Restaurant Monique (Dijon)

© Monique

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Under the benevolent gaze of her grandmother Monique, Clara Reydet (ex-Maison des Cariatides) serves sincere, unfussy cuisine that’s as locally sourced as possible. In the kitchen, her partner Victor Blatrix serves “food and wine” (their motto), like he would at home. There are no tablecloths adorning these light wood tables, but decor done up with shades of white and lots of wood, exposed rafters and stone walls, plus a few books that you can snatch up from the library corner, while waiting to dig in. The day we went for lunch, we savored tender slow-cooked onion in a chilled herby millet broth with bacon crumble, or a tomato and Parmesan tart with balsamic jelly; followed by miso-glazed eggplant paired with cheeky congee (rice porridge), zucchini and sesame seeds, or grilled flank steak with pointed cabbage, pimped out with red pepper ketchup; before devouring a lemon verbena panna cotta intensified by pralines and a blackberry coulis, or a tempting apricot tart intoxicated by a red vermouth sorbet. At night, expect lovely dishes like pissaladière; roasted red kuri squash with arugula pesto; pan-fried porcini mushrooms with preserved egg yolk and an oat crisp; or slow-roasted lamb shoulder with poached quince… // Sophie Fonfek 

FEELING THIRSTY? Natural wines served by the glass – Élégance, a Nîmes Viognier-Roussanne from the Château Beaubois (€6) – or by the bottle – La Cuisine de ma mère, a Chinon from Nicolas Grosbois (€30) and Bob Singlar, a Provence red from the Domaine de La Mongestine (€34) – and local beer from the Brasserie du Fournil (€6 for 330 ml). 
PRICE: Set menus €22-25 (lunch), plates €10-15 (dinner). 

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