M. Chapoutier Delivery Truck

During our recent travels through the Côte de Rhône Nord appellations we stopped for a tasting at the M. Chapoutier winery. These wines are some of the best in the appellation but outside in the delivery parking lot was this classic delivery truck.

How I would love to have some wine delivered to our home by this truck!

M. Chapoutier Delivery Truck

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Riccardo Enoteca

This was our first visit to Riccardo Enoteca and I can tell you it will not be our last. Clearly finding a good Italian restaurant in Chicago is not a very difficult exercise, but finding one that absolutely makes you want to return for dinner the next day, is something to share.

The restaurant is the more casual restaurant of the dual restaurants Riccardo Enoteca and Riccardo Trattoria, both located on North Clark in Lincoln Park. We entered the restaurant and were immediately welcomed by the staff in this small but comforting restaurant.

We started out with two glasses of a crisp Prosseco while we took our time examining the menu. There were many wonderful looking items but we kept our focus on what looked like it would be coming out of the wood burning oven.

The meal was excellent and the wine list very extensive and complete.

We strongly recommend Riccardo Enoteca and you can find more information about the restaurant at OpenTable or TripAdvisor.

Riccardo Enoteca

The Wood Burning Fireplace at Riccardo Enoteca.

Riccardo Enoteca

Burrata Genovese, a plate of wonderfully fresh cherry tomatoes with a great pesto sauce. All topped by a tasty slice of Burrata.

Riccardo Enoteca

Vegetali Alla Griglia, a tasty plate of various vegetables including asparagus, egg plant and of course cheese.

Riccardo Enoteca

Scallops Appetizer, which was two large and tasty scallops in a lobster bisque.

Riccardo Enoteca

Pizza Modella, a great pizza of Stracchino, wild mushrooms, arugula, prosciutto, truffle oil. Yummy!

Riccardo Enoteca

Tiramisu, traditional and very good.

Riccardo Enoteca

The staff hard at work but willing to stop and chat with us about how they use the wood burning oven.

Origo Panadería

Having lived in México for over the past ten years one culinary treat we have failed to get (other than at Lalo! in México City) is authentic French baguettes and croissants. Well thanks to our friend Rose Calderon of Morelia, we found our second authentic French boulangerie, this time in Morelia, Michoacán. To emphasize this point, when we decided to move to France last year, one of our criteria for deciding where we were going to live was the quality of the local boulangerie so we visited every boulangerie in each village/hamlet we visited. This hopefully shows how important we view the quality of our bread and croissants, as well as demonstrates that one can live on bread alone (with maybe a little butter and red wine).

So yesterday we had lunch at Origo Panadería and we were blown away. When we entered the restaurant we were greeted by Nico, who is a French trained baker who is helping his friend in getting this restaurant up and running. Not only being very friendly and multi-lingual (we talked English, Spanish and French) he had a great knowledge of the restaurant as well as the process.

To ensure the quality of the products, the restaurant imports their flour and butter (for the croissants) directly from France so there is no loss of quality that you experience when you try to make a traditional baguette or croissants at home when living in México (we know we tried many different methods). Everything is done the traditional methods although they do provide some creative flair to their final products.

We started out with a traditional croissant that was extremely flaky and tasted like it oozed of butter, even though it was not greasy. For our main plate Jo Ann had a sandwich of Gravalax and Goat Cheese on a cereal baguette. I had a pizza of Smoked Salmon with Pears on a Béchamel sauce. Both of these were excellent.

We strongly recommend this restaurant if you are ever in the Morelia area and looking for an enjoyable French treat.

You can find more information about the restaurant on Trip Advisor or Google Maps.

Origo Pandería

Gravalax and Goat Cheese on a cereal baguette.

Origo Pandería

Smoked Salmon with Pears on a Béchamel sauce.

Origo Pandería

The flour mill that the restaurant plans to use to mill the wheat that they are starting to grow here in México.

Origo Pandería

The flour mill that the restaurant plans to use to mill the wheat that they are starting to grow here in México.

Le Tour de Lacanche

We are in the middle of a major renovation (read that as EXTREME MAKE OVER) of our kitchen including taking down some walls and replacing the entire hardwood floor on the first level. However the center piece of the renovation is the Lacanche Pianos Gastronomes, in a deep Rouge Bourgogne.

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The Lacanche brand is manufactured by Société Industrielle de Lacanche S.I.L, which is located in the village of Lacanche, in the department of Côte d’Or. The origin of the business commenced in eighteenth century when the owner of the land decided to combine the local iron ore that ran under his property and use the local wood and water to produce cast iron products.

Originally the produced all types of cast iron stoves (for heating not cuisine) but then in the early 1900s migrated into wood fired stove/ovens. The factory remained in the family until 1972 when it was sold to the Valéo Company, however by 1981 Valéo decided to divest of the business.

That decision created the opportunity for André Augagneur, a former employee to acquire the property who with his son Jean-Jacques have transformed the Lacanche line to a world class manufacturer of Pianos Gastronomes.

When we placed our order for our piano we were informed that they only manufacture the products to order and that it would take six to eight weeks for the piano to be produced. Thus we decided that we should take a trip to Burgundy and visit the factory. Boy are we glad we did ask for a tour.

Upon arriving in the village, you see a town that looks like time has past by, and we had a hard time trying to find the factory. However we finally found these small signs that lead us to the main entrance.

We were given a tour by the sales manager for International Operations so it was great that we could have him explain to us the production process in English. Almost the entire product line is manufactured in this factory and the only process performed elsewhere is the enameling of the pianos.

The factory uses many state of the art techniques including robotics but you still can feel the Artisan pride of the people who manufacture the various parts and for those to handle the assembly. The final step of the process is a computer quality assurance process that tests every combination of usage and only once the piano passes, is the piano given its serial number.

