Just a stone’s throw from the Château de Chambord (2 and 1/2 miles) and the pretty town of Blois (10 km), La Maison d’à Côté, a gourmet restaurant, and charming little hotel continues to excite those drawn to discover this region. So much so that the master of this place, Christophe Hay, received his second star in the Michelin Guide on January 21, 2019, making him one of only five chefs who have managed to obtain this distinction in France. The restaurant combines modern and classic revisited French cuisine while following a more eco-responsible commitment and we can’t get enough!
Discovery of the star chef Christophe Hay
The chef has something impressive going on despite the simplicity he gives off when meeting him. After a five-year stint at Paul Bocuse, in his legendary establishment at Collonges at Mont d’Or, there he was, still in the galaxy Bocuse, chef of the restaurant “Monsieur Paul” in Orlando. This position was then followed by being at the head of the kitchen of the Parisian hotel group “B Signature” (Hotel de Sers, Hotel Edouard 7 …). And now today, Christophe Hay is his own (and brilliant) boss. The Maison d’à Côté is a story of heart and sharing: its core is made up of its four closest employees who are all extremely involved in the company.
A double star chef committed to the helping planet
The charm is turned on within the first few minutes. After all, the a priori are rather positive: Christophe Hay, besides being able to boast about how quickly he got his restaurant into the top 100 French, he is also an eco-responsible chef, cook of his territory and engaged in its terroir. Obviously we like that. He’s very sensitive to climate problems and eager to set an example by taking the quality of the products at La Maison d’à Côté seriously. For good measure, all the produce is supplied from the 32,300 sq. ft. permaculture vegetable garden. The varieties of vegetables and fruits change seasonally and the hives on location help pollinate while also offering 130 lbs. of honey each year. (Side note: Don’t forget to try The Pikeperch fish of the Loire cooked in beeswax)
When local cuisine makes sense
The chef’s eco-friendly approach goes so far that it’s hard to believe that his establishment is not put forward for his commitment to the environment. Examples: the electricity from the restaurants (La Maison d’à Côté and its Bistro annex) comes 100% from a wind source, the composters recycle the waste, the cartons are reused, there is very limited use of any disposable containers …
As for the products themselves, of course they too are in line with this approach: have you ever eaten fish from the Loire? No? Well this is quite normal in fact, because today very few starred restaurants prepare pike, stud, black bass, shad, asp or river lamprey. One of the goal’s of the chef is to bring attention to these forgotten species and to once again value them as sustainable. It had to be damn brave of him for one day in 2015, to decide to stop bringing in other seafood and devote himself to the fish of the Loire river. But after all, what could be more noble of a “great boss” than to try to transcend these “little products”?
The exciting experience of lunching “by Christophe Hay”
Back in December 2013, the chef discovered his “little piece of paradise”. A 100% bucolic village stuck in Chambord, between Blois and Cheverny. The opening was shortly after in 2014 and in 2015, just 6 short impressive months later, the first star arrived. Christophe Hay will admit that he was the first to be surprised.
As for the restaurant, the room is modern, colorful, and bright, with an open kitchen. A guarantee of transparency and conviviality: to deliver a unique experience, you will be served directly by the chef himself along with his staff. From the kitchen to the dining room, from small producers to your plate, there is a fabulous job, between passion and perfection, that the team will share with you.
The plates give pride to the local products of the department with a tasty dishes such as the appetizer of “Sologne caviar, royal potato, hazelnut, and watercress”. Or the “Aspe de Loire, salsify, red onion, and seaweed confit” is a perfect example of the little known yet outstanding fish to discover here. just as is the “Carpe à la Chambord” which marries carp with crayfish, truffle, button mushrooms and an earthy red wine sauce from the Cheverny appellation.
Come see La Maison d’à Côte as one of the extraordinary discoveries of the Loire region.
Good to know :
Maison d’à Côté is located in Montlivault, just 2 hours from Paris.
Stay in bed to prolong the moment. Choose the Tortoise suite with bucolic view of the church.
Address: 17/25 Rue de Chambord, 41350 Montlivault