Monday, February 27, 2017

Alsace and Burgundy... Another trip to Cluny and having "coffee" in a wine store. pt. 8

On Saturday afternoon, we decided to go back to Cluny and try another restaurant.  Sophie, the gite hostess, had recommended a place, but we had trouble finding it.  We stopped at a different restaurant instead.  Again, I chose it after following my nose.


Au Bon Point is obviously very much a local dive.  The dining room was full when we got there and everyone looked like they knew the place and its owners.


The menu is on the wall.  This time, I was the adventurous one and Bill had a steak and fries.


We meat to have a bigger bottle of wine than this.  We did rectify the situation with a great bottle from the South of France.


Bill enjoys his "faux filet".  The frites on his dish were outstanding... probably the best out of the entire trip.


I had shrimp in creamy risotto, with peas, carrots, and tiny pieces of jambon blanc (boiled ham).  This was a very tasty dish, but it was also super messy!  Bill laughed at me as I peeled the shrimp and got creamy risotto everywhere.


This was a delightful red from southern France, with lots of berries.  I hope we can find it in these parts.


Bill had the cake of the day for dessert.  It was apple, of course.


And I had a chocolate macaron, which basically ended up being a glorified lava cake.  I'm not a big fan of lava cakes, but I suppose I have to have one on every trip.  I think the chocolate sauce might have been Hershey's syrup!


Because of all the wine, we capped off lunch with espresso.

Again, no one spoke English and we got a fine meal at a good price.  I think we spent about seventy euros on this lunch and left fairly satisfied.  I would go back again, although it wasn't my favorite of all the places we tried.  I think that honor goes to Caveau Heuhaus. 

After lunch, we stopped into a winestore because Bill wanted to buy a bottle of locally produced "grappa".  Au Plaisir Dit Vin was an interesting stop, if only because the guy working there was definitely a salesman.  We picked up a couple of packs of beer from Burgundy and Bill asked about the digestive he wanted.  The man spoke English and helped him pick a bottle.  As we were paying with a credit card, I spotted a bottle of wine I wanted, so we bought that in a separate transaction in cash.  


A good liquor store.

The guy then asked us if we had time for a cup of coffee.  Bill seemed reluctant, but I said yes.  So the sales dude brought out two glasses of white wine.  He explained that in France, if it's four o'clock, a host will sometimes offer coffee and bring out wine.  That way, it's more socially acceptable to drink before five o'clock, I guess. 

As we were trying the wine, I said I tasted lime and, of all things, shortbread.  The sales guy asked me if I was Scottish.  I laughed and said, "No, I am American, but many of my ancestors were Scots."  

The salesman then asked what we were doing in the area.  He guessed maybe we were skiers, but he clearly didn't get a good look at my ample physique.   I haven't been on skis since I was a teenager.  We told him we'd just decided to see the area on a lark.  When we said we were staying in Saint Marcelin-de-Cray, he said, "Ah... that is the REAL France!"  Having been to a lot of France's best known cities, I have to agree.

I am sure that if we hadn't been interrupted by the next customers, an enthusiastic Russian couple who spoke English, we probably would have left that store with a lot more booze.  I could tell the sales guy was looking to make some money.

After walking around a bit more so Bill's head could clear, we went back to the farm, where I took more pictures and drank more wine.







The sky was ever changing and ever beautiful.


We climbed up the tower one more time so Bill could take a look at the sunset.



Our very gracious hostess told us that she didn't have any bookings yesterday, so we could stay as late as we wanted to.  I would have liked to have stayed longer yesterday, but we knew we had a six hour drive ahead of us.  So after a good breakfast, we packed up and cleared out by 10:00am.  We left our gite in fine spirits, as Sophie told us we'd be welcome back any time.  I promised her I'd spread the word about her lovely accommodations to all of my friends.  So I am doing that with these posts and I hope I can convince a couple of readers to take a journey into rural Burgundy and see "the real France".  

Not only is Burgundy beautiful and brimming with wonderful wines, it's also a place where there is great hospitality.  Once again, as we said goodbye to Sophie yesterday, we felt like we'd made new friends.  That is the best part of a good trip.   

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