My Travel Blog

Chapeau Rouge and Farewell to Rabelo

In my last blog I wrote about the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.  They were the group that purchased Chateau du Clos de Vougeot at the end of WWII.  The chateau is best known for its huge and lavish banquettes.  While surfing the Internet I came across a piece about the 94th conference of the Confrérie des Chevaliers at Chateau du Clos de Vougeot on September 5, 2014.  A jury of 220 wine industry professionals and enlightened amateurs tasted 454 different wines.  Maxime Brunet chaired the tasting, and more important he was voted France’s best young wine sommelier in 2013.  The reason this article caught my attention is because Maxime is the head wine waiter at our favorite restaurant Chapeau Rouge in Dijon.  We ate there a total of four times this past summer and each time Maxime helped us select our wine.  I had no idea how well respected he was.

“Maxime Brunet”

“Restaurant Chapeau Rouge.”

Chapeau Rouge is the name of the hotel where the William Fachot Restaurant is located, though everyone just calls the restaurant Chapeau Rouge.  The hotel is a Best Western located in the center of old Dijon, but don’t let that turn you off.  I can’t speak about the rooms, and while the lobby is not particularly large, it is comfortable, clean and modern. The hotel staff has always been exceptionally professional, gracious and helpful.

Like so many French restaurants Chapeau Rouge offers a fixed price menu, but at a couple of different levels.  You can order three, four, or five course meals.  Our impression was that the vast majority of their patrons ordered from the fixed price menu rather than a la carte.  One of the advantages of ordering from the fixed price menu is the amuse-bouche, which Lisa and I particularly enjoy.  Consider these tasty little tidbits a nice freebie that comes with your meal.  Amuse-bouche literally translates to, “mouth-amuser.”  They are small bite sized portions served to prepare you for the dinning experience.  They are not on the menu, but rather intended to offer a glimpse into what the Chef’s approach to the culinary experience is.

“A little amuse-bouche.”

“Wine from Savigny-les-Beaune where we saw the airplanes and race cars.”

The restaurant’s décor may not be to everyone’s liking, though Lisa and I certainly approve.  We have found the wait staff to be impeccable from the minute you walk into the hotel lobby.  They are not intrusive, but always there when you need them.  And don’t forget the brioche.  It is unbelievable, and I could make a meal of it.  If you are ever in Dijon, and feel like splurging on a meal, definitely give Chapeau Rouge a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

“The fish course.”

“The meat course.”


“A little more amuse-bouche.”

Lisa and I are back in Southern California enjoying the sunny weather, and won’t return to Rabelo until early May.  Our big baby has been winterized, and is securely tied up at her mooring in Burgundy while neighbors Bob and Linda keep a close eye on her. After almost 150 installments of Living Barge I’ve decided to take a short break.  We haven’t finalized our plans for this year, but my guess is that we will take Rabelo to Paris and then back to Burgundy via Champagne.  Of course there will be a number of stops in between like Chalon sur Soane, Roanne and Sancerre for starters.  We wish you the very best for 2015.  Please come join us on our next adventure when Living Barge returns in May.

“We already miss our big baby.”


-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.