Wine Dine and Play: Le Grand Chancelier

Le Grand Chancelier



















A Grand Country Gem
Cheverny, France
Cuisine Style: French, Country French
Average Price: $$$
Overall Rating: 5/5
Dined in: October 2010
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:




The city of Cheverny is a commune in the Loir-et-Cher, a French department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. It is located south of the city of Blois and east of Tours and 125 miles (200 km) from Paris in the famous Loire Valley. This is where during some Château tours with a buddy of mine we had lunch at the Le Grand Chancelier. This review is based on that lunch; so travel the length of the Loire River drinking wine, dine and play like the Nobles and Kings of the past, and immerse yourself in the history and culture of France. 

The Loire Valley in central France is a massive area defined by the boundaries of the Loire River. At 630 miles, it is the longest in France beginning at Mont Gerbier de Jonc in the Cévennes Mountain ranges west of Valence, traveling north to Nevers where the Allier River joins in at the left bank. From there it then cuts west after passing through Orléans and continues on through Blois, Tours, Nantes, and finally dumps out into the Bay of Biscay at St Nazaire.

The Loire is defined by its wines, impressive châteaux (castles), and amazing gardens. In 2000, UNESCO added the central part of the Loire River Valley to its list of World Heritage Sites. It is characterized by its rich cultural landscape, illustrating the ideals of the Renaissance on Western European thought and architecture. The Loire is home to over 100 castles in total. When French Kings began building their castles in this lush river valley, Nobles soon followed suit, not wanting to be far from the seat of power. After King Francois I shifted power back to Paris from the Loire in the 16th century, the Loire became a popular summer residence for Kings and Nobles alike, who would escape to the rolling green hills and countryside for the summer months. Today, these castles serve as private homes, bed and breakfasts, and major tourist sites. Some of the more famous castles include:
Château de Chenonceau
Château de Chambord
Château d’Amboise
Château de Villandry
Château de Cheverny
Château Royal de Blois

I Stayed the night near the Château de Chambord at the Gîtes du Domaine national de Chambord - Cerf et Salamandre hotel met up with my friend and traveled west to the city of Blois then south to the city of Cheverny where we toured the Château de Cheverny, followed by lunch at the Le Grand Chancelier. After the lunch, it would be time to move onto the Château de Chenonceau before moving south to Bordeaux - For A Sip and Taste.

Château de Cheverny

The atmosphere of the restaurant was very inviting, a country feels in an older stucco building, very bright with windows every few feet, round tables with well designed wooden chairs, pale green and beige table clothes with flowers and plants on the ledges. Near the entrance is a fireplace where there are chalkboards hanging on either side with the daily specials, and above the mantel, a unique local art workpiece, along with other art pieces throughout. There were few tables as it was the start of lunch. The tables were small and large through the groups were relatively quite making the ambiance very enjoyable. This was the perfect place for tourists like ourselves, business meeting lunches, intimate dates, or just a local place to enjoy after a long weeks work, which I’m not sure if that exists in France since the law says you can’t work more than 35 hours a week. Damn, I do that in 2 1/2 days!! 
The menu was broken down by:
    • Menu à 22 € - a prefix
    • Menu à 25 € - a prefix
    • Entrée - starters
    • Plats - main course entrees
    • Fromage - cheese
    • Desserts
I began the meal by ordering a bottle of Sancerre from Domaine Hubart Brouchard Wines. If you are in France, then why not enjoy some wine for lunch? This white wine is full of freshness and reveals its exceptional Sauvignon Blanc character of being dry and fruity. On the palate, you get hints of clay, flint, and limestone and offers a very elegant floral and vegetal finish according to the winemaker. It is a racy, yet refreshing wine with zippy citrus, lemongrass, gooseberry and chalky minerality. The Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc varietal in a region further to the eastern side of the valley sitting on the Loire River east of Bourges. Often overshadowed, the red wines of Sancerre are just as elegant with expression grapes such as Pinot Noir.

The Loire Valley is world-famous for its many vineyards and excellent wines. In fact, the Loire is France’s third largest wine region and is the second largest region for sparkling wine (after Champagne). It is home to over 4000 wineries that produce an array of elegant, quality wines. The valley is broken down by three subregions, the lower, middle, and the upper Loire.

Lower Loire: Is made up of the Muscadet, Folle Blanche for (Cognac), and Melon du Bourgogne grapes, with smaller amounts of off-dry rosé and lighter reds like Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Grolleau. Grolleau is indigenous to the Loire, making a great off-dry Anjou rosé,

Middle Loire: Chenin Blanc, Pinot GrisCabernet Franc, Arbois, Pineau d’Aunis, and Romorantin grapes which are all indigenous to the Loire and found only in Cour-Cheverny AOP. For red grape wines, Malbec is referred to as “Côt” in the Loire, while other varieties include Gamay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Saumur which is used for sparkling wine.

Upper Loire: This is where the main and more famous grape variety is grown; Sauvignon Blanc: aka Blanc Fumé (smokey white). Also is Chasselas, Sacy: aka Tressailier, and Pinot Gris called (Malvoisie “mal-vwah-szee”) grapes.


The cool climate of the Loire ensures that the wines will always have a lean acidity that balances well with their fruit and alcohol. They show their best qualities in their youth and are great with many foods, plus they possess enough flavor and body to stand up to almost all styles of cooking.

We both had the pre-fixe Menu à 25 €, a three-course meal starting with my buddy having the “Cuisse de canard confit” a duck confit, thinly sliced over a warm potato salad with pimento and carrot garnish. When I took a taste the duck was perfectly prepared, but the potato was a little hard, as if not cooked all the way.

