IN-DEPTH: Monsieur Moutarde

 Monsieur Moutarde
When one thinks about the city of Dijon typically the closest association is with the condiment that shares its name, mustard (“moutarde” in French). Indeed the city does play up its connection with mustard and there are a number of shops where you can learn about and buy it. For many months after moving to Dijon as The Pinot Front Row walked from his apartment into the town he walked past the doorway of Monsieur Moutarde. And each time The Pinot Front Row just assumed that this was a mustard shop or museum. And really once you live in a town famous for its mustard you tend not to pay too much attention thereafter. It was only upon making a passing remark to Mrs Pinot Front Row that she noted that it had nothing, in fact, to do with mustard and was actually a fancy cocktail bar. And she says The Pinot Front Row doesn’t pay enough attention… 

The Pinot Front Row’s inattentiveness notwithstanding, it was decided that it would indeed need to be visited. First thing to be aware of when you do visit is that the place can get busy. Don’t be surprised to see a que out the door and down the stairs. This is what faced The Pinot Front Row upon our first visit. But don’t worry too much, unless its down the stairs and down the street a little it probably isn’t going to be a huge wait. On this occasion, with about 6 – 8 people in front, it was about a 10 minutes wait.

The exterior can perhaps appear a little intimidating, the old building and stairs ascending into the elegant stone archway, flanked by some of Dijon’s higher-end boutiques. But once inside you’re met this is replaced with a setting that is more intimate and inviting. The furniture is an eclectic collection of mismatched but comfortable couches, walls adorned by random artwork and mirrors, with lashings of wood and leather, with the large well-stocked bar taking pride of place in the centre. It’s also a surprisingly big place, with little seating areas tucked away as you snake through the corridor. In the centre there’s also a nice courtyard flanked by exposed brick and potted hanging plants with a tree in the middle. A warm evening is the ideal time to enjoy it.

The cocktail menu is extensive and creative, the ingredients high quality. The bar staff know what they’re doing and take great care with their creations. Should you not be in the mood for a cocktail, they also have a moderate selection of beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks (including mocktails). There’s also a snacking menu, with a few crowd-pleasers to go along with your cocktail. The Pinot Front Row favorites are the nachos and gyozas. 

Since that first visit Monsieur Moutarde has become a Pinot Front Row favorite, great for a nice aperitif before enjoying one of Dijon’s many nearby restaurants or for an intimate evening in it’s own right.

Yours in rugby,

The Pinot Front Row

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