Up until we departed Provence, the only restaurants that we explored were in fairly large French cities. During the second half of our trip in Burgundy and Normandy, we often found ourselves in the middle of nowhere due to sightseeing excursions. With few English language resources available about where to eat in the countryside, I turned to the Michelin Guide to locate stellar family-owned restaurants specializing in regional dishes. While the Michelin Guide never made too much sense to me in America, on its home turf it was genuinely helpful in leading travelers to “charming” dining destinations that were “worth the drive.”
While tasting our way along the Route des Grands Crus, we lunched at Les Terrasses de Corton in Ladoix-Serrigny—the heart of Burgundy’s wine region. Located on the first floor of a low-key inn, the restaurant is run by husband and wife team Patrice and Valerie Sanchez.
As we walked from the parking lot to the restaurant’s entrance, we spied Chef Patrice in the kitchen. Gotta love the huge window and his old school toque!
A plate of still-hot-from-the-fryer accras de morue (salt cod fritters) landed on the table as we perused the menus.
As did a beautiful basket of bread. Not a bad loaf exists in the entire country, or so it seemed during my short stay.
The Astronomer, Mom, and I ordered set menus for our lunchtime feast. Mom and I chose the four-course Menu du Terroir (26€), while The Astronomer went with the three-course Menu Traditionnel (25€).
Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed the jambon persillé de Bourgogne for our first course. The Burgundy style jellied ham with parsley was seasoned just right; all that was needed was some crusty bread. A passion for forcemeats runs in our family.
In preparation for The Astronomer’s first course (and Mom and my second), these handy tools arrived at the table.
While The Astronomer received nine gorgeous escargots dans la coquille, Mom and I dug in to six. We had a ball spearing the snails with the tiny forks and removing the fleshy coils from their shells. A triple-punch of garlic, parsley, and butter smothered each one. Knowing that escargots are a Burgundian specialty, I held off on eating any until we were officially in the region. These tender and buttery morsels were worth the wait!
For the main course, Mom and I both savored the boeuf bourguignon ses pâtes fraiches. The sauce on the beef was unbelievably thick and glossy with an intensely deep flavor. The fresh pasta served alongside had a delicate way about it that contrasted beautifully with the serious meat on hand.
The Astronomer’s tendre cochon de lait, confit au thym, citron et miel was really something special. The well-prepared young suckling pig barely needed any prodding to fall apart, while the honey, thyme, and lemon sauce sweetened the dish.
A side of fried potato hunks accompanied The Astronomer’s main course.
For dessert, Mom insisted on the crème brûlée parfumée aux Anis de Flavigny. She’d been hankering for this classic French dessert the entire trip.
I chose the assortiment de sorbets fruits rouges, a perfectly lovely bowl of strawberry, raspberry, and cassis sorbets with a smattering of fresh fruits.
The Astronomer’s pommes caramélisées à la cannelle, et glace vanille, caramelized apples with vanilla ice cream, was a simple and effective clash of cold and warm fronts.
A plate of mini madeleines and meringue swirls arrived with the bill.
Our lunch at Les Terrasses de Corton turned out to be one of my favorite meals of the entire trip. The food was not only delightful, but deeply rooted in the region’s traditions. I loved tasting these Burgundian classics executed with precision and passion. And of course, the scenery couldn’t be beat.
Les Terrasses de Corton
38 Route de Beaune 21550
Phone: 01 45 84 83 84
One year ago: Picca – Los Angeles
Two years ago: Birch & Barley – Washington D.C.
Three years ago: JTYH Restaurant – Rosemead
Four years ago: 26.2 Miles & Asiana Airlines
Five years ago: Vegetation Profile: Ambarella