Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 553: Day 2 in Etoges

Fromagical's European vacation means a break in our weekly traditions which I hope my dear readers are all ok with...so let's get straight to day two! Well, first off we need to give a brief recap of last night's dinner at our hotel, Chateau d'Etoges, primarily a prix fixe of "menu" sort of restaurant. For those of us who didn't want meat, they had a fabulous vegetarian menu offering the choice of a tomato tart, crispy vegetable spring rolls, salad, scrambled eggs, a Spelt dish, an omelet and a simply prepared pasta. One had the option to choose two of the above and then have cheese and dessert and without going to in-depth into last night's cheeses, let me just tell you that the fresh goat's milk Chevre with mustard seed was to die for as was the camembert aux calvados. Cheeses in this region of France, as in most other regions was excellent but the experimentative options enforced the creativity present.

After a good night's sleep and a run in the vines, we headed out to Reims, where all of the
French kings got crowned and one of the Champagne region's hot spots. Full of champagne houses, restaurants and life. In Reims, we visited the oldest Chamagne house in the region -- Ruinart. Caves that were over 50 meters deep, an engaging tour guide who obviously was passionate about the process and the consequential wine produced. It was the sort of tour that dwarfed you because of the history, depth of the chalk caves and the constant striving for greatness.

After Ruinart, a drive to Epernay for lunch at Le Brasserie de la Banque, located on one of Epernay's many roundabouts, at least this one isn't under construction. Good simple food -- crisp refreshing salads, farm fresh fruit and an excellent of selection of local foods and cheeses, you couldn't go wrong with anything here.

The day was finished up with a visit to Moet & Chandon and a relaxing glass of
Champagne on our hotel's gorgeous property before dinner. Stay tuned tomorrow for an in-depth review of tonight's dinner, tomorrow's adventures and more!

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