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Northern France

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gb44 May 27, 2007 10:39 AM

Compared with the hundreds of posts on Paris, outlying locations are hard to find on this board. However, my wife and I had a great adventure and found a number of very fine places to try if you're in the countryside. Of course we ate at plenty of mediocre places when tired or hungry or when we made a bad choice. There is no way to warn people off of such places as there are so many. I will focus on places worth seeking out. This is all the more important as the food is so expensive and, as those prices, its pretty disappointing to eat poor food.

Alsace- We stayed in Eugelsheim and ate twice at the beerstube Caveau du Heuhaus. Very cool little place full of locals. First I had the charcute plate, very typical five forms of pork over a bed of kraut. The second time I had one of the tarts -cheese and ham over a very thin dough done at high temp. My wife a salad eater, just enjoyed the place.
Two highly recommended places we could not get to for various logistical reasons. Caveau Eugelsheim is a one star right in the middle of town. The other is the Auberge du Cheval Blanc in Westhalen -right on the rue des vins. Auberge Alsacinne was just o.k. Maison Kammerzell across from the Strassbourg catherdral was surprisingly good.

Champagne - two highly recommended places are Le Vigneron in a little town just north of Epernay and Le Berceauxin in Epernay proper.

Normandy - ranking among our best eats in France was Le Bread in Honfleur. Just elegant first class French food, rabbit, fish stand out. There was also a fine wine pairing as someone is paying attention here, too. We also went to a fish place on the waterfront.Bistro du Port which served several fine fish dishes. We stumbled over Le Pommier just behind the cathedral in Bayeax and had a great lunch finished off by the best apple tart I ever ate.

Brittany - this is one of the seafood centers in France and we were guided to a fish place at the end of a tiny road in Port de Kerdruc near Nevez. I had oysters from Belon and broiled Lobster. My wife had crab- all outstanding.

Loire - probably some of the best eating we did. Les 2 Caves in Bourre was more remarkable for being in a mushroom cellar than it was for the food - broiled meats mostly.
St. Vincent in Oisly was just elegant, friendly, but hard to find. We had a wonderful lamb dish and a fine piece of fish over a bed of some sort of grain in a balsamic reduction. The Loire cheeses were great too. Dessert was a chocalate melt down!
Our last elegant meal was in Chenonceaux, right outside of the castle gates at Le Bon Laboreur. Perhaps our most elegant, definitely most expensive, and certainly the most snobbish, the food here was just great! Steak done to perfection and sea bass over asperagus was beyond belief.

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  1. purplescout May 28, 2007 08:54 PM

    Thanks for your post. My husband and I had a great foodie trip through Normandy and Brittany a few years ago. We gorged on excellent fish and shellfish. We also discovered Pommeau, a liqueur that we occasionally enjoy to this day. Might try your suggestions next time we go!

    1. ChefJune May 29, 2007 06:48 AM

      sounds like a wonderful trip, gb44. Curious if you have any contact info for the places in Champagne that you would share?

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      1. re: ChefJune
        g
        gb44 May 29, 2007 08:49 AM

        Chef June-
        Yes it was a wonderful trip! I had more misfires in Champagne than anywhere else- restaurants far from our hotel and or being hungry at 5p.m.
        Of the two places that were recommended, Vigneron was in a little town along the route des vins about 10 km. North of Epernay. The tour information office located it for us, but we has just come back from there and it was away from our hotel. The Bercerenaux was on a street of a similar name which came off of the main circle of Centre Ville in downtown Epernay. It was the ground floor of a hotel. Downtown Epernay again The Table Korbus near the church was mentioned positively.

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