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Burgundy Travel Guide

For many wine lovers, central Burgundy’s Côte d’Or (Golden Slope) represents the anteroom to heaven. Quaint old villages and picturesque vineyards dot the region, which cuts a narrow swath between Dijon and Santenay ...

For many wine lovers, central Burgundy’s Côte d’Or (Golden Slope) represents the anteroom to heaven. Quaint old villages and picturesque vineyards dot the region, which cuts a narrow swath between Dijon and Santenay. Chambertin, Musigny, Romanée-Conti and Montrachet are just some of the fabled grands crus that thrive here on surprisingly tiny parcels of land. Set aside at least a day and a half to explore Dijon and the northern Côte d’Or (known as the Côte de Nuits), and allow another day for the southern Côte d’Or (known as the Côte de Beaune), which includes the charming town of Beaune. 

Recommended Luxury Hotels in Burgundy

All Andrew Harper-recommended hotels offer impeccable accommodations and high levels of personal service. Only the best of the best make our list, so we rate them on a scale from bird icon 90 to 100.

Best Restaurants in Burgundy

In the heart of Beaune, this local institution has a bustling atmosphere reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie. The menu features a host of expertly prepared classic recipes such as scrambled eggs with truffles, and duck breast with wild mushrooms. The selections accompany what may be Burgundy’s top wine list, with many highly coveted bottlings available for a fraction of their retail market value. Save room for the bountiful cheese selections. Reserve well in advance. Closed Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.

Passage Saint-Hélène Beaune US$75

This restaurant has an idyllic garden-and-mansion setting, like the more famous Jardin des Remparts, but an edgier menu. I had an appetizer of tangy and intense mackerel escabeche with pickled fennel and dots of carrot purée and fish sauce. For my main, a tender slice of leg of lamb came with crispy lamb sweetbreads and savory kidney, as well as fresh corn kernels, baby corn, corn purée and corn foam. 

10-12 Boulevard Maréchal Foch Beaune US$65-US$105 http://www.lecedre-beaune.com/fr/

The 1930s villa housing this restaurant has pretty dining rooms, but the garden patio is its real glory. There we had an unforgettable lunch, starting with shelled escargot in a ring of fluffy garlic cream sauce. In the center, a hollow, falafel-like sphere contained more escargot bathed in butter infused with garlic and parsley. Just as good was the juicy Charolais beef with red wine sauce, mushrooms and a side of “mashed potatoes.” This crock of potato purée tasted ethereally light, and yet it was so rich with butter and cream that I have no doubt this dish has a place of honor on the dinner table in heaven. Closed Sunday and Monday.

10 Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu Beaune Tasting menus, US$75-US$85 http://www.le-jardin-des-remparts.com/fr/

This chic restaurant is located in a 17th-century building in the heart of Chambolle-Musigny, a tranquil hamlet a few miles off of Autoroute 31, north of Beaune. The sumptuous fare features modern interpretations of traditional cuisine such as foie gras with smoked eel and leeks, and slow-cooked veal. Dishes are paired with selections from the excellent wine list. Closed Sunday and Monday.

1 Rue Traversière Chambolle-Musigny US$60 http://www.restaurant-le-millesime.com/fr/chambolle-musigny-bourgogne-site-officiel.php

This minimalist, 20-seat Japanese restaurant in Beaune is a break from the typical Burgundian establishment. Its 10-course tasting menu delivers world-class quality and creativity. The salted prawns and foie gras tempura stole the show, especially when paired with a glass of Meursault. The eclectic wine list offers noteworthy selections at reasonable prices. Book well in advance. 

42 Rue Maufoux Beaune US$110

Conveniently located in the heart of the Côte de Nuits region in the La Rôtisserie du Chambertin hotel, this bustling brasserie has a casual ambiance that belies its sophisticated cuisine. Featuring food rooted in local tradition, our mouthwatering meal included a hearty coq au vin, which was a splendid match with the Grand Cru Pinot Noir from the nearby Clos de Vougeot vineyard, and the most sublime profiteroles in recent memory. Closed Sunday and Monday.

6 Rue du Chambertin Gevrey-Chambertin US$75 http://www.rotisserie-chambertin.com/bistrot-lucien/
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