Duck confit

I chose the “Terrine de Lapin de Montlouis-Sur-Loire et salade verte”. (fournisseur: Sologne Frais). This was a rabbit terrine foie gras dish from the Montlouis-Sur-Loire served with a green salad. The supplier was Sologne Frais. It had a very mild taste, pairing perfectly with the salad, and going down nicely with the wine. 

Rabbit terrine foie gras

The second course for my friend was the “Pâtes fraîches au saumon fumé” a fresh pasta with smoked salmon with a carrot and mushroom vegetable, and olive garnish. For my entree I had the stuffed pigeon with a fried potato, sitting in a velouté sauce with garnished broccoli and carrots. A beautifully prepared dish, steaming hot, though perfectly cooked, and full of juices. A fantastic dish.

Stuffed pigeon

Dessert:
I chose the “Assortiment de 3 fromages de vache fermiers et sa petite salade.
Fromages de Vache fermiers locaux provenant du Domaine du Croc du Merle, Muides-sur-Loire” which was an assortment of 3 farm cow pieces of cheese and a small salad. The cheeses were local cows milk cheeses from the Domaine du Croc du Merle in Muides-sur-Loire. Another item that looked good was the “Gâteau solognot sur coulis de fruits rouges et crème anglaise” which was a Solognot cake over a red fruit coulis and custard.

3 farm cow pieces of cheese

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

France:


Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.


Other Noteworthy French Cuisine Articles & Restaurants:
Aria Restaurant Modern Australian haute cuisine in Sydney, Australia
Bistrot La Minette Charming French Bistro with movie filmed terrace in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
BLT Restaurants Swanky French-American Steakhouse chain (now called Laurent Torendal)
Fleur de Lys Lavish French-Californian by Hubert Keller in San Francisco, California
HobNob Restaurant French & Canadian cuisine at The Charles Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
La Colombe Country-style local ingredients w/French flair in Cape Town, South Africa
La Cote Basque Winehouse French & continental cuisine in Gulfport, Florida
La Petite Maison Relaxed French-Italian Restaurant at the DFIC in Dubai, UAE
L’Ecrivain Seasonal Irish ingredients with full modern French gastronomic dining in Dublin, Ireland
Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire Posh and artful French cuisine + culinary experimentalism in Dubai, UAE
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud Impeccably prepared French fine dining in Dublin, Ireland
Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B) Bistro w/Southern & Lowcountry cuisine in Charleston, S. Carolina
Tetsuya’s Eclectic French-Asian Tasting Menu restaurant in Sydney, Australia
The Brasserie at the Café de Paris A Parisian style bistro rendez-vous in Monte-Carlo, Monaco
The Dutch Kitchen Buffet of Dutch and French cuisine at the Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam 
The French Laundry French-American fine dining restaurant in Yountville, California
The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français African-French tasting menu in Franschhoek, SA
The Test Kitchen Modern eclectic and Nouvelle Latin cuisine in Cape Town, South Africa

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary


Other restaurants and articles in France on Wine, Dine, and Play:

A tasting of the Vougeot AOC, caves, and the Hospices de Beaune
Burgundy, France
Haute French Restaurant
 Paris, France
Wine tours and restaurants 
Bordeaux, France
Is Michelin at fault?

A Parisian style bistro rendez-vous
Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Haute Gastronomique French restaurant & bistro 
Bordeaux, France


See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country






Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Le Grand Chancelier a 5 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they surpassed outstanding and were extraordinary.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Ambiance
10
10
0
Food quality
10
9
1
Plate presentation
8
8
0
Customer service
10
9
1
Alcohol and other beverages
10
8
1
Total regular points awarded
48
44
3
Total percentage Before Bonus

0.916666666666667

“Wow” factor BONUS
5
2
0
Total bonus percentage

0.0416666666666667

Total percentage with a bonus for the final star rating

0.958333333333333

Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5
5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**



***

Overall Star Rating:
5 of 5 Stars: 
96% Rating with a 2 point “wow” bonus
An Extraordinary Dining Experience
Corkage fee’s:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual or conservative dining
Cuisine Style:
French
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Farm to Fork, Grass Fed, Local, Pescatarian, Vegetarian Options
Reservations:
Not Required, But Recommended
Walk-Ins:
Not accepted, Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Smart casual or Conservative attire
Child policy:


The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Experiences:
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Trendy, Great outdoor dining, Good for special occasions, Beautiful décor, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Payments:
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Parking:
a Public lot or Street meter parking
Wifi
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Low
Smoking:
Nonsmoking restaurant, and nonsmoking patio
Patio or terrace:
Yes




Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)


**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

Currency:
Price
European Union (EUR)
€€€
United States Dollar (USD)
$$$
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
£££
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
$$$$
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
¥¥¥¥¥
European Union (EUR)
€€€




Le Grand Chancelier:

2, rue du Chêne des Dames
41700 Cheverny




Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+33 (02) 54 79 22 57
Online reservations
Email Contact:
Serving hours:
Central European Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC + 1:00) or
Central European Summer time UTC + 2:00
Thur-Mon
10:00 am - 8:30 pm
Tue-Wed
10:00 am - 6:30 pm
Social Media 
Accolades:





****
The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…

Taste of tribal Zimbabwe cuisine
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Vibrant Pan-Indian Cuisine
Colnbrook, Slough, Berkshire, England, UK
Stylish modern Spanish and global cuisine
Dubai Creek, Dubai, UAE




Other Pictures:

Blois  
Château de Cheverny
Château de Cheverny 
Château map 
Salmon dish


“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)


Who is John Galt?


TTFN




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