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Where to sample real Beaujolais

Where to sample real Beaujolais

Emmanuel Tresmontant - 2009-06-10

Here are a few addresses where drinking Beaujolais is a matter of pure pleasure and will not leave you with a headache... Our selection encompasses the Beaujolais region, Lyon and Paris.

Beaujolais Nouveau, when it is not sweetened, yeasted, filtered or flavoured with isoamyl acetate, can be a fresh, gourmet delight! Light and fruity with natural aromas of redcurrant, violet and vanilla, those produced by Pierre-Marie Chermette, Jean-Claude Lapalu or Marcel Lapierre bring flavour to the palate and recall the Beaujolais of times past. The Beaujolais Nouveau festival (of which the date of the third Thursday in November was only fixed in 1985) should ideally encourage wine buffs to discover the fine wines of Beaujolais which improve with age and go wonderfully well with red meat, roast poultry and œufs en meurette (eggs poached in red wine).
Be they restaurants or wine bars, the establishments we have selected for you are all run by enthusiasts who serve only wines that they themselves have unearthed, drunk and enjoyed.
Around Lyon
Jean Brouilly in Tarare
With such a name, this great chef was bound to love and champion the wines of Beaujolais! Founded 20 years ago, his restaurant is set in a grand house in the middle of a park. Of country origin, Jean Brouilly likes the simple produce of the land – which does not prevent him from cooking langoustines à l'escabèche (in a spicy marinade), his speciality! Splendid wine list with 350 items. Starting from Thursday 16th November, Jean Brouilly is offering a selection of fine vins de vignerons, such as Bruno Debize’s organic Beaujolais and Lilian Matray’s very fruity Juliénas. His Beaujolais menu at 48 euros* puts the spotlight on his shin of beef with vin de presse (press wine) from Beaujolais, and his delicious pikeperch fried with sage oil (one Michelin star).
Alain Chapel in Mionnay
Alain Chapel, who died in 1990, was one of the greatest chefs of the 20th century and a wine taster second to none. Suzanne Chapel has managed to perpetuate the spirit of her husband by entrusting the kitchen to the excellent Philippe Jousse. His fattened Bresse chicken cooked in a pig’s bladder with foie gras sauce and his lobster salad are fabulous. The sommelier Christophe Equille has selected the finest Beaujolais there are. Menu from 60 euros (two Michelin stars).
Le Cep in Fleurie-en-Beaujolais
Fleurie! What better place to sample real Beaujolais? A committed militant of Slow Food, Chantal Chagny champions the produce and wines of her terroir with passion. As far as cuisine is concerned, her saveloy poached in an aromatic bouillon and her "Beaujolaise" andouillette (small chitterling sausage) sound the return in force of slow cooking... And then there are the roast frogs’ legs in mixed herb vinaigrette! Le Cep has been named one of the 10 best restaurants in the world by The Times. For the Beaujolais Nouveau festival, Chantal offers no less than 8 different Beaujolais primeurs (new wines) (including the excellent Domaine des Nugues by Gérard Gelin in Lancié) and œufs en meurette in Beaujolais. Menu from 35 euros (one Michelin star).
In Lyon
En mets fais ce qu’il te plaît
A disciple of Alain Chapel and Joël Robuchon, Katsumi Ishida ran the Apicius restaurant in Tokyo from 1985 to 1989 before settling permanently in France in 1992. His discovery of Marcel Lapierre’s wines was a real shock: “I had never tasted Beaujolais like that! I was caught in a whirlwind!”. Katsumi Ishida works towards flavours with delicacy and refinement. His shin of beef in Lapierre Morgon melts in the mouth. We should also mention his free-range chicken with grapefruit and his tuna grilled only on one side, a pure delight! The bread is supplied by his neighbour Luc Mano, one of the great bakers of France, and the wine list is an invitation to happiness. Menu from 30 euros (it is advisable to book).
In Lyon, the sign “bouchon” (the word comes from the old French word bousche, a tuft of hay that carters used to brush their horses before going for a drink) is no longer the guarantee of authentic, quality cuisine. Some bouchons, however, still offer real traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, such as Brunet in the Cordeliers district. Here, chef Gilles Maysonnave – a disciple of Paul Bocuse – prepares an excellent pig’s trotter, not forgetting of course the lavish “mâchon” (traditional snack of cured meats served with wine) and the “pot” (a 45cl bottle used for Beaujolais) into which he pours the nectars of Marcel Lapierre and Pierre-Marie Chermette. A picturesque, warm place to celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau!
Paris will always be Paris
The proof that Paris remains the capital of good living is in the incredible number of places where you can sample authentic and delicious vins de terroir!
