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A friend recommended a stop at La Ferme de La Ruchotte in Bligny sur Ouche and we arranged to have lunch there. After spending all morning wandering the old streets of Chalon-sur-Saône for market day, we found our way up the winding roads to Bligny sur Ouche, which is about 20 kilometers from Beaune. We look forward to the opportunity to explore this area more as Bligny appears to be a picturesque and traditional village.

The lay of the land

We arrived at La ferme de La Ruchotte a little early and found the chef’s family having lunch. We said hello and took a walk around the farm.

Mouton Solognot grazing with an unidentified friend at Le Ferme de La Ruchotte

Mouton Solognot grazing with an unidentified friend

First we strolled toward a small shelter housing the sheep. The impressions we got of the Ferme were of the plentiful, green natural countryside and the ample space the small groups of animals have. We got a strong feeling when we were here that this is how things should be on a farm – taking in the pastoral scene which was like something from a romantic imagination or childhood story books. As we got closer to the flock, some protective sheepdogs deterred us from coming any closer and we turned back the other way towards the farm buildings. We took a left back down the road toward the entrance and encountered a huge field on a neighbor’s farm, where several families of white Charolais cattle were grazing under a shady tree. It was lovely to see mothers nursing their calves, young cows playing together and older ones napping in the tall grass.

Family style dining

We walked back to the restaurant and were seated at a long table by the chef’s wife Eva and were thankful for the carafe d’eau and started to relax and enjoy looking around the rustic dining room. Two multi-generation families sat on either side of us and we all settled in for the three-hour dining experience to follow. The food was served family style within your own party and it was excellently prepared by Frédéric Menager, who describes himself as a “chef in the heart of the forest”. He has worked in various Michelin starred restaurants in Paris and Burgundy and now finds himself lauded by critics and guidebooks at his secluded farm. He prides himself not only on his collection of heirloom breeds, but also the bread they make on site and his excellent local group of biologique purveyors supplying fromage, flour, oils, vegetables and fruits for the kitchen.

Farm dog at Le Ferme de La Ruchotte

The wine list

The hours we spent there were exceedingly pleasant and we also enjoyed the wine list which was carefully selected by Frédéric and Eva Menager, with a leaning towards organic producers.  We thoroughly enjoyed a 2007 Comtes Lafon Monthélie Blanc, which was very refreshing on this warm summer day.

Compliments to the chef

Porc Gascon and Gauloise dorée at Le Ferme de La Ruchotte

Porc Gascon and Gauloise dorée

Our main course was the lamb, which was the Mouton Solognot – the heirloom breed of sheep we saw when we first arrived. We had the opportunity to thank the chef and ask him what he did to make our food taste so good.  Chef Menager humbly and simply stated that it has everything to do with the quality of ingredients “quality in and quality out.”

Find out more about La Ferme de La Ruchotte

La Ferme de La Ruchotte website:

Plan on reserving well in advance, arriving on time and on spending around 3 hours enjoying gastronomique bourguignonne cuisine. Since this is a small, hard-working family restaurant and farm, you must keep your appointment since they have made many preparations for those that reserve.