HOTEL DU MORVAN, Luzy, Burgundy
The Morvan Regional Natural Park is one of about 46 scattered across France. It covers 280,000 hectares and has a resident human population of about 71,000. The Morvan is popular with painters, walkers, cyclists, anglers and foragers - there are fish in the lakes and a great variety of mushrooms in the forests in autumn. The village of Luzy is at the southern end of the park, between Bourbon-Lancy and Autun. Its Hotel du Morvan has a reputation for high quality, sophisticated food, with an emphasis on the produce and traditions of the region, but with a modern twist. Diners come from miles away to have chef Jerome Raymond’s “thousand & one flavours” degustation menu at €89, but our more modest 3 course, €29 market menu was full of delicious surprises and quite enough for us old folk.
The amuse bouche set the tone for the meal; a narrow rectangular plate held an impressive line up of tiny dishes - a ball of fish and herbs, a mushroom log, a tiny bowl of butternut soup with vanilla & chocolate, a creamy chicken log, a gorgeous ball of fresh goat cheese ice cream, and a mushroom on sweet short pastry base. It was a beautifully made dinner in miniature.
The creative flavour combinations continued with a starter of mackerel with herring eggs on cauliflower puree with a hazelnut garnish, and one of salmon confit with beef heart tomatoes, garnished with passion fruit and black sesame seeds. All the unexpected flavour and texture combinations worked so well; they weren’t pointless, noovy extras. Next, Robert’s lamb with Jerusalem artichoke came with a liquorice jus, which echoed the flavour of the vegetable and enhanced the sweetness of the meat. There are plenty of lakes in the Morvan park and the Omble Chevalier (char) on my plate was probably caught in one of them. It’s a delicate fish, and the subtle flavours of parsnip, aubergine, adzuki beans were just what it needed.
We both chose the same pudding - a glorious fudgy mixture of dark and milk chocolate in a meringue nest, with vanilla ice-cream, served on a chunk of bark that resembled the chocolate, but not so much that we tried to eat it!
The service was smooth and friendly and the staff take great pride in presenting the exceptional dishes that come out of their kitchen. Luzy may be off the beaten track, but it’s still in Burgundy, so the wine list is equally impressive. This isn’t the sort of restaurant you might expect to find in a small village in the wilds of the Morvan, but it’s definitely worth the trip.
Hotel du Morvan, 73 av Dr-Dollet, Luzy - 2024 Chef Jerome Raymond is still getting great reviews for his cuisine and the hotel has 12 modern comfortable rooms.