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“Elegant and delicious” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Le Cheval Noir

Le Cheval Noir
17 bd St Jacques, 21200 Beaune, France
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Ranked #11 of 161 Restaurants in Beaune
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Entertaining clients, Doing business, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Elegant and delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

We ate here on a Monday evening in November so I was pleasantly surprised that we were not the only couple in the place. On the other hand, every other customer there was English. The staff were attentive, I could not fault the service. The food was delicious and beautifully presented.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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281 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Granite Bay, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Most Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

As a individual immersed in the restaurant business through ownership, I hesitate to and rarely give a restaurant this low of a rating. Such poor reviews, especially those well thought out and well written can be most impactful on one's business. In most instances, I make my mental notes, tell some of my associates and move on. But in this case, I feel that it is warranted to write this review as I have come to depend on reviews from sites like TA when planning out my dining experiences. This is especially so when undertaking a trip out of the country for pleasure and relaxation. We've all read the numerous and shallow "hater" reviews on sites and this will not be one of that type.

My brother had heard from his fellow wine affianados about some of the restaurants to visit while in Beaune with Cheval Noir being on their short list. We weren't able to experience Cheval Noir during our past visits and thus added it to our short list of where to dine. Since we were going to the region in high season, we wanted to make our dining choices in advance as the higher rated restaurants book out early. We did our usual and somewhat exhaustive research and chose Cheval Noir to be one of our dinner experiences. To be honest, it just made the list as I was a bit cautious due to some of the reviews on TA. In this case, personal word of mouth won out with my brother pushing his case to dine there.

First and foremost, the level of service that we experienced was one of the worst our group had experienced at a fine dining restaurant. The staff was surprisingly very young in age, probably under the age of thirty and there the level and lack of experience was evident. Our waitress was both impersonal and indifferent at the same time with such a stilted attitude. She seemed to understand little English which was surprising for a restaurant of this reputation. Simple questions about the menu seemed to irritate her and this made ordering even more difficult. We are an unpretentious group as diners, being both patient and pleasant in our dealings with staff. Soon our dinner conversation turned toward her poor attitude and apparent disdain to make our dining experience a pleasant one. What was rather galling was when my brother made a rather clever comment in English about the dessert, she actually cracked the first smile of the evening. Thus, it became obvious to us all that she clearly understood English especially as she made a small comment in passable English in return. I watched her carefully as she waited on 2 other tables in the section. Her attitude and service was not any better except a tad for an older French couple who appeared to be regulars. The one positive trait she displayed was a good level of efficiency. That still didn't make us stop wondering why she was even part of the wait staff or even in the hospitality business. Maybe she had a bad day but you don't bring it to your place of work especially to a restaurant such as this with a supposedly good reputation. We had some interactions with other staff when they were bringing out food or clearing plates. They too were also efficient but very impersonal with not one of them even smiling one bit. Perhaps this is what the owner espouses but it makes for a most unpleasant experience.

We all ended up ordering the Prix Fixe meal and the cuisine was of good quality and preparation but not all that interesting and inspiring. The choices of wine were fairly extensive and somewhat reasonably priced. My brother was staying at a nice and highly rated B&B a bit outside of town that was owned and run by a local who knows the going on's in the region. His comment was that some of the established restaurants in Beaune employ young workers to help keep the operating costs down. This comment seemed to ring true not only for our experience at Cheval Noir but also at another highly rated fine dining restaurant in town.

All in all, a very poor experience in a region where there are a good number of restaurants with similar high ratings to choose from. It was most disappointing for us to have come all this way on vacation and have this happen. Sometimes Forrest Gump is right........

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Cleveland, OH
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“This is super”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

We have visited Beaune frequently, often for the Wine Auction. We have walked by the Cheval Noir many times. It has always looked attractive. This year we bit the bullet and made a reservation. We are glad we did. It was wonderful. The service was perfect. The welcome warm. The reservation honored on the proper time. The atmosphere was elegant without being stuffy. The wine list was excellent, really excellent. The food and presentation were outstanding. This is a wonderful, wonderful restaurant. We hope we may go again.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lodi, California
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“One minor complaints . . .”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

We very much enjoyed our dinner but not necessarily the total dining experience. We were greeted pleasantly and our rain coats and umbrellas were hung carefully. Our reservation was honored perfectly and we were shown to a well located table, except for one thing: a piecing overhead halogen light. We moved tables but received little relief. Then we noticed that almost all of the tables shared, in our opinion, overly glaring lighting. There was one vacant table that had subdued and very comfortable lighting but we were informed that it was reserved. The décor seemed to reflect an effort to appear very chic with a modern and somewhat stark black and white appearance accented by a dramatic flower on each table. What was showing on each table looked more plastic than wood that in combination with the intense lighting was anything but elegant. However, we fully realize that many guests would have loved this atmosphere.

On a very positive note the food was quite good and the wine enjoyable in fair quantities when ordered by the glass. Service was generally attentive but somewhat mechanical. Two special touches added to the pleasure of the meal--a very pleasant amuse bouche and a nice sampler of mini-desserts even thought we declined a dessert course.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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channel islands
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Good Meal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

I always find it tricky to find "special" places in towns like this. Full of tourists who are never likely to return the market seems to evolve to serve food and forget. There must be places here that this description does not fit but unfortunately we didn't find them.

The Cheval Noir is situated on the road that surrounds the inner streets of Beaune , but easy enough to find with the street map. The interior is smartly decorated in brown and creams and pleasantly lit.

We ate with a small group of friends and our overall impression was that the food was good but service was rather impersonal albeit efficient.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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