Our original plan was to go to a market in the town of Givry in the Côte Chalonnaise, and in fact we did so. However, our primary goal was to find a Bresse chicken, specifically requested by Virginia for dinner. The Givry market was, alas, without Bresse chicken purveyors. So we checked our market list and found Chagny was supposed to have a market on Thursdays, and we’d bought the chickens there before. Back into the car and back the way we came… only to find no market when we arrived right at noon. Fail.
We decided to stay in Chagny to have lunch and walk around, and then go to a boucherie when they reopened. Lunch was fine, but unfortunately among the less distinguished meals we’d had all month. Dessert was good, though, and we left on a mostly positive note. Chagny was really quiet and we saw a number of uninhabited storefronts, a sign of how the town’s economy has changed. But the bones of a beautiful village still stand.
Around 2pm, we decided not to continue to stick around. Instead, we dropped Virginia off at the house and then the remaining three of us drove up to Beaune to continue the hunt for a Bresse chicken. And finally our luck turned! We bought cheese at Fromagerie Alain Hess, and then walked to a charcuterie and found exactly one Bresse chicken. We had to wait behind two other people making orders, anxious that someone else might want that chicken. But it was meant to be, and we managed to purchase it. Finally, we found a raspberry cream cake at a nearby patisserie. Some vegetables at the closest supermarket rounded out dinner provisions.
We brought it all home for dinner, and then walked over to Caveau de Puligny-Montrachet to taste all of the Chardonnays available by the glass. Rhea and I took advantage of being there (and everyone feeling good about wine) to buy some to take back to the United States. Our goodies packed up, we went back to the house and made dinner – roast chicken, roasted beets and apricots with Chèvre, grilled endive, cheese, and cake – and feasted over a few hours to end the day.
Our last full day in Burgundy started quietly, as everyone tried to soak in the ambience over their croissants and hot beverages. After we all packed up, we finished off leftovers from the previous night’s dinner with our last bottle of white Bourgogne.
Rachael found a place called Château de la Rochepot, west of St. Aubin (perhaps 10-15 minutes away). We drove over to check it out, and it was awesome! We had to park below and walk up, which allowed us to see the castle from most sides. We spent perhaps an hour touring the interior, including a few rooms off the main turret. The views were outstanding.
Once we got to the car, we remembered Rhea and Rachael wanted to pick up Fallot mustard before leaving. Off to Beaune, then! But we didn’t have to take the D974 road we’d virtually worn down with daily travel. Instead, we took the scenic route through Auxey-Duresses and Monthelie and approached the town from the west. A quick purchase and we were off for home to relax before getting ready for dinner.
We decided well before the trip that we weren’t cooking our last night. Instead, the four of us went back to Chagny to have an early dinner at Maison Lameloise, one of two Michelin three-star restaurants in Burgundy. And every star is deserved, from the incredible food and extensive wine list to the outstanding service. We ate until we were all stuffed — four savory courses with amuse-bouche, cheese, dessert, and mignardises in all. We went light on wine, though, which made getting home easy and safe (not having really driven at night at all on this trip).
Sadly, moving day had arrived. It actually felt like moving rather than checking out after four weeks. But first, one last breakfast. After that I drove Rhea and Rachael up to Dijon while Virginia started our final cleanup. We three said goodbye at the train station, and then I headed back to Puligny-Montrachet.
(to be continued)