Named after the rue on which it can be found, just a stone’s throw from the Hospices de Beaune, is the restaurant Le Maufoux, the ‘tit bistro of Meursault institution Le Soufflot. Run by Chef Jean-Luc and his FOH side-kick Laurianne, this pint-sized eatery offers a rather reasonable lunch menu and an only slightly pared down version of Le Soufflot’s beast of a wine Bible. A more notable difference is that by-the-glass seems fine here. I got a glass of the Marsannay “Les Longeroies” 2019 by Sylvain Pataille, a very stylish Pinot with rich cherry, macerated strawberry and black pepper aromas. With its creamy, silky, complex palate and spicy finish, it was also a great last sip of Burgundy before we hit the road back to the Lyon airport.
Ah, the gougères of Le Soufflot, we meet again. These were just as immensely satisfying as the day before, with a bit more of a crunch from the nutty Comté melted on. A hollow cloud of pleasantly spongy, eggy dough collapsed in on itself when bitten into, releasing a waft of moist, Comté-scented air.
Some fork-tender spears of green asparagus came dressed in a creamy aioli vinaigrette, tasting of mustard, garlic and bright citrus. Freshly-torn dill and parsley were sprinkled over the surface and crunchy croutons added for textural contrast. A simple enough presentation meant to highlight the star ingredient of French spring.
A dozen escargots. What can I say? We ordered these on three seperate occasions during our four-day trip. It’s a Burgundy thing, like ordering oysters when you’re in Normany, Brittany or anyway near Ile de l’Oleron. If you see them on a menu, just get them. They will probably be better here than anywhere else in the world. These were great, the fragrant garlic + parsley butter bubbling over the searing hot wells of the escargotière. They had the texture of tender mushrooms, with a little bit of bounce, and a nutty flavor that went beautifully with the flavors of their butter-bath.
May to June is pea season in France, and this humble ingredient was fully on display in this picture-perfect spring dish. The peas were full of flavor: a delicate green sweetness and hint of grassy acidity. They shared the spotlight with a plump and succulent cod fillet, which slid apart into fatty flakes upon contact with my fork. At the base of the dish was a light seafood broth made with mussel juice and three dollops of deep-green basil pesto to smear over the ensemble. Chives, dill and asparagus shavings decorated this already very verdant primavera plate.
Œufs en meurette is just another one of those Burgundy dishes that you get whenever it’s around and never get tired of. This one came presented in a Staub cast iron cocotte with the egg covered by a colorful garden of ingredients. Paper-thin slices of barely-cooked mushroom, some delicately pickled baby pearl onions, bits of smoky, fatty pork and crunchy croutons over two “perfect” poached eggs in a red wine sauce. The idea is to mash it all up to allow the yolk to cover and bind everything with its thick, velvety goodness. And mash we did. Another delicious interpretation of a Burgundy classic.