Gourmet Dining in Beaune
The best dinner that we had in Beaune was at Le Cheval Noir at 17 Blvd St. Jacques. It is just a few blocks from the Hotel Dieu and just across the street from Jardin des Remparts but much more moderately priced. Do not judge this restaurant by the exterior which is quite nondescript. The interior has modern furnishings and may seem a little minimalistic. However, the food is not only imaginative and delicious but each course is artistically presented on different shaped plates. The staff is extremely accommodating. Although the prix fixe menu listed a terrine of foie gras as the entree, I requested and received foie gras poele instead at no additional charge.
Le Cheval Noir is not a bistrot. On the basis of traveler reviews, we also dined at Ma Cuisine and Le Petit Paradis in Beaune. Neither of these restaurants came close to the wonderful dining experience that we had at Le Cheval Noir. Be aware that there is also a restaurant in Beaune called Le Cheval Blanc. I don't know if there is any connection between the two but definitely try Le Cheval Noir.
I can't speak to your experience at Ma Cuisine, but I can say that I eat there 6x a year (3 times each on two separate trips, one in April and the other in October) and I have never been disappointed there. Ma Cuisine, although not a huge restaurant, is a bustling place with a brasserie sort of atmosphere. It is NOT a quiet, romantic restaurant with dim lighting. The cuisine is very honest straightforward Burgundian food that is prepared to a very high standard but certainly not designed nor intended to resemble what you would get in a starred restaurant. The wine list is encyclopedic.
I eat regularly at several starred restaurants in Burgundy (Lameloise, Aux Terrasses, and Greuze, but NOT Jardin des Remparts). For me, Ma Cuisine is an intentional counterpoint to that sort of dining, since starred restaurant dining gets old really fast if you do it night after night after night.
I love Ma Cuisine, but if this was not the sort of experience you sought (a bustling brasserie type of place) then I can see why you might have been disappointed.
I have eaten at two restaurants in Beaune. My sister is there often and we went to her favorites:
Ma Cuisine -- Ate there for dinner. They have some of the most delicious roast chicken I've ever tasted. That is what we go there for. Also, it's the first place I ever had Puligny Montrachet, a grand cru, with the cheese course; I felt I'd died and gone to heaven.
Jardin des Remparts -- We had lunch there, the longest biggest tasting menu, and were there for about 4 hours. One of the best meals I've ever had -- complemented by the beautiful outdoor setting as well. Course after course of absolutely beautifully presented, original and tasty food. Also, very reasonable, with all the little amuses and extras, I think it was like 13 courses all together, at the price of 90 euros per person. I daydream about this meal at least once a month, wishing I could return...