P’tit Paradis, Beaune.

June 2015

For lunch, which we’ve had here once before but several years ago, when we were completely delighted. We remember a langoustine salad with oranges and a perfect sauce which our server this time also recalled. She said it was one of the all-time favourites (so why isn’t it still on the menu?).

Their lunch proposal is a combination of small tastes of all their entrées, for €16. We went for that to share, and then a duck main also to share.

The items: smoked haddock with a quinoa vinaigrette (I loved it. The flavour contrast between the salty smoky fish and bland quinoa was great), zucchini and sweet pepper terrine (my least favourite: bland), gazpacho (delightfully tasty with black pepper flavour but no excessive heat), tuna tartare (very nice with sesame oil and again flavour contrast with light vinaigrette vegetable julienne), pissaladiere (really delicious with puff pastry, onions, olives, and anchovies. Must try this one at home).

The duck was nicely cooked and served over Asian turnip, but the usual dynamic of the main being not quite as exciting as the starter obtained. We drank a young Pernand-Vergelesse 1er cru white from Rapet, perfectly nice but a bit overpriced considering their cellar values with which we are familiar. The service lady stood and yapped with a couple of Francophone diners at the next table for what felt like 10 minutes while we were waiting for her to come and take our order. €117 (just over $150 Canadian) is actually not a bad value in this overpriced town.

For some reason Michelin has seen fit to remove this little place from its list for the city. Hard to know why, unless there is just a lot of new competition. Food is nearly as good as we remember it the last time, prices are reasonable, and it’s quite fun and français-authentique to sit outside on narrow cobbled Rue Paradis. Less faux-elegant-touristique than the fancy Beaune front street tourist traps catering to Americans.

Food 8.4, service 6.1, ambience 7.8, value 7.0. I think I’d go back again, but would take a look at a few of the newer places first next time.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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