1st arrondissement
With its wooden decor, its bar and its little dishes made using top quality products (artisanal cooked pork meats, terrine of black pig, foie gras from Les Landes, oysters from Cancale), La Robe et le Palais, situated near the law courts on the Ile de la Cité, is an institution of the 1st arrondissement. The atmosphere is jazzy and you can buy a bottle of Beaujolais here to take away at wine merchants’ price.
2nd arrondissement
Aux Tonneaux des Halles in rue Montorgueil is known for the quality of its meats, its calf’s head with ravigote sauce and steamed potatoes and its carefully selected vins de terroir. Here you can sample the marvellous Beaujolais of Yves Mettras in Fleurie and Georges Descombes in Brouilly.
The more fashionable Caves Legrand, the oldest wine cellar in Paris, near Place des Victoires, will enable you to sample some excellent Beaujolais. This venerable establishment has installed a pleasant terrace beneath the Galerie Vivienne, one of the capital’s most beautiful covered arcades.
5th arrondissement
Although the Latin Quarter was once famous for its Sorbonne, Collège de France and prestigious lycées, it is perhaps famous today above all for its wonderful bistros, thereby proving that wine and the mind are two essential components of our civilisation. The Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, situated very near the Panthéon, is run by a native of Auvergne, Nicolas Carmarans, who served us up the most magnificent Saint-Nectaire cheese there is! In the evening of the Beaujolais Nouveau festival, a barrel is placed on the pavement, the accordion and saucisse sèche (dried sausage) are brought out, and the old rue des Fossés-Saint-Jacques suddenly comes alive!
Also renowned for their cooked pork meats, market cuisine and authentic Beaujolais, Le Mauzac, Les Papilles, Le Pré Verre and Les Pipos confirm that the 5th arrondissement is the district with the best supply of good wines in Paris!
10th arrondissement
We should also mention the unusual little cafes such as Autour d’un Verre, opposite the Théâtre Trévise in the 10th arrondissement, where the American Kevin Blackwell and Mari Laitinen from Finland – fans of “vins naturels” (natural wines) – make a charming couple, ready to introduce you to their latest finds.
Le Verre Volé, near the Canal Saint-Martin, is also a popular meeting place for great Beaujolais winegrowers such as Yves Métras and Jean Foillard. Between slices of Joël Meurdesoif’s cooked ham (one of the best), you can have a drink and stroll along the canal.
Beneath the Gare de l’Est, Aux Zingots is a trendy new bistro set in an old 1980s nightclub. If you like tripe, kidneys, calf’s head, black pudding and offal in general, this is the place to go. One of the finest wine lists in the capital!
11th arrondissement
In Belleville Le Baratin offers, for an unbeatable price (lunch menu at 14 euros), one of the tastiest market cuisines in Paris. The Argentinian chef, Raquel, treats us to a delicious meal with her marinaded salmon with black radish, octopus salad with sweet pepper and kidney beans, croustillant of pigeon with citronella, and preserved mango with ginger... At the bar, Philippe is as inexhaustible on the subject of Schubert’s music as on the Nuits-Saint-Georges of Domaine Prieuré Roch! For the Beaujolais Nouveau festival, he will serve Jean Foillard’s 2006.
Chez Ramulaud is not content with merely welcoming all the humanist “Bobos” (bourgeois bohemians) of the 11th arrondissement, you will also find a marvellous wine list and succulent black pig from Bigorre here. Every year, the Beaujolais Nouveau festival plunges this retro bistro, a stone’s throw from Nation, into an atmosphere worthy of the Roaring Twenties in Paris, with dances organised on the first floor.
*1 euro is worth approximately GBP0.67.
Carnet adresses
Jean Brouilly
3 ter, rue de Paris
Tél. : 04 74 63 24 56
Alain Chapel
Tél. : 04 78 91 82 02
Le Cep
Place de l’Eglise
Tél. : 04 74 04 10 77
En mets fais ce qu’il te plaît
43, rue de Chevreul
Tél. : 04 78 72 46 58
23, rue Claudia
Tél : 04 78 37 44 31
La Robe et le Palais
13, rue des Lavandières-Sainte-Opportune
75001 Paris
Tél. : 01 45 08 07 41
Le Mauzac
7, rue de l’Abbé-de-l’Epée
75005 Paris
Tél. : 01 46 33 75 22
Les Papilles
30, rue Gay-Lussac
75005 Paris
Tél. : 01 43 25 20 79
Le Pré Verre
8, rue Thénard
75005 Paris
Tél : 01 43 54 59 47
Les Pipos
2, rue de l’Ecole-Polytechnique
75005 Paris
Tél. : 01 43 54 11 40
Autour d’un Verre
21, rue de Trévise
75010 Paris
Tél. : 01 48 24 43 74
Le Verre Volé
67, rue de Lancry
75010 Paris
Tél. : 01 48 03 17 34
Aux Zingots
12, rue de la Fidélité
75010 Paris
Tél. : 01 47 70 19 34
Le Baratin
3, rue Jouye-Rouve
75011 Paris
Tél. : 01 43 49 39 70
Chez Ramulaud
269, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine
75011 Paris
Tél. : 01 43 72 23 29

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