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A week in Burgundy... any suggestions?

Will be spending a week in Burgundy in Decembre, principally between Dijon and Lyon... would much appreciate any restaurant, market, or foodie destination suggestions. Thanks

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  1. Highly recommend our wine guide, Mary Kirk. She is a dual US and French citizen and speaks flawlessly in both languages, has an undergraduate degree from US, but then a somellier degree from France. She organizes as much or as little as you would like, but the focus is wine. Usually three tastings a day and she can arrange lunch in a fine restaurant, unless you'd rather be spontaneous. She will even pick you up from your Paris hotel, drive you to Burgundy, and drop you back off at your hotel at the end of the day. We really learned so much and enjoyed the time we spent as a result of her expertise and knowledge without loosing any time actually looking for these places. You can reach her at Marykirk@hotmail.com. Her rates are really reasonable and you certainly get your money's worth.

    If you would rather go it alone, highly recommend Musee des Vins in Beaune, where for a flat fee they let you into a cellar with a tasting cup. There are about 25 wines to sample from the region. They are placed on barrels as regular intervals, with all of the wine cellar vaults on either side. Very cool. Remember to spit at first, because the better stuff is at the end in a converted rectory. Hard to spit so much good wine, so we left feeling really mellow and were only too glad to hang out in Beaune for the rest of the day.

    1. Covered market in Dijon is great, fromager in Saulieu has his own fromage fort, which was my favorite cheese on this past trip.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Do you know the name of the market you refer to or where it is... it seems there are at least 7 marche in Dijon. Merci.

        1. re: Gman

          The central, covered market in the pedestrian area.

          1. re: souphie

            Got it. Thanks Souphie. Do you know....are all covered markets referred to as Les Halles, as this one is? I see now there is a building in Beaune referred to this way as well... I was only familiar with Paris' historic market..

            1. re: Gman

              Maybe not all, but most. A halle is exactly that kind of architecture. Some covered markets are in more ordinary buildings, they're just called marché: Saint Quentin, Lebon for instance.

      2. From North to South:

        Ma Cusine in Beaune. An informal restaurant/bistro with good food, lots of passion, and a huge wine list.

        Lameloise in Chagny. Outstanding and consistent three star Michelin restaurant with an extensive wine list, and prices at the very bottom of the range of restaurants at this level.

        Aux Terrasses and Restaurant Greuze in Tournus. Both different and both excellent, with value for money, good service, and good wine lists. Both have one star in Michelin.

        1. If you get as far south as the Beaujolais, Le Cep in Fleurie is very special. The female chef-owner serves refined versions of regional specialties. Extensive list of local wines. This was one of RW Apple's favorite restaurants.

          Robert

          5 Replies
          1. re: rswatkins

            Thanks especially for this... I would follow Johnny Apple anywhere and am just now savoring the new collection of his food essays just published!

            1. re: Gman

              Apple included Le Cep in an article published in the NYT after his death titled "Ten Restaurants Worth a Plane Ticket."

            2. re: rswatkins

              I visited the Maconnais frequently over the past couple of years. I bought a lot of Fleurie from Coudert a few months ago. I also can recommend Andre Besson in Solutre, possibly the best 6 euro white on the planet, and also Renaud. Great places to taste. Just very mellow people, happy to chat and deguster. These producers have been exporting all over the world for decades and are set up for tasting drop ins, but most seem surprised when Americans show up.

              1. re: Busk

                Thanks - Going to try and muster up our courage for some degustation...my only two previous experiences were not fabuleux (very grumpy anti-american guy in St. Emillion, and a very strange..... caretaker(??) in Gevery Cambertin at the Chateau.) but we'll have more time this time around, for starts, and can scope out a few places before taking the plunge.

                1. re: Gman

                  Nah, none of the guys above are like that. They don't speak much English, but they are just regular guys making and selling some nice wines. Not much attitude in Southern Burgundy. Also, if these places didn't want tourists showing up, tasting and buying wine, they wouldn't put up a sign with an arrow inviting them.

