Burgundy is France’s richest province, historically, culturally, and, of course, gastronomically. The region boasts an enviable and proud tradition of culinary excellence and grand winemaking traditions, with the highly sought-after flavors of both red and white Burgundy in ever-growing demand today. And where there are passionate vignerons, a plethora of fine restaurants soon follows. For Burgundians are extremely discerning in their food choices and despite the influx of tourism across the area in recent years, standards remain impeccably high. Moreover, new faces and a more avant-garde approach from the emergent Burgundian firmament have ensured that the region is in no danger of slipping into gastronomic inertia; both the traditional and molecular can now be encountered across the Burgundian landscape.
The Cote d’Or region, and indeed Beaujolais continue to offer an impressive diversity of restaurants, from the Michelin-starred refinement of L’Edem, to the extreme comfort of local bistros, serving mouthwatering local dishes at attractive prices. But regardless of the venue, central to the local culinary philosophy is only using the freshest, seasonal ingredients locally sourced as much as possible. Resident chefs are fortunate to have access to some of the best produce and meat in France: Bresse chickens, Charolais beef, Epoisses cheese (and many more) wild game, the list goes on. Classical dishes include: Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au vin and Escargot de Bourgourne but this barely scratches the surface. So, in this remarkable part of France, which certainly doesn’t lack taste, prepare to soak up the riches and amazing flavors among our selection of top restaurants in Burgundy and Beaujolais. Bon Appetit
CELLAR TOURS SELECTION OF PREFERRED RESTAURANTS IN BURGUNDY AND BEAUJOLAIS:
36, place d’Armes , Chagny 71150
Arguably the region’s most lauded restaurant, Maison Lameloise is inseparable from Burgundian tradition. With a coveted three Michelin stars to its name, it has been offering unparalleled service, food and wine for many years, and was family run for three generations. Now presided over by the formidable Eric Pras, the restaurant’s reputation nonetheless remains firmly based on serving classic dishes using seasonal and regional ingredients. Pras transforms local produce into works of art; dishes that you almost feel guilty eating. We don’t want to spoil the feast ahead, but standout dishes include his marshmallow of foie gras and gingerbread tuile; scallops with Jerusalem artichokes, ravioli of snails cooked in their juices with mild garlic, and his pigeon breast served with fresh pasta and foie gras. The wine list is suitably grand and covers all the major appellations of the region, from Grand Crus to humble village wines. Service is also spot-on, professional and not remotely stuffy. An icon of fine-dining in Burgundy and a must visit for all overs of great food and wine.
31 Rue Maufoux, 21200 Beaune
A truly remarkable restaurant, Loiseau des Vignes was the first venue in France to offer an entire list of wines by the glass, with over 65 different labels to suit all budgets and preferences. Indeed, if one word sums up Losieau then its wine paradise. Ok then, two words. The list is long, diverse and braves the lesser known in addition to the famous Grand Crus of the Cote d’Or. Opened by Dominique Loiseau in 2007, it sits proudly in the historic centre of Beaune, 250 meters away from the site of the famous Hospices de Beaune wine auction. And as you’d expect, the wine list at this Michelin-starred centre of excellence compliments superlative cuisine, overseen by head chef Mourad Haddouche. His cooking is refined, playful and bold, making use of the finest local ingredients to spectacular effect. Signature dishes include the legendary seared foie gras, the “quenelle de sandre” (a fish ball with lobster sauce) lacquered duck and chocolate cassis bomb. Loisue also boasts one of the largest after dinner cheese selections in France.
Place de l’Église, 69820 Fleurie
It is quite fitting that one of Beaujolais’ most famous red wine villages should boast such a fantastic and great value restaurant. L’Auberge du Cep offers excellent home cooking with no unnecessary frills, lovely service and local wines on tap. The space is cosy - a bright small dining room tended to by friendly and English speaking staff, who will put you at ease with your choices from the daily specials board. Perhaps start with the Terrine de Canard or the famous snails, followed by a carre d’agneau or Margaret du canard. Those with a sweet tooth will love the dessert of cassis avec and fromage blanc. The wine list is diverse, but with an understandable bias toward the local Gamay grape, in all its glory. Our advice is to stick to the top Fleurie, you can’t go wrong – Highly recommended.
3 Rue Vauban, 21000 Dijon
Top notch but decidedly unstuffy, Loiseau des Ducs is the latest venture from Bernard Loiseau which opened in Dijon in July 2013. Located in the heart of Dijon’s beautiful historic quarter, the restaurant was quickly awarded its first Michelin star this year and continues to offer mouthwatering cuisine, professional service and a multitude of wines by the glass, via the Enomatic machine. Head Chef Louis-Philippe Vigilant shows no interest in fashion, rather he adopts a precise, imaginative approach to his cooking without being over-wrought or conceptualized. A quick glance at their menu confirms this fact; lobster tails in a rich lobster bisque sauce, Charolais beef fillet with a port reduction, pan friend bream, Margaret du canard with foie gras and the legendary Cep ice cream, which has to be tried to be believed! In the warmer months there are alfresco dining options available and if this restaurant has a draw back, well we can’t see it.
