The Cincinnati Mondiale celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau “Eve” at a French eatery that was established by the iconic Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel in 2015. Chef Jean-Robert moved to Cincinnati in 1993 to join the Maisonette—at the time, the longest standing Mobil Five Star restaurant in the country—as chef de cuisine. During the next nine years he received national and international acclaim as one of the pre-eminent French chefs of his time.
After departing the Maisonette in 2001, over the next two decades Chef Jean-Robert opened a number of highly successful restaurants in the Greater Cincinnati area with Le Bar a Boeuf being one of his last and most successful. Starting out as a gathering spot for gourmet burgers, over the years was transformed into a classic French Bistro.
Following a long bout with cancer, revered Chef Jean-Robert passed away in 2022. His wife Annette, long-time Maitre’d Marilou Lind, Chef de Cuisine Jordan Brauninger, and Pastry Chef Aidan Thornton have faithfully carried on his tradition of approachable yet sophisticated French-inspired cuisine.
Mondiale members and guests started the evening in homage to Beaujolais with flutes of Nicole Chanrion “Effervescence,” a brut méthode Champenoise sparkling wine made with Gamay Noir grapes. We admired the twinkling lights of downtown Cincinnati while enjoying passed appetizers. An elegant five-course dinner was served by the meticulous Le Bar a Boeuf staff. Each course was expertly paired with five Cru Beaujolais wines selected by Echanson Provincial Midwest Mary Horn. The five wines were: Château Grange Cochard Morgon “Cote du Py,” Domaine de la Vôute des Croze Cote-de-Brouilly, Domaine Diochon Moulin-a-Vent “Vielles Vignes,” and Château des Jacques Fleurie.
Cru Beaujolais wines were also incorporated into several of the dishes including Scallops and Pork Belly in a Beaujolais Broth, Duck Leg Confit Salad with Cider Beaujolais Vinaigrette, Drunken Cod in Beaujolais, and a Duo of Beef Tenderloin and Short Rib on Foie Gras Toast with Beaujolais Perigordine.
For those members whose only previous exposure to Beaujolais was once a year in November when Nouveau hits wine stores, this Cru Beaujolais extravaganza was truly an eye-opening experience. Not only were the selections lush and silky, but the price-point had more than a few members (including this author) buying a case or two following the event.
At the conclusion of the event, Bailli George Elliot, the superb staff of Le Bar a Boeuf, and of course Echanson Provincial Midwest Horn, were thanked with rounds of applause for an “over the top” experience. Ms. Horn was singled out with special thanks for educating Mondiale members on the intricacies of an underappreciated wine. This bailliage is extremely fortunate to have such a kind and talented, yet humble, “knower of all things related to wine and spirits.”
Graig Smith, Vice Chargé de Presse