Hostellerie Le Cedre, Le Clos du Cedre, and the amazing Chef Christophe Ledru
BEAUNE, FRANCE, Feb 3, 2018 – Hostellerie Le Cedre is a sophisticated 5 star luxury hotel with a truly fabulous Michelin starred restaurant, Le Clos du Cedre.
It is beautifully located on the ring road in a fashionable neighborhood just on the edge of the Burgundian wine capital of Beaune.
With gorgeous rooms, lavish interiors and a serene atmosphere, it is the perfect place to stay to explore Burgundy, the ancient walled city of Beaune, and the wine country surrounding the Cote d’Or.
Hostellerie Le Cedre featuring Michelin starred restaurant Le Clos du Cedre
Hostellerie Le Cedre is situated just outside the walls of Beaune, with a lovely front garden where lunch and dinner is served during the warmer seasons.
The lobby is beautifully appointed, full of warm woods and an opulently comfortable lounge and bar area just off the front desk, where a crack staff attends to every need.
With just 40 individualized rooms it has the feel of a boutique hotel and the amenities and service of a larger luxury resort.
The second floor room is comfortable and spacious with polished blond wood flooring and a large picture window overlooking the lovely garden area below.
Hostellerie Le Cedre/ Le Clos du cedre – Owner Eric Fueret
Owner Eric Fuertet is a true renaissance man, a hotelier, gastronome, and farmer who specializes in the breeding of the regions famed white Charolais beef cattle.
He acquired the hotel in 2002, renovated it to its current state in 2012, and brings character, vision, determination, and the dedication of a lifetime in creating a wonderful hotel and gastronomic experience.
Le Clos du Cedre featuring Michelin starred Chef Christophe Ledru.
Its restaurant, Le Clos du Cedre, is located in a stunningly restored 19th century wine grower’s mansion on the edge of the manicured gardens, and boasts the exceptional talents of Michelin starred Chef Christophe Ledru.
Chef Ledru used to be with Alain Ducasse at the three-star Michelin restaurant at the Dorchester in London, and before that was with Alain Ducasse at his Paris flagship at the Plaza Athenee.
Here at Le Clos du Cedre he has a chance to put his own stamp on Haute Cuisine and succeeds magnificently, recieving a Michelin star each of the past two years he has been here.
The restaurant is in an impeccably restored building, with the dining room divided between four chambres on the first floor.
Upstairs is a conference center that doubles as a private movie room, while similarly, downstairs in the back is a private dining room for 10.
The two front dining rooms are works of art, decorated in late 1890’s beaux arts style, with crystal chandeliers, blue wallpaper, plaster decorative sconces hand painted in four colors, with pink plaster roses as an accent.
Le Clos du Cedre – The cast of characters
The staff is precisely efficient, a finely synchronized casually flamboyant team who guide the way through an evening of exceptional culinary masterworks.
David Cacoujat, originally from Kinshasha, Zaire, is Director of the Restaurant, and choreographs a three hour evening of magnificence.
Head waiter Emmanuel de Pluvie is a French native with a hearty English accent and an encyclopedic knowledge of Haute Cuisine from his many stints at top restaurants in London.
Sommelier Benjamin Maillet is a total rock star, an intensely likable young man who was raised in Beaune. Benjamin has been at Le Cedre for 6 years, and has a rich future as an emerging force in the accumulated knowledge of the intricacies of Burgundy wine.
Le Clos du Cedre – A Sommelier’s paradise
When shown several suggestions to choose between he asked “What are you looking for in a wine”.
It’s not just a fair question, but a demonstration of the consideration of wine choice as a personal expression as well as an accompaniment to cuisine.
When told of the desire for a dry, fruit forward, but elegant expression of a vintage of some distinction, his response was to explain the differences between the two initial choices.
He then went on to recommend a third choice that more aptly met the criterion expressed, that was actually a much more exciting wine, and winemaker, than the initial choices. That is the atmosphere and expertise a true sommelier seeks to create in the fine dining wine experience.
He then produced a Clos Vouget Grand Cru that shook the foundations of the Earth as it slowly unfolded over the next three hours.
