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Tuesday night in Beaune...

After that excellent 3-course lunch earlier today in Gevrey-Chambertin, I definitely did not need a full dinner. But I did need a little something, so decided to head into Beaune and stop in to one of my favorite spots on the planet, La Dilletante. Proprietor Laurent “Lolo” Brelin is one of the great people in town and a major fixture in the Burgundy food & wine scene, ever since his restaurant Caves Madeleine became a huge winemaker hangout many years ago. He sold the resto and opened his wine bar about a year and a half ago, and it is always a treat to go.

As has happened many times in the past, Lolo turned me on to an amazing wine from a producer I’d not heard of. This one was so good I’m afraid to even mention it here – I need to find out if they have a US importer, and if not I need to sign them up asap. Suffice it to say for now it’s a zero-dosage, zero-SO2, Biodynamically certified Crémant de Bourgogne. Mind-blowingly good.

As is the Croque Monsieur they make at La Dilletante. Yes, it’s just a “grilled ham and cheese”, but this takes it to another level. First you watch them slice the ham right off the bone from an artisan producer in the Jura. Then it’s covered with house-made tomato confit and aged Comté, layered on a thick slice of organic whole-grain bread from a local dude who makes two batches a week, and passed under the broiler until perfect.

And yes, to follow up on a blog post from a few weeks back, I think Beaune IS the new Portland. While sitting at the bar enjoying my Croque and Crémant, in walks a young bearded guy straight out of SE Division St. in Portland, with what looks like a deer leg sticking out of a shopping bag. Turns out he’s a charcuterie fanatic, who went to Corsica to study and learn the art, and is now back in Burgundy raising his own pigs and making his version of Corsican charcuterie (which he of course sells to Lolo.)

All this while Lolo hands me a glass of something dark brown and funky – a taste of a trappist-style ale that superstar winemaker Mounir Saouma of Lucien Le Moine makes for himself and friends.

Just a little Tuesday night happy hour in Beaune. Oh my…