Caves Madeleine, Beaune.

April 2018

In Burgundy on a “business” trip (monkey business really, a friend and I visiting “my” producers, winemakers I’ve known for 25 years, and buying as much wine as I can jam into my special wine suitcases) we were Air BNB’d east of the peripheral boulevard in the Place Madeleine neighbourhood. This little bistrot was mentioned in Lonely Planet (not in Michelin) and turned out to serve nice creative modern French food dished up by very pleasant young natives.

The menu changes daily and is chalked on a blackboard at the back. We sat at a long communal bench having reserved the same day (there are a few private tables along the side) but this was no problem at all. I have to remember dinner after almost a week because there is no website (just Facebook) and the menu does change.

First for both of us was an open ravioli containing (I think…) foie gras and leek. Whatever, it was tender and the natural tastes were allowed to express themselves. My main was a rectangular solid of pork shoulder with accompanying beautifully-done vegetables and a reduction sauce. Fatty, succulent, satisfying. We ordered a simple Burgundy from a producer I know (Robert Groffier in Morey St-Denis) but it wasn’t up to his standards although in fairness all I’ve ever tasted from him has been at least premier cru.

The front-end guy is very friendly and obliging, assisting by translating the menu although I thought (incorrectly in some cases) I was able to read it in French. Server girl was traffic-stoppingly pretty even by French standards. We chatted in English with a Portuguese quartet adjacent.

Perfectly nice little serious modern French foodie spot. If I didn’t go back it would only only be because there is such an unbelievable selection of restaurants in this touristy classy town, or because I never return because of the terrifying wine prices and my advancing senescence.

Food 9.0, service 9.4 (partly the scenery), ambience 8.7, value (lost the bill but it was fair by local standards), peace and quiet 7.3.

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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