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Ternant: La Ferme de Rolle

Hameau de Rolle , Phone: 03 80 61 40 10

Closing day: Wednesday and month of February

Reviewed by: kaydee from TN, review #1605

When: 2004

Very special restaurant in the countryside of Burgundy and the Route des Grands Crus. Specialty is ham roasted over an open spit. Wonderful environment!

Directions: Quite remote, but less than 20 minutes from Gevrey-Chambertain. Look for small signs when you get to Ternant.

La Ferme de Rolle (near Ternant in Burgundy), photo by Kathy Wood

We visited this restaurant in mid-September 2004, after a very pleasant morning driving along the Route des Grands Crus. We had visited the famous château at the Clos de Vougeot, followed by a wine tasting at the nearby Château de Tour. By the time we finished with our tasting it was 1:15 pm, so we asked the woman who was working with us for a recommendation for lunch. I was thinking perhaps a small café in the nearest village. She immediately recommended La Ferme de Rolle, which she said was only 15 minutes away.

The restaurant was way back up in the hills. We wound our way through the small villages of Curley and Ternant, then further back in the country. Fortunately, once we got to Ternant, there were small signs pointing us the right way to La Ferme de Rolle. We would never have found this place on our own.

We arrived about 1:40 pm, late for lunch. A large, loud group was eating outside on the covered terrace. We mentioned the wine-tasting woman's name to the waiter. At first he looked at his watch and said no, like, how dare we show up this late. Then he went inside, came back out, and said OK. Perhaps using her name helped, or perhaps it was our charm and sincere effort to communicate in French! We decided to sit inside the farmhouse as it was a bit cool to sit outside. The interior was very quaint and very French, with checkered tablecloths and a big fire with two big hams cooking on a spit. There was one group of six and two or three tables of two people.

Charley and I ordered the set meal of four courses, with the ham as our main course since it appeared to be their specialty. Kelly (age 11 at the time) didn’t want to order the Menu L’Enfant because she was afraid she’d get a tiny, pitiful dessert. She wanted to be sure she’d get a big bowl of ice cream or sorbet. Although it’s a lot more expensive for her to order off the regular meal, we wanted her to have a good experience. She ordered chicken with pomme frites. Charley ordered a pitcher of the house wine.

The first course was a really good salad and great fresh bread. The ham was absolutely wonderful-- we each got a big serving, accompanied by pureed vegetables. The ham came with three sauces: mustard, wine and vinegar, and cheese. Mmmmmm!!! Kelly’s chicken turned out to be a leg and thigh that had been finished on the big grill. She didn’t like the dark meat pieces of chicken too much, too much work to get the meat off the bone, and she didn’t get much meat. She would have preferred the white breast meat.

A couple at a nearby table came over as they were leaving and told us we’d made a great choice of a restaurant. They were from North Carolina and said they come here every year.

Our third course was a cheese course. The waiter brought an enormous tray of cheeses, quickly rattled off what they each were, and left the big tray at our table. It was fun to try the different cheeses, though I wish they were labeled so I could remember which ones I liked the best.

We were able to order our desserts off the extensive dessert menu, and we all decided to have ice cream desserts. We finished our meal about the time the two groups were finishing, so I didn’t feel we had delayed the staff with our late arrival. We had a really wonderful meal. Since my birthday was two days later, I decided that we would consider this my special birthday lunch.

We paid 67.50 euro for lunch for three, including house wine.

We absolutely recommend this restaurant. At a different time of year, I suspect reservations would be necessary. And be sure to arrive closer to noon for lunch!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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