With the Burgundy 2018 En Primeur sales in full swing we thought it topical to offer our top tips for visiting the region. With two native Burgundians in our buying team, who better than them to outline the local delicacies not to miss, the top wine lists and the best restaurants in the region.
Top Special Occasion Restaurant – Lameloise (3* Michellin) Undoubtedly one of the world’s finest restaurants and a true mecca of French cuisine Lameloise has been on the michellin guide since 1900! Run by 3 generations of the Lameloise family the restaurant is now run by Jacque Lameloise’s protégé Eric Pras who took over in 2009. The restaurant has retained its 3 Michelin stars since 1979, apart from dropping down to 2 stars in 2005 & 2006 and regained and held ever since 2007. Prepare to spend 6 – 7 hours dining on some truly exceptional dishes matched with one of the finest wine lists in France. They also have a small hotel attached to the restaurant.
Great lunch spot in Cotes de Beaune – Le Soufflot or L’Hotel du Centres (Meursault)
If you find yourself visiting wineries in the Cote de Beaune and you are looking for an elegant option with a great wine list and fabulous modern cuisine then Le Soufflot is the perfect stop. Recently opened last year you can find it situated just off the D974 outside Meursault.
For a more no-frills lunch / dinner in the Cote de Beaune – L’Hotel du Centres in the heart of Meursault also comes highly recommended. Run by the talented Alain Billard (previously the head chef of Le Gourmandin in Beaune) serves classic authentic Burgundian dishes at very reasonable prices. There is a very reasonable wine list too.
Great lunch stop-off’s in Cote de Nuits – Rotisserie du Chambertin is a very elegant lunch stop off in the heart of Gevrey-Chambertin. Roaring open fires and modern high-end interiors makes for a glamorous lunch where the food and service live up to the elegant surroundings. The wine list has a few nice snipes but would improve with some older vintages on the list but the food and setting alone is worth the stop off.
Top Restaurants in Beaune - There are so many great restaurants in Beaune and more and more seems to appear every year. The newest edition that comes recommended is L’Expression, opened by Damian Ravion, previously the chef at Bistrot de l’Hotel. The staff are super friendly and the food well curated. The restaurant is surrounded by a glass window cellar with an impressive line-up of wines.
You cant talk about dining out in Beaune and not mention the Bistro de l’Hotel. This is an expensive choice but there are some fabulous food options which take you back to a different culinary era. Bresse chicken served with truffles, epoisses soup or crepes suzette flambé in front of you is quite a spectacle! The place is full of atmosphere and you are guaranteed a memorable night out.
For more reasonably priced option but with high quality food and some nice swipes on the wine list Les Cocottes remains a stalwart to Beaune locals with classic Burgundian dishes made to a high standard whilst prices remain extremely reasonable. The head chef is Marc Gantier (previously owner/chef at the Michelin starred Caveau des Arches.
Le Corner Beef – Is the perfect spot for the carnivores out there. A wide choice of some long-aged beef from 4 corners of the world - German Simmental beef, Irish Black Angus, Black Pearl from Poland and Picanha from Argentina all cooked to perfection.
Top Bar in Beaune – Le Bout du Monde. This bar’s wine list will have any Burgundy fan drooling. Set up by Fabienne Parrat, ex proprietor of the legendary Ma Cuisine restaurant, means over the years she has built up fantastic access and allocations of all the top Burgundy producers throughout the Cote d’Or. Served in a relaxed pub atmosphere it really is the perfect meeting place for wine connoisseurs to dig deep into their pockets and discover some of the region’s finest wines at very reasonable prices.
Top Cheese shop - One of the most impressive cheese shops in Burgundy is Alain Hess based in the centre of Beaune on Place Carnot. Alain Hess set up the business in 1978 and most of the local cheeses are still made on the outskirts of the town. The range and quality is exceptional and there are plenty of other Burgundian treats to buy there too – Mustard, chacuterie including the local delicacy jambon persille and a top selection of local wines.
Top local cheeses not to be missed at Alain Hess include - Citeaux – produced by the monks in the local abbey, similar to Robechon but finer and more delicate. Delice de Pommard is a soft cow’s cheese covered in mustard seed (invented by Alain Hess in 1995). Of course, it is the perfect stop for Epoisses and Brillat Savarin a cheese covered in ash that is hard on the outside and soft almost liquid in the middle. Its stunning don’t miss it! The shop is a great stop-off for souvenirs before heading home. They also pack the cheeses in air-tight bags perfect for travelling back with.
Best Wine Shop – Mon Millésime is a fantastic wine shop for a wide selection of top Burgundy producers sold at decent prices and with an impressive collection of very mature vintages. Last time I was there I was lucky enough to pick up some magnums of Pierre Yves Colin Morey as well as a Pommard from Georges Glantenay dating back to the nineties. All the wines are stored in vintage order with some real rarities in the cellar below. The shop is clearly run by an educated group of connoisseurs that have kept prices sharp and choices broad. With so many over-priced wine shops in the town this is one where you could find some genuine bargains. Happy hunting!