Rue du Golf, 21200 Levernois
At the heart of Burgundy’s gorgeous countryside, you’ll find one of the most idyllic and charming country hotels in France. Expertly run by husband and wife team Jean-Louis and Susanne Bottigliero, this luxury small hotel has established a mighty big reputation for its food, service and surroundings. Not to mention a wonderfully long and varied wine list – over 800 labels - including the great names of DRC and Le Montrachet. Bottigliero’s protege is Philippe Augé, who has ensured that Levernois has kept its Michelin star and will undoubtedly preside other a second star soon. His cuisine promotes the idea of celebrating classical Burgundian heritage and so the age-old dishes are all present and correct. Yet, a touch of the modern flows through the menu; foie gras ravioli with a mushroom infusion, fillet of Charolais with Pinot Noir jus, pigeon breast cooked three ways with white truffle infusion and the Grand Marnier soufflé are just some of the highlights. Our advice – arrive hungry
25 Rue du Faubourg Bretonnière, 21200 Beaune
One of Beaune’s less touristy restaurants, Le Benaton serves refined, contemporary Burgundian cuisine in a relaxed and yet elegant setting. Awarded it’s first Michelin star in 2006, owner and head chef Bruno Monnoir’s cuisine has been described by critics as the “fruit of impeccable discipline, the rigours of which are overcome every time, and transformed into creativity”. Indeed, a quick glance at his menu reveals a very modern take on classical dishes, which are executed with flawless precision and presentation. So expect daring combinations, bold flavours and perfectly conceived dishes. Although there is an extensive list of dishes a la carte, we recommend you try one of the ingenious tasting menus. One menu, the market menu, is composed of dishes only using the seasonal ingredients purchased daily from the morning market in Beaune. The highlights are numerous, but our favourite dishes include: duck foie gras with smoked eel cassis, wild turbot and butternut squash and clementine reduction, Charolais beef fillet with red wine jus and the ultimate dessert – Gold Mountain in a hot and cold caramel sauce. We won’t spoil the surprise, but trust us; you must try this spectacular dish at least once! The wine list compliments the proceedings nicely and includes all the great names you’d hope for at such a prestigious address.
850 Route de la Colline, 69480 Lachassagne
If you’re curious to try some of the more avant-garde experiences in modern Burgundian cuisine, then make sure to book at table at Lachassagne. The view alone is worth the price of a meal here – in the summer, a gorgeously appointed terrace overlooks the beautiful Beaujolais landscape, where you can watch vignerons harvest their precious grapes over a leisurely lunch. Head chef Anthony Fusco’s divine tasting menu offers such specialties as veal with sweetbreads, salt cod served with celery puree and vanilla mascarpone with advocat sauce, and renders them so delicately that even the most hardened food critic will be seduced. The menu is purposely kept small, allowing Fusco to concentrate on bringing each dish to perfection. His wife, Maeva, runs the front of house and keeps the restaurant feeling relaxed, friendly and warm, in contrast to many Michelin-starred venues across France. Wine lovers won’t leave disappointed, as Lachassagne boasts a veritable plethora of local vintages as well as the famous Crus of the Cote d’Or. In a word – magnifique.
Chassange-Montrachet, 4, impasse Chenevottes, Chassagne-Montrachet 21190
No gastronomic journey through Burgundy can omit L’ Ed Em, a restaurant as mythical for its incredible selection of white Burgundies as its superlative cuisine. Head Chef Edouard Mignort is one of the greats, having studied in Paris and Burgundy under the tutelage of various 3 Michelin starred masters, he finally achieved his dream of opening a restaurant of his own with his charming wife Emilie last year. It quickly built a mighty reputation for warm hospitality, professionalism and precise, mouth-watering cuisine executed with flair. The whole experience feels slick and polished, but without the pretension that can so often plague fine dining establishments in France. The key to Edouard’s culinary flair is his unwavering obsession with only the finest, seasonal ingredients, “everything else rests on this foundation,” he says. With this arsenal of great produce, he crafts such delights as Breton lobster and octopus, Bresse chicken with a red pepper sauce and shallot cream, not to mention strawberry poached in red wine with Chantilly cream and mint sorbet. The cheese selection, including, of course, the legendary Epoisses, is one of the best in the Cote d’ Or, as is the generously well-stocked wine cellar, containing many of the region’s most famous names with prices to match.
1 Rue de Belle-Sise, 69380, Chasselay
The tables at Lassausaie are some of the most desirable in Burgundy; with two Michelin stars to its name and widely tipped for a third, if pays to book well in advance in high season. For owner and chef Guy Lassausaie is one of the local legends, celebrated for his extremely imaginative, inventive and downright delicious culinary art. In contrast the décor is relatively simple and restrained, make no mistake the meal is the headline act here. Major highlights include game when in season and the most delicious mushroom risotto that you’ll ever eat. Sorry Italy! You could start your gastronomic adventure with fillets of sole with truffles and a prawn emulsion, langoustine with vanilla infused butter from Madagascar, Rack of Lamb with braised shoulder and pea puree, and the legendary Pinot Noir chocolate fondant. The service is similarly impressive, ultra professional yet engaging at the same time. Moreover, Guy boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the whole of Burgundy, so even long time Burgundy nuts are bound to discover a few surprises.
Le Clos du Cèdre
2 Boulevard Maréchal Foch, 21200 Beaune
This outstanding restaurant is housed in the charming Hostellerie du Cedre hotel in Beaune, which attracts both residents and visitors in search of mouthwatering local cuisine. They never leave disappointed. Head chef Christophe Canati, who was appointed in 2012, has quite a pedigree; he trained in the kitchens of Bernard Louiseau and Georges Blanc, earning his first Michelin star at Hostellerie de Plaisance in Saint-Emilion in 2002. His cooking is both refined and comforting, invoking a modern take on Burgundian gastronomic traditions. So expect such delights as white crab meat on a pool of broad bean velouté, ballotine of rabbit, stuffed with foie gras and apricot and mille-feuille, served with salted caramel ice cream and salted caramel. All of this served with, naturally, an extensive selection of both red and white Burgundies, with both the superstars and more affordable options available. Service is perfectly judged and the ambiance romantic and intimate, perfect for a special occasion with a loved one. Quite simply one of the best restaurants for miles around and richly deserving of its Michelin star.