Dine With Me: Le Bistrot Du Palais
Alright. Before we jump into what is likely my most favorite ‘dine with me’ ever, lets set the mood with some music. Click this link, press play, and then come back and read this post. This song actually played in the restaurant, and it seems only fitting that you listen while taking a virtual trip to “Le Bistrot du Palais,” the most wonderful french restaurant in Auxerre, France.
This is Chez Joseph. He is the chef owner of this beautiful little restaurant in Auxerre, France.
Each day before opening for dinner (at 7:00 p.m., mind you, which is super late for me!), he hand writes the menu on several different chalk boards around the restaurant. Hand written means that the google translate app was not exactly helpful, and ordering was quite entertaining.
When we asked Chez Joseph for help translating, there was a lot of hand motioning going on. Chicken tart became arm flapping like a chicken with “bock bock bock” sound effects. One of the most frustrating, and yet also fun things about traveling is attempts at communication between two people who don’t speak the same language.
One of the coolest things about eating here is the restaurant itself. It really feels like a museum, a time warp from France in the 50s and 60s.
Almost everything in the restaurant has character. One of the things that stood out to me was this old butcher block that had been soused and worn down that there was a dent in the center. In a world full of things that are brand new and replaced often, I love seeing things like this. It was repurposed in the restaurant as a table to store the cutlery and miscellaneous items to set the table.
Let’s talk food, though. Of all of the places that we ate at in France, this place was hands down my favorite. It was traditional French, with everything from the most intense, smelly cheese, to perfectly cooked beef bourguignon. My mom took a walk on the wild side and ordered the snails, something that I didn’t touch with a ten foot pole. The desserts were also amazing. I had the best tiramisu EVER, even better than the tiramisu that I had in Italy. You could tell that each dish was finessed with love by Chez Joseph, and it was a really magical experience as a whole.
The Borgogne region of France, where Auxerre is located, is known for it’s wine. Naturally we killed a few bottles of this really wonderful Pinot Noir.
It really was not only a very special meal, but a very special place, run by a very special person. One of my absolute favorite memories.