A few words about the restaurant
In Clochemerle (or Vaux-en-Beaujolais…) people come to discover the site that inspired Gabriel Chevalier as well as Romain and Delphine Barthe’s wonderful gourmet restaurant L’auberge de Clochemerle. As in every village, things tend to change, and one day the couple heard the former town hall was looking for a new purpose in life! The restaurant owners took the challenge and opened L’Echanson, putting Baptiste Fernandez in charge.
The only obligation mandated by the Town Hall: preserve regional native Allain Renoux’s frescoes that adorn the former wedding hall. Delphine and Romain also decided to keep the period tiles intact, whose design inspired their logo.
The idea: a chic, friendly restaurant with a focus on the village, local products and a wine list solely devoted to Beaujolais wines – all appellations – and different growers every month.
A words about you
Baptiste is a local, like the produce. “Together, Romain and I serve dishes made with excellent local produce, in a laid-back, generous and welcoming atmosphere. Here, friendliness is in the dish as well as in the atmosphere. It isn’t uncommon to see tables of 2 that become tables of 4, 6 or 10 as the meal and conversations with nearby tables progress. Our signature dish ‘La Potence’ is one of the best examples of that.”
An anecdote (or two) from behind the scenes
“At the end of a midday meal, a couple of tourists were undecided about what to taste next. They still had a little room for…. a savoury surprise! Yes, a surprise, since even though the cheese platter was wonderfully stocked with local produce, the tourists felt like something else. A challenge that Baptiste was delighted to take up. He whipped up some faisselle cheese seasoned with mustard powder, Sichuan pepper and chopped flat-leaf parsley… Surprised and enchanted, those two tourists returned the very same evening. For that matter, they come back regularly every time they’re in the area.”
A signature dish
“Without a doubt ‘La Potence’ is our convivial signature dish that brings out the friendliness and originality in the tradition. The beef from the Saint-Etienne-des-Oullières butcher shop is flambéed with Beaujolais marc.
And our signature dessert is the ‘Dariole au chocolat’, a chocolate fondant that Romain learned how to make when he was working at Trois Gros.”
A beaujolais wine-and-food pairing
“An andouillette sausage from Braillon’s (Villefranche-sur-Saône), made exclusively of calf’s ruffle and accompanied by young vegetables with a Moulin-à-vent wine from David Large’s Lieu-dit Rochenoire; an easy-to-drink, fruity cuvée that’s not too tannic to enhance the grilled taste of the andouillette.”
One of your “favourite” winegrowers and why
“One? No, several. Every month a different one. In July, it’ll be David Large. He, the chef and I are all practically the same age. He’s a good friend who shares my values. As neighbours, since David lives a stone’s throw from the restaurant, we like to talk about Beaujolais wines, his vintages and reinventing the world… but I’m also really fond of the vintages produced by Yannick de Vermont (Château de Vaux) and Jean Luc Longère (Domaine Longère), to name but a few.”