We were very excited about day three of Staycation, as we were in possession of a highly-coveted reservation at the Restaurant l’Ousteau de Beaumanière. This restaurant has TWO Michelin stars, and if you’re unfamiliar with the whole star system, this is a very, very big deal. According to Wikipedia, “The guide awards one to three stars to a small number of restaurants of outstanding quality. Stars are awarded sparingly; for instance, in the UK and Ireland 2004 guide, out of 5,500 entries, there are 98 with one star (“a very good restaurant in its category, worth a stop”), 11 with two stars (“excellent cooking, worth a detour”), and only 4 with three stars (“exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”).”
We had never been to a two star restaurant before and were very excited to be dining someplace that people like Johnny Depp, Hugh Grant and the Queen of England had thought was worth a visit. Every detail was perfect, and there are photos of each course under “photos” at right. We had a wonderful time. That is, until we got home. When we got home, I didn’t feel at all well. I chalked it up to having overeaten and tried to sleep. But I was too uncomfortable to sleep. Around four in the morning, I started feeling even worse. Johann woke early and felt similarly unwell. And before you ask, yes, we ordered a meal that was served à deux, so we both had exactly the same thing.
We spent most of day four of Staycation feeling sick. Johann even called the restaurant to ask whether anyone else had felt ill after their dinner on Sunday night, and was promised call back from the mâitre ‘d, a call which never happened. It was certainly a lovely place and we enjoyed our meal, but it wasn’t worth the price, either when the bill came or in the trouble that followed. And they didn’t even have the class to return our call. But the experience did clear up one thing for me. I am definitely not a foodie. While I love fine dining as much as the next person, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the meal I was served at this two star restaurant and the ones I had at one star restaurants (La Peitite Maison, Cadieu, Château Curzay). I mean, sure, our dinner was delicious and the wine was wonderful… But TWICE as delicious? Twice as wonderful? And worth twice as much as an already rather expensive restaurant? I just didn’t see it. If you need me, I’ll be online trying to find a nice greasy diner that serves a good burger.