Burgundy Travel Tips: A Guide to Burgundy
Ma Cuisine No restaurant better typifies the soul of Burgundy. Run by postcard-jolly proprietors Pierre and Fabienne Escoffier, it's the sort of place where wine producers are regulars. The food is simple but delicious (kidneys are a popular dish), and the wine list features the (well-priced) work of the owners' famous friends (Passage St-Hélène, Beaune; 011-33-3-80-22-30-22).
Les Millésimes The best restaurant in Gevrey-Chambertin, according to wine importer Daniel Johnnes. The wine list is excellent, especially its Chambertin selection. The menu is traditional "haut Français"; try the regional cheeses (25 rue Église, Gevrey-Chambertin; 011-33-3-80-51-84-24).
Auberge de la Miotte This place isn't long on ambience (passing trains practically run through it), and the food is basic bistro (such as very good lamb chops), but the wine list has some real finds. A 1990 Domaine Meo Camuzet Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux at $275 would probably cost at least twice as much in the United States (4 rue de la Miotte, Ladoix-Serrigny; 011-33-3-80-26-40-75).
Restaurant le Chassagne The food is good, if a bit heavy (cream sauce is a favorite), but the wine list offers the best names in white Burgundy (4 impasse Chenevottes, Chassagne-Montrachet; 011-33-3-80-21-94-94).
Hôtel de Beaune A very small (seven rooms) deluxe hotel with extremely chic touches, like Italian bed linens, Hermès bath products and heated marble floors, the Hôtel de Beaune is the reincarnation of a fifteenth-century family mansion. Although the staff is quite cheerful, they could be more professional: Asked to change a train reservation, the manager actually lost the tickets (5 rue Samuel Legay, Beaune; 011-33-3-80-25-94-14; doubles from $250).
Villa Louise Tucked in a charming village, this hotel has somewhat spartan rooms but a friendly proprietor and a lovely garden overlooking the vineyards. A pool is being built (9 rue Franche, Aloxe-Corton; 011-33-3-80-26-46-70; doubles from $91).
Castel de Très Girard This comfortable, old-fashioned hotel is next to Domaine Hubert Lignier and features spacious, nicely furnished rooms and a sound system devoted to Frank Sinatra. There's a pool, too (7 rue de Très-Girard, Morey-St-Denis; 011-33-3-80-34-33-09; doubles from $150).
N74 This road is the pilgrim's trail through Burgundy's fabled Côte d'Or, which starts near Gevrey-Chambertin and runs all the way past Beaune. It's the French version of Napa Valley's Route 29though the traffic moves faster and the towns are more picturesque.
Visiting Wineries While some Burgundy wineries (domaines) offer tastings and sell directly, virtually all great producers are closed to the public. The best way to taste their wines is by dining at one of the restaurants listed here.