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"La Cote St. Jacques" - Joigny aaaaaaaaaMichel & Jean-Michel Lorain

Joigny is a small town situated in the north-western part of Bourgogne, some 160 km from Paris. There is nothing much in this town to attract the visitor except for the world renowned culinary shrine - La Cote St. Jacques.
We spent two nights (and yes, two dinners!) at this extraordinary hotel and restaurant. Our two rooms (actually two spacious suites) were the best they could offer and were the most sumptuous one can think of. It seems each room was designed and decorated by a different architect. Both overlooked the Yonne river with its beautiful autumnal colors. Our room was light green and pink, while our friends' room was black and gold. Very different in style, but both exquisitely appointed in the best taste imaginable.
For the first night our chef was Jean-Michel, Michel Lorain's son. On our second night we tasted the fare of the father.
Words are short to describe the divine pleasure of the two sublime dinners. The food (both taste, texture and appearance), the extraordinary wines, the perfect service, the conviviality of the Lorains - all contributed to our perfect enjoyment.
As we had between ourselves several identical dishes on both nights, I'll just list here dryly the different items and wines we had for both dinners. You'll have to imagine what it really was like...

Salade tiede de Homard Breton, mousseline legere au Curry, Legumes d'hiver, Pourpier et Pissentli blanc
(Warm Salad of Brittany Lobster with a light creamy curry sauce, winter Vegetables and Dandelion)
Langoustines bretonnes roties, Oignons nouveaux et Celeri branche, Nage au Thym citron
(Roasted Brittany Langoustines, new Onions and Celery, light Lemon-Thyme Juice)
Jambonnettes de Grenouilles, Aubergines et Tomates sechees, sauce vinigrette emulsionnee a la Chlorophylle
(Frog's legs, dried tomatoes, Aubergines and vinaigrette sauce emulsified with Chlorophyll)
La Salade tiede de Rougets aux Artichauts et aux Aromates
(Warm Salade of red-mullet with Artichoke and herbs)
Homard Breton aux Asperges vertes et aux Girolles, sauce Fleurette au Romarin
(Brittany Lobster with Girolle Mushrooms and green Asparagus, Rosemary sauce)
Rable de jeune Lapin au Lard, Artichauts poivrades et Mousseline de Cresson, Galette croustillante a la moutarde
(Young Rabbit Meat barded in Bacon, with Artichokes and Watercress chiffon, Crusty Mustard Tart)
Filet de Chevreuil roti, gratin de Topinambours a la Truffe et Marrons confit
(Roast fillet of venison, Jerusalem Artichoke gratin with Truffles and candied Chestnuts)
Canard Sauvage aux Figues, Puree de Potimarron et Betterave sucriere
(Wild duck with figs, Puree of Chestnut-tasting pumpkin and sugar Beet)
Le Perdreau cuit en Coeur de Chou, embeurree de Choux de Bruxelles, Foie gras et Truffe
(Roasted Partridge encased in Cabbage, stuffed with Choux de Bruxelles, Foie gras and Truffles)
Canard croise roti entier sauce aux petits Fruits, Tarte fine de Legumes nouveaux au Cumin et friture d'Herbes
(Whole roasted Duckling with Fruit sauce, vegetables with Cumin in pastry and deep-fried Herbs)
Foie gras de Canard poele, petite Poire confite et Celeri frit, sauce aux Airelles
(Pan-fried duck foie gras with confit pear, fried celery and cranberry sauce)
Truffe aux Choux "Michel Lorain"
(Truffles in Cabbage, "Michel Lorain")
Soupe de Fruits rouges au jus de Fraises et Sorbet au Lait fermier
('Soup' of red forest fruits in strawberry sauce with milk-based Sorbet)
Mille-feuille aux trois Cremes legers
(Puff pastry with three different light Cream)
Souffle aux fruits de la Passion
(Passion fruit souffle)
Creme vanille et Langue de chat au Mangues caramelizes
(Vanilla cream and "Cats Tongues" in caramelized Mangoes)
Petit Sable aux Agrumes, creme legere au Citron et sorbet Mandarine
(Slices of citrus fruits in light lemon cream and Mandarine sorbet)
Assiette de Sorbets
(Sorbets assortment)
Le Plateau des Fromages
(Cheese Plate)

All that of course does not include the various 'presents' that appeared before, between, and after...
The best dish? Very hard to single out one item, but I think the consensus was for the 'Langoustines Roties'

You don't imagine we went thru all this dry-mouthed, right? Here are the humble liquids that accompanied these simple fares:

Champagne "Grande Couvee", Krug

Dense, full-bodied, very dry and creamy. Superlative quality. First and foremost - a great wine. Extraordinary!
MARK: 19/20.

1989 Chablis - Grand Cru "Bougros", Regnard

Very rich nose, wood is apparent though not obstructive. Really dry but rich on the palate with a touch of sweetish tone that hangs onto the long finish. Excellent plus!
MARK: 17+/20.

1990 Puligny - Les Combettes, Dom. Leflaive

Flowers, pears and apples on the nose. Restrained wood. Extremely elegant and stylish. Full bodied but not 'fat' or buttery. Fantastic balance. Super breed. Superb!
MARK: 18/20.

1990 Chambertin, A. Rousseau

Impressive deep color. Immense nose that developed in the glass for a long hour. The most beautiful and delicate 'Bourgogne Nose' together with fresh cherries and cassis. Rich and opulent taste, super concentration and a perfect balance. A giant wine that is extraordinary plus now but will no doubt become 'divine' in a few years.
(This wine was so good and so reasonably priced that I persuaded Michel Lorain to sell me one of his remaining three bottles to take home...)
MARK: 19+/20.

Yak, Amihai, Dafna, Jean-Michel Lorain, Michel Lorain, Dorit

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.