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Ma Cuisine, Beaune

j
jeremyholmes Jun 11, 2011 03:28 PM

Having an extremely full schedule for the week we were a little sad that we might have to miss Ma Cuisine. A two-hour gap miraculously opened up Thursday lunchtime, I made a call and we nailed two seats, not just any seats, brand new seats after 16 years. All chairs have been replaced and there’s some banquet seating all covered in fake leather looking material. We just hope no vinyls were killed in the upholstering of them and when they heat up you may indeed need an eggflip to remove bare skin from them but they were comfortable.

We were warmly greeted by Pierre and Fabienne and made to feel right at home. The wine list is still very good, perhaps not so many bargains as there once may have been but some great wines at sociable prices. We selected a 2005 Coche-Dury Meursault ‘Les Chevaliers’ that was quite dumb on the nose. I probably shouldn’t have accepted it as it breathed to show some faint taint. It was big, rich and sappy with excellent length but not as it should have been.

You can make anything taste good if you douse it liberally in warm butter, garlic and parsley, even Brussels sprouts I suspect, but the snails here are incredibly good. Heidi and I used most of our basket of baguette to mop up the delicious sauce once plump snails had been eaten. Tuna Tartare is prepared simply, using high quality fish and is delightfully vibrant and fresh.

For main course my veal sweetbreads were a revelation. Just cooked, sweet, tender and served with a delicious, creamy, vanillin sauce. Heidi’s baby chicken dish with Asian spices was also extremely good.

We had planned not to have dessert but spied a crème caramel served next to us, it looked divine and was wobbling like my tummy after the past two weeks eating, it could not be ignored. I duly ordered one and it was classic, simple and heavenly. Heidi had a beautiful piece of tarte tatin, which had thick slices of apple that had a wonderful spiciness. It lay on some fabulous shortcrust pastry and had such an elegant thread of caramel flavour, a simple dish, perfectly executed.

Ma Cuisine is a restaurant whose formula does not change. It is small and busy, the produce is of the highest quality and food flavours are robust and tasty. It is not fancy and you have to wait a while for your wine to arrive but that’s just how it is here. It is one of our favourite restaurants.

Cheers
Jeremy

  1. l
    lemons Jun 14, 2011 07:11 PM

    Discussion, please, of getting a reservation when you're coming from the US. Never managed to find room there, but we've been in Beaune only during the biennial Grand Jours which is a swell event but jams the restaurants. How far in advance? Telephone? My French is good enough I can order a meal with confidence, but not good enough to manage a phone call for a reservation on any of the three or four nights we'd be there.

    4 Replies
    1. re: lemons
      DaTulip Jun 14, 2011 07:25 PM

      I'm no real help here. I have my friend who lives in Beaune make our resos. For other places abroad I've emailed where possible.

      1. re: lemons
        j
        jeremyholmes Jun 14, 2011 08:34 PM

        Bothe Pierre and Fabienne speak English and you should be able to secure a reservation by phoning 1 week in advance.

        1. re: jeremyholmes
          e
          eatingdiva Jun 14, 2011 10:06 PM

          That's a good idea DaTulip about switching the bookings around and we can then add Le Petit Paradis as our final restaurant choice. Many thanks to all for your suggestions.
          In regard to restaurant bookings we sometimes utlilise the services of Lisa Buros's concierge servce. Even though I speak failry good french and can make reservations over the phone I find the time difference can make it difficult and would rather someone else be "on the case" especially for hard to get into places. Lisa's email is lisa@yourparisexperience.com. She charges 40 Euro for bookings over a 7 day period or 10 Euros for single one off bookings.

          1. re: eatingdiva
            l
            lemons Jun 15, 2011 06:39 AM

            @eatingdiva, that's a valuable piece of information. I may well email her for more info.

      2. e
        eatingdiva Jun 13, 2011 05:09 PM

        Thanks for your review on Ma Cuisine. My husband and I will be in Beaune for 4 nights in September and we have this restaurant on our list to try. The other restaurants we've earmarked are Les Jardins de Remparts, La Ciboulette, Le Caveau des Arches and Le Beneton. Are you able to advise if these are sounds choices ? I'm unsure in particular about La Ciboulette......Many thanks in advance.