It was a suble granting of the invaluable lesson of the culinary arts: the search for greatness revealed in the heart of a winemaker’s passion.
Le Clos du Cedre – The evening begins
The front dining room with 8 tables is ablaze with golden light in a chamber of amber blue, chandeliers glistening against high ceilings.
The evening begins with a glass of delightful Chartogne-Tailet pink champagne, served with an Amuse buche of cream of scrambled egg with truffle in a parmesan cream.
Foie Gras poached in red wine with a beetroot chutney is simple, tasty and extraordinary, the foie gras tender and flavorful, the beetroot a sweet and rich counterpoint.
Spring asparagus with Cecina beef and Parmeson cheese ice cream is a wonderful combination of fresh vegetables, thinly sliced aged beef, and a unique ice cream to clean the palette.
Dublin bay prawns with Russian Osetra caviar and ponsee flowers and langoustine cream is extraordinary, delicious, and a delight to look at.
Served on a mille fluelle crust that is best broken with a fork and eaten like a fabulous canape, it delights the senses and enthralls with its originality.
Pike perch burgundy style in a red wine sauce is exceptional, perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside, flaky and tender on the inside.
Fillet of Charolais beef with truffle jus and a mashed potato cake is the epitome of a classic Burgundian filet, tenderly sumptuous and lean. It is a tribute to owner Eric Fourtet’s lifetime of passion to the breeding of Charolais cattle.
The evening is accompanied with an exquisite Clos de Vouget Grand Cru 2011 Domaine Neo Cameuzet, a famous producer of Cote de Nuit situated in the village of Vosne-Romanee.
According to notes by Sommellier Benjamin Maillot, the 2011 Clos de Vouget is a subtle vintage, round with a good balance of acidity Flavor of red and dark fruit supported by a nice integrated oak the finish is spicy with a good persistence.
As it opened and blossomed delightfully over the course of three hours it was one of the single greatest wine adventures in memory.
Souffle de Bourgogne du Rhubarb with thyme and lemon sorbet is incredible, a burst of rich flavor in a delicate but hearty soufle and the perfect finale to an exceptional meal.
Le Clos du Cedre – Chef Ledru and his team
Chef Christophe Ledru creates an incredible evening of stirring Haute Cuisine and it is hard to believe that a second Michelin star is not far away in his future.
He is predictably modest on such things, but proud of his work, and of the half dozen other acolytes of Alain Ducasse who he has worked with who together make up the next generation of rising chefs to assume the mantle of greatness.
Like the disciples of Robuchon before him, it is the intense passion of each individual chef that drives them forward.
In Le Clos du Cedre, Chef Ledru has found his vehicle here in the heart of Beaune, in the mother land of Burgundy wine, in the heritage of France.
An evening of rhapsodic splendor ends too soon, after three hours that fly past, in a series of generous accolades for Chef Ledru and the entire kitchen and restaurant staff.
Le Clos du Cedre – Splendor in the heart of Burgundy
It is Le Clos du Cedre that, among other things, lifts Hostellerie Le Cedre to new heights of exquisite glory, from cuisine, to setting, to service, to the excitement of the culinary experience.
There are some things that are priceless, of which the first is a genuine organic experience that is transcendently special. These are both few and far between and when found, must be indulged with the passionate glory of a culinary feast.
Beaune is the gateway to the great vineyards of Burgundy, especially the Cote d’Nuits north of Beaune and the villages of Vouget, Nuits Saint George, Morey Saint Denis, and Gevrey-Chambertin.
Hostellerie Le Cedre is the perfect base to explore the virtues of Burgundy vino-culture and the epic historic touchstones of France.
Le Clos du Cedre is the perfect place to then experience the wine and culinary treasures of Burgundy, particularly in the exceptional hands of Chef Christophe Ledru. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Standard rooms start at around $250 per night, Superior rooms run about $280 per night, deluxe rooms can be had for $340 per night, while Junior Suites run about $450 per night.
Air France flies direct to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and from there to the rest of France and all of Europe from Washington, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and a number of American cities.
Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles @JoelBerliner
All photos by Alison Reynolds @BigAlPeoplesPal