After a long drive from Blois, our Kangoo arrived in Joigny. Joigny is located along the Yonne River in Burgundy. The following afternoon we’d pick up a Pénichette 1107W from Locaboat. The pénichette, a canal boat, would be our home for the coming week. We arrived early to dine at one of the finest restaurants in the region, La Côte Saint-Jacques. Though La Côte Saint-Jacques is an easy swim from Locaboat’s base dock and our nearby hotel, we chose the longer U-shaped walk and bridge crossing to get the restaurant. Somehow it didn’t seem that coming in sopping wet would be appropriate at a three star Michelin Restaurant.
Seated in the dinning room overlooking the Yonne, we ordered the “Gourmand Menu.” With the food, we had a wine pairing chosen by the restaurant.
Somehow I was expected a more traditionally French restaurant, but the food at Saint-Jacques was modern, perhaps influenced by modern Spanish techniques. Our favorite dishes included “Duck Foie Gras in spicy hot wine, apple-lemon chutney and salads.” I’m not usually a big fan of foie gras, but I’m finding that I seem to like duck foie gras much better than the foie gras from goose. Other favorites included “Roasted and smoked Atlantic lobster, crushed potatoes and buttered lettuce” with its perfectly prepared lobster. “Roasted Pyrénées baby lamb, curry of yellow lentils, little broad beans, green anis juice” would have made the meal by itself. The succulent lamb and beans made this dish comforting.
At many restaurants, either the savory menu items or the desserts are better. For La Côte Saint-Jacques, we preferred the items from the main portion of the menu. The desserts were just not that memorable. One thing we did remember is the cheese. There’s lots of good fromage in France, but La Côte Saint-Jacques staff did a particularly good job of selecting some of the best. It seems that we will be spending the rest of our time in France searching for Roquefort as good as we were served with our meal. We would be happy finding some that is just half as good.
If we do another canal boat trip in Burgundy or are in the area, we’d certainly revisit La Côte Saint-Jacques. Michelin has this one right. The restaurant warrants its three stars.