It was Daniel’s birthday last Sunday; cannot be avoided, we all have to get older once a year. We wanted to go for a relaxing meal with some good wine and our knowledgeable hosts in Burgundy suggested Ferme de la Ruchotte. This was sold to us as a farm house dining establishment where one eats what the farmer slaughtered that week. “Brilliant!” we thought.
Describing the owner as just a farmer is selling him short. Frédéric Menager is a very skilled chef who has an impressive list of restaurants on his CV. I had sampled his food before at the Castel de Très Girard in Morey St. Denis and was impressed. He moved on from there to start the farm where he breeds rare breeds of animals prized for their flavour. Then kills and cooks them.
It was quite a drive beyond the Côte to find the place; many tiny, twisty roads that would have deeply worried me if I was driving. It is quite a beautiful location once you get there. We parked and went into the dining room, which really was the farmhouse dining room with one large table and a smaller table in it.
There is no menu to choose, you eat what he is cooking that day as listed on a chalk board. There is a comprehensive wine list, which is not over-priced considering there are some gems on it.
The first course was a poached egg with duck gizzards in a soup of nettles and tarragon. The egg was one of the best I have eaten, clearly his chickens are from a pretty serious breed, and it was soft-poached perfected. I hoovered up the gizzards with great speed as I love them. The soup had a really good flavour. This was a very pleasing starter.
We were then presented with a côte de boeuf. This piece of meat looked marvellous, great marbling and perfectly cooked (ie. quite rare). It was served with sautéed new potatoes. The potatoes were quite lovely, slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Everyone was impressed with the quality of the meat and we soon finished it up. It was excellent.
We had some home-made goat’s cheeses to help mop up our remaining red wine. These were very good, flavoursome and pleasingly lacking in goat sweat character.
I had a different dessert to everyone else as I am off wheat at the moment, it was an excellent duo of very eggy creme caramel. Everyone else had a rather baroque looking cake which seemed to slip down a treat. This is us before attacking the cake:
The meal was very reasonably priced, we paid €40 per head plus [link2post id=”1402″]wine[/link2post] (note: some of those wine we brought along ourselves, thanks to brilliant negotiation by our host). It was an excellent, relaxed meal in charming circumstances. I hope I get to visit again.
Contact: Ferme de la Ruchotte, 21360 Bligny sur Ouche. Tel +33 3 80 20 04 79 Fax +33 3 80 20 03 29