin is one such village on the Côte de Nuits in the northern part of the Côte d'Or which is worth driving down if you ever get the chance - I did a special detour to do so!  More about the village and the wine at the end of this post.

Chez Guy

The restaurant offers a number of options depending on how many courses you want to eat.  I had the Menu de Carte (Entre, Plat, Fromage, Dessert) - partly because one of my delights is to eat good French food and partly because the aim of the exercise was also to give me a good break in the middle of a long day's drive.  I hasten to add I had a very light meal when I got to my overnight stop at Epernay!

As I was in for the long haul I ordered a Sarah inspired Suze and tonic to drink while I read the menu and drank Badoit over lunch.  Such a sin to come to a restaurant in the middle of such good wines and have no wine to drink - however I was driving - c'est la vie!

Chez Guy Menu Carte
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The Menu is in French however I got some help from the staff who were a lot friendlier than my experience the night before.

The courses were as follows (preceded by an indication of where they were in the above drawing:
  • (top right) Amuse Bouche - two glasses of fresh light mousse concoction (avocado and shellfish?).  I know what the taste of my appetiser was at the time but have forgotten now
  • (Bottom left) Fricassée d'escargots au beurre persillé, poêlée de girolles, sauce pesto (Fricassee of snails in herb butter, sautéed mushrooms, pesto sauce)  All I can say is snails are yummy!
  • (top right) Filet de Bar, pâtes crémeuses au basilic, tapenades d'olives noires (Fillet of Sea Bass, creamy basil pasta, black olive tapenade) - a bit odd to choose fish on a Sunday in the middle of France however, while I wanted to enjoy my meal I was leaning towards the lighter courses so as to avoid feeling too sleepy after lunch!
  • (centre bottom) Assiette de fromages régionaux de chez Gaugry, fromager à Brochon (Cheese platter with regional Gaugry, cheese Brochon) - this was a good range of local cheese served with decent bread.  The cheese was served on wood from a crate of local wine which added a nice touch which was only slightly cheesy!
  • (Bottom right) Crumble de fruits rouge et rhubarbe, emulsion de thé vert, sorbet fromage blanc red berry and rhubarb crumble, emulsion of green tea, cottage cheese sorbet - a very light and refreshing way to end the meal.
My notion of cooks having preferred colour palettes is further upheld.  This one is a lot more colourful with ample doses of red, creamy yellow and green.

My bill including my suze aperitif, bottle of Badoit and a coffee at the end came to €52.50.

I did tackle a second sketch of my view, however - unlike Saturday night - I was so interested in the food that it hardly got a look in and is unfinished.  So here's a photo of the view from my table - taken at the end of the meal when the people at the other tables had left.

The view from my seat in Chez Guy
I sat on the outside terrace at the front of the restaurant, underneath a huge red parasol which provided good shade but cast a red tint over everything!  Trying to determine the colours of my meal was interesting and the photos are of no help at all!  It had to be done while I was there.  Hence the white dish of snails does not have the red colour cast it had while I was drawing and eating them.

Chez Guy - and a vintage pink cadillac in the centre of Gevrey-Chambertin
This is a photograph of Chez Guy complete with an amazing vintage Cadillac with enormous fins - painted dark pink - which turned up towards the end of lunch, parked right outside - on the bit which I thought appeared to indicate 'no parking'!  Out trooped a rather larger than life middle aged 'guy' and his large entourage which included children.  He was obviously well known at the restaurant and I spent my dessert and coffee wondering whether he was the owner or a local rock star with taste.

I'd definitely recommend this restaurant to anybody passing through the area - however do book ahead and arrive in good time - unless of course you're a passing rock star of repute!

The vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin

Gevrey-Chambertin is located in Burgundy.  It's located on a limestone ridge about 12 km south of  Dijon and about 30km north of Beaune.  The village has just over 3,000 inhabitants and an awful lot of vineyards.  Its inhabitants are called Gibriaçois.

Premier Crus vineyards above Gevrey Chambertin
There are 550 hectares of vine "Pinot Noir" on a gentle slope which lies to the east of the wooded limestone ridge.  This area has nine Grands Crus (the highest level of classification of AOC wines from Burgundy) which lie to the south of the village and 27 Premiers Crus which mainly lie to the west of the village.  The best wine lies close to the limestone at the top of the slopes while the more ordinary wine which can also be labelled Gevrey Chambertin is on clay soil in the valley bottom.

It seems likely that the very first vines planted in Burgundy were planted at Gevrey Chambertin.  There's evidence from archaeological digs that there were Gallo-Roman vines planted in the area dating back to the 1st Century BC.  Pliny the Elder wrote about wine in this area!

Pinot noir grapes in July in Gevrey Chambertin
The next links are to a couple of Burgundy wine sites which:

Links:

1 comment:

  1. Katherine,

    Once again, wonderful drawings and entertaining commentary. I felt like I was there, seeing the village through your eyes.

    One minor point, the car is a Chrysler Imperial, circa 1958.

    I've particularly enjoyed your France series; it takes me back to the trip my wife and I took there to Provence and the Luberon Valley early in our lives together.

    Thanks again.

    Andy Schneit
    Walnut Creek, CA

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