This is the home of one of the best meals I've ever had in France. Everything about this restaurant is exactly how you imagine a French country restaurant should be. It's in an extremely small but charming village called Monceaux le Comte near the Nivernais canal. Guests are greeted warmly by the owners (she speaks at least 5 languages fluently, he's the chef) as they enter a beautifully restored building. There is a beautiful fire burning in the corner, ancient beams in the ceiling, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The food on the menu is classic French country cooking, featuring such favorites from Burgundy as Beef Bourguignon, Veal Kidney, and Duck Breast with Figs and Honey. The charming twist is that the chef will play around with flavors and experiment with new combinations in his winsome amuse bouche (little between-course palate-cleansers created at the chef's discretion). It is possible to have the best of both worlds, traditional cooking and new flavors and tastes all in the same meal. The wine list complements the menu well and stars many local Burgundy favorites. Not sure? Ask Madame for some help.
The creme brulee and cheese platter were great. The creme brulee's custard had been caramelized during the making, so the rich caramel flavors pervaded not only the delicious crust, but the entire dish. The cheese was prepared carefully as a tasting flight that complimented the wine we'd purchased with the meal.
Well worth the drive -- lots and lots of French folks drive in from the countryside to enjoy this place. If you're on a canal boat, it's a short walk from the town mooring spot.
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