Restaurants & Bars

Beaune, France - Verger, Benaton, Tontons, Auberge du Vieux Pressoir

Helen Rennie | Oct 23, 200204:28 PM

Just came back from 2 great weeks in France. I am posting the restaurants by region. To see them all, go to my link below. Beaune was the yummiest town :)

Les Tontons
3 course menu 17 and 25 euros/ tasting menu 40 euros
No wonder the locals love this cute little restaurant. We had a fantastic dinner here. The bread deserves special mention. It was crusty with a chewy open crumb and was great for dipping in the soups we got for the first course. I got a very flavorful wild mushroom soup (mushroom lover's dream) and Jason got a cream soup with snails and vegetables. My main course was a chicken leg with cream sauce and wild rice pilaf; Jason's was a superb coq au vin with the best garlic mashed potatoes we've ever tasted. For dessert I had a perfectly golden and hot whole roasted apple with caramel ice cream and caramel sauce. What a dish! If you are ever in Beaune, don't miss les Tontons.

Auberge du Vieux Pressoir
3 course menu 25 euros (with foie gras 28)
The wonderful hostess of our bed and breakfast recommended Auberge du Vieux Pressoir. Like all of her recommendations this was a great one. It was a small and cozy country restaurant in the middle of Cote-de-Beaune vineyards. The classic burgundy cuisine was delicious. The highlight of the meal was chefs variations on foie gras terrine: one with cassis (black currents), one with vanilla, and one with pair. We were truly in foie gras heaven. Our other appetizer was a very generous portion of escargot with herb butter. Dipping the bread into melted butter was my favorite part of this dish. Sautéed perch was another very pleasant surprise. The fish was very moist and tender and was served with a brown butter sauce, vegetable medley and crisp roasted potato. Fillet of beef main dish was not bad, but not as good as this part of beef could be. The desserts were uneventful. Chocolate mousse with crème anglaise was good but not particularly interesting. The tart Tatin had nice big pieces of apples, but lacked caramelization. It was a very good meal. Just the foie gras alone makes a trip to Auberge du Vieux Pressoir worthwhile.

Le Verger
3 course menu 20 and 24 euros
Dining at Verger was such a pleasure. The restaurant is run by a husband and wife team. She is the chef and he handles the front of the house. Everything they do shines with creativity. The dinning area is a large round glass room with many personal touches hand made by the owners (lamps, napkin rings). The décor is very eclectic and so is the cuisine. The classics and modernity coexist side by side in beautiful balance. There were 2 dishes that were an epitome of Verger's philosophy. The first one was the best and definitely most creative escargot dish I've ever had. The tender snails were stuffed into a tomato that sat in the middle of the most delicate creamy vegetable soup. No heavy butter, just clear and harmonious flavors that did not stop to surprise me until the last spoon. White chocolate and orange crème brûlée was another dish that is impossible to describe with words. I wonder if the chef used blood oranges because the color of crème brûlée was orange pink. The flavors of this dessert were so delicate yet pronounced that it was a truly beautiful dish. There were many other tasty dishes. We always avoided blood sausage on the menus since it did not look too appetizing. We tried it at Verger with apples and onions and loved it. Boeuf Bourguignon was a delicious classic and poached salmon was perfectly cooked. The ice-cream stuffed pear with pistachios was unfortunately cold. I prefer that type of fruit dessert warm. In spite of the size of the room, the restaurant only seats about 25 people so you get a lot of space and privacy as well as friendly attention from the staff. It is impossible to leave Verger without a smile, so don't miss it when you are in Beaune.

3 course menu (plus amuse-bouche and pastry plate) 32 euros
Wow, so many great dishes! One of the highlights was an appetizer of tuna tartar and tuna fritters with raspberry reduction and a salad. The raw tuna was luscious and melted in the mouth; the fried tuna was dipped in very light batter and was very juicy inside. What a great juxtaposition of hot and cold. The other stunning dish was a chocolate cake stuffed with cassis that poured out when you cut into the cake. It was served hot with ice-cream. Since we are both cassis lovers, we thought it was just heavenly. All other dishes were delicious too. The amuse-bouche of butternut squash soup with shrimp was silky and flavorful. My main dish was duck breast and leg with vegetables, roasted potatoes and delicious wild mushrooms. The breast was wonderfully juicy; the leg was a bit tough. Jason had excellent roasted sea bream (flaky white fish) with olive tapenade, wild mushrooms and a squash stuffed with ratatouille. The cheese course consisted of a salad with soft Pommard cheese. It was mild but very flavorful and delicious. The service was very friendly and hospitable. The only dark cloud over this excellent meal was that the other patrons would not stop smoking. Benaton has a small dining room with fairly low ceilings and the room felt too smoky very quickly. In spite of this discomfort, the food is worth coming back for.

Link: http://home.mindspring.com/~yrennie/r...

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