Caves Madeleine – Beaune
Named after the street where it lives, Caves Madeleine is one of those rare gems propagated by word of mouth. Though not on the Michelin Guide, it’s on the tip of the tongues of food enthusiasts both local and foreign.
We’re there for lunch, sitting at the table for two by the store front window, our entire meal on display to passers-by. Stacks of wine boxes separate us from the rest of the dining area with its long communal wooden tables and blackboard menu at the far end. A three course meal is 24 Euros while two courses only cost 14 Euros. We decide to get one of each and just split the dessert.
Salade de Gesiers. It’s rare to find a dish starring gizzards in US restaurants. It’s a pity that it doesn’t have menu appeal, because this dish is just lovely. Tender chunks of gizzards tossed in a tart creamy dressing and laid out on a bed of bibb lettuce.
Cassolette de Escargot. Snails bathed in a butter-heavy parsley-laden sauce.
Andouilette or tripe sausage with a mustard cream sauce and roast potatoes. This one comes from a butcher named Thierry in the Champagne region who apparently makes one of the best in France. I like tripe, especially in the Spanish callos or the Filipino kare-kare, and the sight of the convoluted intestines don’t faze me.
Duck leg confit with mashed potatoes. Crisp skin and meat flaking off the bone. Just how it should be.
For dessert, we share a duo of interestingly flavored sorbets — Marc du Bourgogne, the spirit used to bathe Burgundy’s famous epoisse cheese, and Verveine, an herb supposedly used to ward off witches yet also used in their ceremonies (go figure).
Our simple, traditional and really excellent meal is washed down with a glass of Bourgogne Aligote, Burgundy’s other white wine.