                  I just opened a 2006 Renaud Pouilly-Fuisse. It's an excellent example of this wine. I think I paid 11 euro for the bottle.

            3. We spent this past April meandering through the back roads of Burgundy and can recommend several restaurants scattered about the region. In Auxerre we enjoyed La Salamandre and Le Jardin Gourmand. Just below Avallon the Moulin des Ruats serves traditional cuisine in a beautiful setting on the Cousin river. Le Chambolle in Chambolle-Musigny is another good little husband/wife place with a fine, affordable wine list. La Cabotte in the pedestrian area of Nuits St. George was so good that we went 3 times; it has a young chef who does some modern things with traditional cuisine. A similar, even more casual spot that we kept returning to was Ma Cuisine in Beaune which is so well known that reservations are strongly recommended...no frou-frou, just excellent product perfectly cooked. For something different you might try the Michelin starred Le Charlemagne in Pernand-Vergelesses. It features a young French chef with a Japanese wife in a very modern setting with quirky combinations and presentations. We enjoyed it but it may be a little too off the wall for some. More traditional and just south of Beaune is another Michelin star, the Hostellerie de Levernois. If you get over to Autun don't miss the tiny, casual Le Chapitre right behind the cathedral. There are dozens more but most of them have been described on this forum before so I tried to stick to the less mentioned, other than Ma Cuisine which has become known by all but maintains its personna..

              5 Replies
              1. re: Laidback

                Gman, CJT, Laidback and Ken-
                I was looking through my notes - I take back what I had written below on not eating out in a restaurant while in Burgundy. Three weeks of living out of a suitcase and visiting a ton of family - fabulous trip, but lots to take in. We had a really great lunch in Beaune at Ma Cuisine. The staff was unbelievably warm and easy going. The food was delish, with a wine list to match. I had amazing skate and escargot traditional. My husband had the Andouillette AAAAA (Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentiquessausage). I know... I had to find out what the AAAAA meant. Ken and Laidback were right - Add this one to your list while in Burgundy.
                Christine

                1. re: ChristineBerenger

                  Thanks - looks like we'll be renting a gite just outside of Beaune and am eager to try Ma Cuisine... not sure I'm up for the andouillette, though I am curious... what did your husband have to say about it? I think what would be divoon would be a place that served tapas sized dishes of French food, so you could try something and bail without too much regret. I find I face all the unknowns on a French menu and want to be adventurous but hate to waste the opportunity if it turns out I don't, in fact, like rognons de veau...

                  1. re: Gman

                    I am right there with you on that sort of meat. I think my limit ends but includes wild boar saucisson (huge fan - we even tracked down an amazing place in NY - which is where we live - that has the real deal). Maybe I am limited because I'm 'merican? My husband is French and he eats all that kind of stuff. He has become quite the connoisseur and he LOVED the Andouillette. We really enjoyed the warmth of Ma Cuisine - and it was clear that this is where the locals eat.

                    1. re: ChristineBerenger

                      Many offal (variety) meats require an introduction, some consideration, another experience, maybe even more consideration. In other words, they are most often acquired tastes. I had my doubts originally but have found that they have a strange beckoning nature, like sea sirens or mermaids! Know also that they are most often served with a strong accent sauce, wine or mustard or both. I've been known to have andouillette 5 or more times in one week, only slightly less so rognons . Liver in France is a totally different entity than American. First, it is often cut thick and served rosy, the only way to go. Overcooked liver is why we fault our grandparent's product. Sweetbreads, on the other hand, are so luscious that you will probably be a convert after your first taste.

                      I'd suggest you just take the plunge. After all, as they say, it's only dinner! Enjoy.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Merci bien Mangeur. Yep - I've already gone over to the dark side on the foie gras.... and I love it, especially since some of our friends in France have generously shared foie gras made from their homes in the SW with me. I actually served it for Christmas last year with a Sauternes gelée. OMG - amazing... I just can't go to the dark side on all offal quite yet. I was a true vegetarian for a year, but I missed bacon too much. Look at me now.