When in Bourgogne, Dine in Beaune – 4 Noteworthy Restaurants

Having spent almost a week in Bourgogne, with four nights in the historic walled city of Beaune, I had the opportunity to savor luscious dinners at four impressive restaurants. In fact, each was within a 10-minute stroll from my luxurious hotel, Hostellerie Cèdre & Spa. After full days in Bourgogne where unforgettable wines, fascinating people and stunning landscapes have created lasting memories, relaxing dinners with wines paired with a luscious array of regional foods were the perfect denouement. With so many choices, choosing a restaurant in an unfamiliar (or even a familiar) city, town or village in France is often a difficult choice. Although we can always count on a delicious meal (it’s France!), there are other factors to consider. Will the menu be varied enough to suit everyone’s tastes? Are the prices within the budget? Is knowledge of the French language required to make the experience even better? Is the restaurant able to accommodate dietary restrictions? How close are the restaurants to the hotel? Fortunately for my wine colleague and I, invited as guests of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) for a six-day discovery of the region, the Board’s knowledgeable experts chose four unforgettable restaurants in Beaune as yet another snapshot of what this region has to offer. Each night, armed with a fair amount of French language skills that were honed every day, we embraced our evening experiences with the joie de vivre you would expect! At each unique restaurant, Elizabeth Smith (my wine colleague who is responsible for several of the photos below) and I chose enticing wines from Bourgogne and the restaurant’s prix-fixe menu of a starter, entrée and dessert for pairing. Boasting menus guaranteed to please any discerning palate, even those with dietary concerns, the a la carte selections were just as tempting as the prix-fixe – ahhh, the decisions! Following are four delightful restaurants in the historic area of Beaune that “ticked all the boxes” for wine, food, atmosphere and service. Visit their websites and add each to your must-experience list when you’re in Bourgogne. Of course, make a reservation and mention any dietary concerns ahead of your visit. Enjoy! A lovely first night in Beaune dinner was had at Les Popiettes. The small restaurant was filled with lively conversation from the under-30 crowd to families and everyone in between. Our small table by the window revealed vibrant streetside scenes of Beaune and the glass of friendly, fruit-forward Haute Cote de Beaune Agnes Paquet 2019 was the perfect frame. On the table, creative fare was simple and authentic – a textured eggplant dish, flavorful grilled calamari and unique cheese plate satisfied all of my senses. The extensive wine list is one I plan to revisit as soon as possible… If I lived in Beaune, you’d find me one of the “regulars” at Le Table du Square. The cozy atmosphere, friendliness of the servers and other guests (we sat at a large table with two others), and a traditional menu of foods that changes with the season are elements always appreciated. Dinner was created from carefully chosen local ingredients and was elevated with international touches. Of course, pours of snappy, mineral-driven Maison En Belles Lies Bourgogne Aligoté were brilliant pairings to all, especially to the entrée of oeuf parfait and the plat of Presse de Poulard with carrots and endives. Promise not to forget the dessert – ours was incredible! My obsession with gougères was punctuated by those served as an amuse-bouche at Le Maufoux. With only 22 tables spread out between two rooms, make your reservation early so that you, too, can experience fresh, quality cuisine in a charming atmosphere. The Pinot Noir, Domaine Nicolas Rossignol 2015, was exceptional with dinner of perfectly cooked salmon under a blanket of warm cream sauce and some of the most fresh and colorful vegetables I’ve seen. Don’t miss the affordable wine list that reflects the philosophy of owners Jullianne and Luc. In their words, “We thank the winegrowers who give us the chance to share it with our customers. It is in the respect of their work that we offer their quality wines at very reasonable prices so that everyone can discover nuggets without breaking the bank!” Le Cheval Noir is located a short walk from the Hotel Dieu (Hospices de Beaune), the tourist office and the city center of Beaune. Modern with a casually elegant vibe, don’t miss the beautifully prepared escargots at the beginning or the crème brulée at the end of the meal. Along the way, I enjoyed sips of a lush Chardonnay and a generous Pinot Noir with falafel, roasted mushrooms with eggs “sunny side up,” and lightly seasoned fresh fish with vegetables. The seasonal menus are created by experienced chef Benoit Deval who, along with his wife, arrived at Le Cheval Noir in 2015 after working at Le Jardin des Remparts, Le Charlemagne and L’Hermitage de Corton. Cheers!