We are now anxiously awaiting the completion of our piano so that it can be shipped to Le Bugue and installed in our cuisine.

You can get more information about Lacanche from their website or from their International website.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the Lacanche Pianos in the showroom.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The entrance to the Lacanche factory.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The machine that cuts out the stainless steel pieces.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the many stamping machines that form the walls of the Lacanche ovens.

Lacanche Factory Tour

Another one of the machines that cut out the stainless steel pieces.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The factory is highly automated using what looks like state of the art robots.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the processes which can not be automated, where the edges of the walls are ground to form the perfect edge. These edges are curved and not straight which provides a stronger joint.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The standard models assembly line. The difference is that for the standard models, the oven travels from station to station and multiple people will work on the oven.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the rouge bourgogne pianos that is almost fully assembled.

Lacanche Factory Tour

A completed Lacanche piano ready for quality control testing. This is the same model that we are buying, but ours will be Burgundy Rouge.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The Lacanche Rotisserie, one of the many options that you can choose from.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the original furnaces that the Lacanche factory used to melt the iron ore.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The Lacanche Logo.

Restaurant Eléonore

It was our last night staying in Monpazier and we decided to have dinner at Restaurant Eléonore. It was a short walk from the house we were staying at, which makes it so nice to be able to enjoy yourself and not worry about the drive home.

I had the à la carte menu with a selection of three plates while Jo Ann had the menu du jour so we were able to have a sample of both menus.

Everything we had that evening was superb and the restaurant has a good (albeit limited) selection of wines from the area and Bordeaux and which were reasonably priced.

The service was outstanding and totally matched the quality of the food and the wine. We strongly recommend this restaurant.

For more information about the restaurant you can check out their website,  The Michelin Guide or TripAdvisor.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Mimosa with Quail Egg, Citron Confit and Cavier, a wonderful Amuse Bouche.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Queues de Langoustines, with a condiment of mangue-papaye and crème coco au ccombawa.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Foie Gras Mi-cuit Eléonore, wiht fine créme carottes and walnut oil dusted with a red wine sea salt. Very Yummy!

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Choco-Caramel-Café, with a creéme glacé sirop d’érable and noix pécan.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Filet de bœf with racines de persil au beurre noisette, white asparagus and a sauce of port and Péridord truffes.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Dos de Saumon with perles de Savoie à l’encre de seiche, leeks and ginger done in papillote and a watercress sauce The Perles de Savoie à l’encre de seiche is pearls of black ink pasta

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Pears poached in wine with a speculoos ice cream and an almond cookie.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Château Terre Vieille Pécharmant 2010, an excellent choice for the night’s meal.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Menu de Restaurant Eléonore à la carte

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Menu Edward the menu of the day

Auberge du Belvedere

It was a cold and somewhat dreary Sunday, so what is better than having lunch at a new restaurant recommended by some friends that we had not been to. This time the restaurant was the Auberge du Belvedere located just outside of Tremolat. The restaurant is clearly one of those out of the way locations and we even made one wrong turn getting there but that is part of the adventure.

When we did find the restaurant, the parking lot was full and as we walked into the restaurant, it was full of local families all having their Sunday lunch together. Sunday lunch in France is not a “fast food” event, so for the Auberge du Belvedere, you need to plan on spending 2 to 2 ½ hours for lunch (which with great conversation is still too short).

The meal starts with a glass of a Kir and then is followed by a multiple course meal. To cut to the chase, everything was excellent and so I will let the photos speak for themselves as to the quality of the food. The service was excellent and we totally enjoyed ourselves.

The restaurant is located at Lieu Dit Rocamadou, 24510 Tremolat, France (+33 5 53 22 49 01) and you can read more about it on their TripAdvisor.com page.

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Menu du jour at the Auberge du Belvedere

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

The potage du jour which was a delicious soup of noodles, chicken and a comforting brooth.

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Pâte de foie gras and a foie de canard. Very yummy.

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

This plate was the Entrée chaude du jour and was roast pork in a heavenly sauce. Very yummy!

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Confit de canard et pommes de terre sautées. Traditional fare that tasted wonderful

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

Confit de canard et pommes de terre sautées. Traditional fare that tasted wonderful

Ferme Auberge du Belvedere

The dessert du jour, which was a light cake with pears, toasted almonds and what tasted like a Poire Williams sauce.

Le Restaurant Victor Hugo

This past week we had lunch at a restaurant in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande which we had found on TripAdvisor.com. The lunch was great as the food was very tasty and fresh, the service outstanding and prices very reasonable.

I had the menu du jour which consisted of three items, a starter of cream of cauliflower soup, a main plate of Veal with pasta and vegetables and a nice apple cake in a yogurt sauce. Priced at €13.90 it was a very nice deal. I also asked the owner his choice for a glass of local wine which was also outstanding.

Jo Ann had a large Salad de Chevre Chaud and a wonderful (I only got a small taste) of a Chocolat Foundaut avec glace de menthe. Not only was it presented beautifully but it was very tasty. Jo Ann also had a glass of the local white wine selected by the owner.

If you are in the area of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande I strongly recommend visiting Le Restaurant Victor Hugo. They are located at 101 rue Victor Hugo, 33220, Sainte Foy-la-Grande. You can find out more about them at TripAdvisor.com.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Le Menu du Jour.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Veloute de chou-fleur.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Blanquette de veau Tagliatelles, légumes. The veal was extremely flavorful as were the vegetables and the pasta.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Salad de Chevre Chaud

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Chocolat Foundaut avec glace de menthe.

Restaurant Victor Hugo

Gâteau au yaourt pommes-caramel. Simple but very good.