Les Caves Madeleine
Wine crates, a big blackboard menu hanging on the wall, wine posters, a communal table in the middle of the room… At this unfussy cave à manger, chef-proprietor Martial Blanchon pampers Beaune’s high society with a seemingly endless wine list and authentic dishes to boot. Served à la carte the night we went: a lively, freshly marinated amberjack over a bed of herbed eggplant caviar; excellent slow-roasted Quercy lamb ravioli in an incredible lamb and fig leaf broth, served with a carrot purée; before a delicate chocolate flan pâtissier served with cocoa sorbet. The six-course dinner menu is worth considering as well, featuring dishes like hanger steak tartare with hazelnuts and Parmesan; vegetable and verbena soup with country bacon and an egg from La Ruchotte; chuck steak with a tarragon sabayon; and a moist biscuit with hazelnut praline ice cream. Plus, there’s a much more affordable prix-fixe lunch menu served during the week – lemony carrot and celery rémoulade with a poached egg and bread chips; Dombes carp quenelle in bisque; a layered bitter chocolate dessert. // G.D.
FEELING THIRSTY? 700 labels to choose from, three quarters of which are from Burgundy: an Aligoté from the Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat (€6 a glass), a Volnay from Lucien Boillot (€9), a Mâcon white from Philippe Valette (€37 a bottle), a Chassagne-Montrachet white from the Domaine Ramonet (€93)… and even a 2009 Puligny-Montrachet from the Domaine d’Auvenay (€1,868) or a more reasonable Poulsard Arbois from the Domaine des Murmures (€52).
PRICE: Menus €23 (weekday lunch) and €55 (dinner), à la carte €41-53.