        11 Replies
        1. re: eatingdiva
          j
          jeremyholmes Jun 13, 2011 10:00 PM

          I like La Ciboulette and Caveau des Arches is great value with a good wine list. Have not eaten at Le Beneton (friends rate it highly) nor Jardins de Remparts (friends rate it lowly). Bissoh is excellent Japanese fusion food and worthy of your consideration and I really like L'Ecusson, Les Caves Madeleine and Le Conty.

          1. re: jeremyholmes
            e
            eatingdiva Jun 14, 2011 12:40 AM

            Thanks for your rec's. I've also heard mixed reviews about Jardins de Remparts so I think we'll strike that off the list. It looks like a lovely restaurant but it's quite pricey compared to our other choices and in that price bracket we'd want to be sure of walking away happy.

          2. re: eatingdiva
            Mike5966 Jun 14, 2011 01:09 AM

            La Ciboulette is fantastic. Can't go wrong.

            1. re: eatingdiva
              DaTulip Jun 14, 2011 02:58 AM

              Most everyone loves La Ciboulette, but it's not in my personal top 10. The setting is fine & the people couldn't be nicer, but of the three times we've been, none of the food stands out. I'd also suggest replacing JDR. It's pricey & you can get better food elsewhere.

              I'd keep CDA & LB on your list. CDA was to be sold, but I hear that's fallen through. Others I'd consider are Cheval Noir & L'Ptit Paradis. Food is always excellent at both.

              1. re: DaTulip
                e
                eatingdiva Jun 14, 2011 06:53 PM

                Thanks DaTulip. I've taken JDR off the list and have now chosen CDA, Ma Cuiine and LB. Our last evening is a Sunday night and it appears that La Ciboulette and L'Ecusson are both closed so tossing up between Petit Paradis and Le Conty. It appears that Le Conty may have the nicer interior but Petit Paradis gets better reivews for their food. Which one would you choose??

                1. re: eatingdiva
                  DaTulip Jun 14, 2011 07:07 PM

                  P'tit Paradis would be my choice, but unless something has changed, I dont think they're open on Sunday. PP is my #1 in Beaune. Service can be "efficient" sometimes (read as some might say abrupt), but the food is always first rate & I'm never in a hurry when there so I dont have service concerns. County is more of a casual drop in experience. Great if you don't need a huge meal.

                  Alternately, Cheval Noir, is open on Sunday (my #2 spot), and is just a hop/skip from your B&B (which is also great). Another good Sunday option that I consider more "old school"/traditional is Auberge Bourguignonne on Place Madeleine.

                  Also, LB is open on Sunday so you could shift some things around. Just a thought.

                  Hope this helps!

                  1. re: DaTulip
                    h
                    HoosierFoodie Jun 15, 2011 02:32 PM

                    My wife and I, along with another couple, were in Beaune a few weeks ago and will second the Cheval Noir rec. The owner of the B&B where we were staying recommended it to us and it is open on Sun. And, for the record, our experience at JDR is much, much better than other's here. Maybe we were there on a good night but our meal, though expensive, was excellent.

              2. re: eatingdiva
                BlueOx Jun 14, 2011 07:14 PM

                EatingDiva, are you limited to in-town Beaune. There are so many wonderful places out in the vineyards and within 20 KM of Beaune that a meal among the grapes would be a treat.

                1. re: BlueOx
                  m
                  merinayera Jun 15, 2011 11:17 AM

                  BlueOx - my husband and I will be about 50 KM south of Beaune in Sennecey le Grand - any recommendations south of Beaune?

                  1. re: merinayera
                    BlueOx Jun 15, 2011 03:18 PM

                    The closest place I know about is in Mercurey on D981, Val d'Or.

                    1. re: BlueOx
                      m
                      merinayera Jun 15, 2011 06:08 PM

                      thank you!

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