The restaurant Le Montrachet is set in the heart of Burgundy wine country, in the village of Puligny Montrachet. The 19th century limestone building has a large dining room with exposed wooden beams, stone floor and well-spaced tables looking out on to a garden. It has a solitary Michelin star. There was a set menu at €62, but from the a la carte menu starters ranged in price from €26 to €33, main courses from €33 to €47, and desserts €13 to €15. There was also a limited three course lunch menu at just €32 (£23).
The wine list was substantial in scope, and not surprisingly had a particular fine selection from Burgundy. Vorbourg Riesling Clos st Landelin 2012 was €55 for a bottle you can pick up in the high street for €36, Michelot Mersault Charmes 2010 was €101 compared to a retail price of €69, and Lafon Mersault Charmes 2009 was €214 for a label with a shop price of €191. Moving up the scale, Bouchard Le Montrachet 2007 was €580 compared to a retail price of €405, and Leflaive Le Montrachet 2000 at €2,500 was actually far below its current market price of €5,962. The Romanee Conti Le Montrachet 1988 at €4,500 was also 15% below what you would current have to pay for this in the UK.
A set of pleasant nibbles began the meal, with gougeres and ham topped with parsley jelly (14/20). My starter was a salad of tomatoes in both cooked and raw form, topped with langoustine tails. The shellfish were a touch overcooked but the tomatoes were even more disappointing, lacking flavour and served very cold (barely 12/20). Snails in garlic butter were vastly better, having good texture and plenty of garlic flavour (16/20).
Fortunately Poulet Bresse was carefully handled, the breast served with a reduction of cooking juices, then a second serving of the leg with a consommé. The chicken had lovely flavour and was accurately cooked (17/20). Apricots in pastry leaves flavoured with thyme and Amaretto was good, the fruit having plenty of tartness, the pastry nicely made (16/20). Coffee was excellent.
Service was quite good, at least to start with, but rather fell apart towards the end of service. The sommelier was excellent and the staff friendly, though seeming rather distracted towards the end. The bill came to €318 (£231) a head, but that was with some pretty serious wine. If you shared a modest bottle then a typical cost per head might be around £90. Overall the experience was a touch erratic, but the best dishes were certainly excellent and the setting is very attractive.