Gastronomic Destinations: France (1)


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(Cote Chalonnaise Vineyard/Givry)

Chalon Sur Saone: Restaurant L’Essentiel

Chalon sur Saone in Bourgogne/Burgundy, France, has given its name to the Appelation Cote Chalonnaise, which, cent for cent, has become better value than some overblown Bourgogne vintages. Actually, the city itself stands a good 10 km away from the first vineyards. That might explain why Chalon Sur Saone was rarely mentioned in gastronomic guides until recently.
It certainly was a pity as the very central position of the city gave it the best access to all food ingredients that have made Bourgogne so famous.

But then, about ten years ago, the trend completely changed. The reason is the Saint-Laurent Island in the very middle of the very wide Saone River within easy reach thanks to the bridge of the same name.

Its main street, Rue de Strasbourg suddenly became the place to eat and drink out because of its great tranquility away from the bustling centre. The street presently counts more than twenty restaurants of all kinds.
I’m particularly fond of L’Essntiel, which as its name indicates, serves generous plates of very traditional but precise Burgundian gastronomy. And this at very reasonable prices.
The last time I went there was in the company of five of my siblings and the Missus, which allowed to sample quite a few of their offerings made the more tempting by the genuine friendliness of the owners and staff:

Seabass on a bed of apples and pears.

“Sandre” fish with a potato “curtain”.

Veal Sweetbreads, my personal order. Enormous, but so nice and cruchy outside and so tender inside!

Beef Fillet with baked tomatoes and couscous. This pic does not justice to the real size of the fillet. It was certainly twice a big and as high at the very large tomatoes!

Roasted Duck with its liver and heart.

Escargots with echalottes and garlic confits.
Sorry, after that, I just either could not find the time to take picture,s or I wasn’t “allowed” to do so by my so-friendly siblings.
But have no worry, it will take you quite a few visits to sample everything! And do not forget the desserts!
And the wine list!

Incidentally, Chalon Sur Saone, apart of its very long history as the last port up the Saone River for the last 2,500 years is renown for one very important invention. Can you guess?
-The first-ever picture and camera you can see at the Musee Nicephore Niepce which contains more than two million pictures!

L’Essentiel
14, Rue Strasbourg
71100 Chalon sur Saône, France
Tel: (33)(0)3 85 42 95 75‎

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