Many years ago, we went to Alain Chapel in August. Chapel had recently died, but Madame Chapel was very much in evidence. However, being neophytes, we didn’t realize that much of France is closed in August and those that are open are operating with “the second string.”
In any case, we ordered the tuna done like steak tartare. The tuna was gray, overcooked and tasteless. I did complain and sent it back. The next piece was equally overcooked and I gave up. We went to the bar for an after dinner drink and the maitre d’ suggested that we taste the 1945 Chartreuse Tarragon, which was a favorite of Alain Chapel. We asked how much and were told it was $100 a glass. We asked for a half a glass, drank that and then asked for the second half. It was that good.
Soon after, we went up to our room to bed. About 20 minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Thinking, what did we do wrong now, we cautiously opened the door and were surprised to see the maitre d’ with the Chartreuse Tarragon with at least 6 glasses remaining in the bottle. He said that Madame Chapel wanted us to have the bottle and hoped that we would remember our stay at Mionnay fondly. Now that is what I would call exceptional service.