During our trip to France, we took a nearly 3 hour trip up into the heart of the country to the small town of Bourbon-Lancy. It's located on the west edge of the Burgundy wine region and the history of the town goes back over 2000 years. It is centered in the middle of ancient Gaul and featured a medieval walled city within the town. Bourbon-Lancy is where our speaker manufacturers cabinet factory is located and we were there to tour the new plant they built last year. For lunch, they took us to a little place by the name of Le Rest'o du Champ de Fiore, a farm-to-fork auberge-style restaurant in the heart of the small town. (See map)
Champ du Fiore literally means "the Fairgrounds", but I didn't know if there were any fairgrounds in the vicinity. The restaurant was similar to any number of small restaurants in the heart of France. It was a basically a small two room place with a series of tables. It was clean, comfortable and cozy. Most of the people in the place were locals in for a quick and good lunch.
There was a nice little bar area in the front room and they had an interesting wine selection. As a group, we ended up getting a couple three bottles of a Givry pinot noir that was from a winery in the heart of the Burgundy wine region.
We were seated in the backroom of the place along the wall at a long table. There was a salad bar that we were invited to peruse first - I don't remember if I got anything at the salad bar. Lettuce was one of the things that I've gotten sick on in France in the past and even though I was popping a couple of Xifaxan's a day to help make sure that I didn't get a stomach ailment, I passed on the salad bar.
Our choices of food was pretty limited - they only had three things on the lunch menu that day. They had a Charolais beef filet with fried potatoes that I went with. The beef was tender, juicy and full of flavor. The steak was topped with a dollop of herbed butter. I almost went with the hamburger that was topped with pan-fried foie gras instead of the beef filet. My colleague John went with the hamburger and he declared it to be one of the best tasting burgers he'd ever had. Even for as good as my steak was, I was envious of him and his burger.
The other thing available for lunch that day was some sort of a French game hen. One of our hosts was trying to describe it to us - it wasn't a quail or pheasant, nor was it chicken or a cornish hen. Some of the guys in our group got it and they all said that it tasted very good. It was served with broccoli and fried potatoes.
Of course, there was dessert after the meal. Everyone knows my fondness for crème brûlée - I think I had crème brûlée after every lunch and dinner during my first trip to France over a dozen years ago. They had a little dessert buffet set up next to the salad bar and they had small bowls of crème brûlée in addition to fruit bowls and small pastries. While it wasn't the best I've had, it was still good. It's tough to find bad crème brûlée in France.
This was a nice little lunch in a small French village. These auberge-style restaurants are all over the French countryside and Le Rest'o Champ de Fiore was pretty good in its own right. My steak was fine - not as good as what you'd find in the States - but it was good for French beef. (Europeans who I know who come to the U.S. are always wanting to go to steakhouses because the beef is so much better than what they get on the continent.) I really wish I would have gotten the burger, however. My colleague said it was a great burger and I'm hoping I get the chance to get back to Bourbon-Lancy at some point to go through the cabinet factory and for the chance to get the burger at Le Rest'o Champ de Fiore.