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“Avoid at all costs”
Review of Le Charlemagne

Le Charlemagne
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $44 - $136
Cuisines: French, Japanese, Fusion
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed October 6, 2012

We have eaten at some of the top restaurants int he world, and I do not understand how this place has a Michelin star.

My husband booked this for our first night in Burgundy thinking it would be a treat and nice way to start our trip. Of the 10 days we spent in French wine country, this was the most expensive restaurant we ate at and the most disappointing.

When we arrived at 8pm on a Thursday night we were 1 of 2 tables, but the time we left there were 4 tables including ours which made for an awkward evening.

As I was not drinking, my husband ordered a glass of wine, we have never seen such a small pour in all our lives, and for the price, it was outrageous. As the evening went on, we kept having to ask for more water as they insisted on keeping the bottle on a separate table, not what you would expect at a Michelin restaurant.

Being pregnant did not help matters as there were 2 dishes on the whole menu that I could eat (I am not overly precious about what I eat as a pregnant woman, eg I eat sushi). When I ordered, I was told that one dish was large so I should have that as a main course. Both dishes were huge and meant for at least 3 people.

At the end of the meal, we also found it rather odd that you had to pay at the reception, rather than at the table.

There are far better restaurants in the region.

This place is trying to hard.

The one redeeming factor was the bread, that was delicious.

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4  Thank Intrepidtraveller81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 - 55 of 540 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2012

I'm shocked that Michelin gave this place a star. It is a tourist trap joke living on that star, which I suspect will vanish very soon. I got the feeling that the owners are never around (or don't care), and without proper management the service from a young and careless staff is rude, spotty and downright awful.

For example, the waiter had us raise our hands to order our pre fixe menus (we speak some French by the way). Attempts at molecular gastronomy, from the amuse bouche onward, were cliche and lacked flavor. Long periods sometimes elapsed between dishes. I wound up pouring wine for the table since the staff wouldn't bother to do it. By the time we got to cheese, I was so fed up that I stood up and told the waiter what we wanted (since he was too rude to wheel the cart near us). All dishes were sub-par, except maybe the sorbet dessert, which is pretty hard to screw up.

The view is nice as it looks up to Corton. The interior is a bit dated but you can still sniff a little zen in the air.

Look at the other reviews too and draw your own conclusions. Mine is that I was defrauded.

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2  Thank Trocadero1993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

I am writing my first review as I am still in shock at how dire our experience was at this restuarant. This lunch was a part of a wine tour that I was attending for the day and there were 7 of us dining in all.

To start I must say that the views surrounding the place were spectacular but this was competing with the contempt that our underage head waiter showed our group. Some wine was chosen and then throughout the meal we were left on our own to pour out our own glasses amongst 7 people. The waitstaff would disappear between courses and left us sitting in there for 3 hours. We were placed in the sun and it started to burn us.. we asked that a shade be brought down and they just said no. No offer to move us (even though there was no one else dining) and that was that.

The food courses were strangly paired and quite unseasoned.
My friend and I shared the scallops to start - very very fishy, with the salmon 2nd - also very very fishy. I left most of the scallops behind, I admit that it tasted like a bad tuna sandwich filling, fishy with some pickle. The main course of chicken did not taste like anything at all.. no flavour. Even the french bread which is usually so wonderfully baked was flavourless and served on a strange skewer.

The dessert was served on some sort of plastic jewelry box with a sorbet in the drawer... I can say that the sorbet was the best thing about the whole meal! The cheese course came out and the waiter would not wheel the cart around so everyone had to stand around it while he served the plates. He then informed everyone in which order to eat the cheese and abruptly left again. Some of the soft cheese was served in a strange time capsule type container that was frankly hilarious.

Needless to say, avoid this place. I found the whole experience surreal and had a good laugh about the worst dining experience I have ever had with my mother afterwards. To be honest, the food that we had on the rest of our French holiday was really wonderful and half the price. I would only go to this place if you want to spend a fortune to be treated like a speck of dirt on the waitstaff's shoes.

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1  Thank Maggie7777_7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

I've never taken the time to write a review before, and I have dined at multitudes of Michelin star restaurants, but I am compelled to write this review after an absolutely abysmal experience at Le Charlemagne this evening.

So many things were disappointing. Our favorite was the snobby, inexperienced sommelier who a) only gave three wine choices, b) differentiated between them by only pointing to where they were grown, and c) did not know the menu to be able to recommend a wine to pair with dessert. Next up was the closed circuit broadcast of the kitchen, which treated us to a stunning view of the staff cleaning the stove while we waited for over a half hour for our cheese course. The piece de resistance was when our dessert finally arrived, to the dulcet tones of the garbage being thrown into metal cans underneath our seats, while the smell wafted up to greet us.

The food was precious, overly thought out, and worked way too hard to be clever. The dessert, sadly, was inedible. The chef de cuisine would be well served by having faith in the quality of the local ingredients, and leave the molecular gastronomy to those with a better feel for pairing flavors. When even the presentation of bread in France is off putting (not to mention the cheese course that was themed around shades of grey goop), something has gone wrong. And to top it off - meager wine pours. Enough said. The view was amazing in both directions, which helped somewhat.

After an impeccable lunch for €88 at the similarly-starred Le Montrachet (attached to the same-name hotel there) this was disappointing in the extreme.

All this for €250 for two people, without even a full bottle of wine? Non, merci.

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2  Thank BethH247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2012

What a beautiful discovery in the middle of traditional Burgundy!

The mix of French and Japanese cuisine is very harmonious, well-dosed. Many dishes are surprising but remains more than pleasant. Some of the dishes are close to molecular cuisine and always very beautifully presented.

On the negative side, one should be warned that you cannot order the full degustation menu after 1.15pm for lunch and 9pm for lunch. We arrived at 1.15pm and there was no way for us to still order the full degustation menu ( we had another one which had one less dish than the full one and it was absolutely fine but we didn't like the lack of flexibility).

The atmosphere is very modern, one inconvenient is that it gets very noisy.

All in all, we would recommend it for all these who are looking for original, modern food.

Thank CeciliaGeneva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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