Excellent no-star restaurants in Alsace?
I'll be spending a couple of days in Alsace in March. On my first day, I'll be in the area southwest of Colmar (Soultzmatt, Rouffach, Gueberschwihr); on the second I'll be north of Colmar (Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé, Bergheim). I'd like to eat in traditional, unpretentious, very good restaurants outside of the big cities, and I'm not remotely interested in Michelin stars. If the restaurants know how to cook vegetables, that would be wonderful. I'd be very grateful for any suggestions.
Why the lack of interest in Michelin ratings? I find Michelin is pretty accurate for food ratings and going for "Bib Gourmands" is a good way to find good quality food (including vegetables), and avoid tourist traps. I also found that starred restaurants outside Paris tend to be far less formal than in Paris, and Alsace does have quite a few good one stars scattered through the countryside.
It's hard not to have a bad meal in France. The Alsace is gorgeous; we spent 6 days there last May. They're of course farm based so your veggies will be excellent - and what's in season. We were there during asparagas season; everywhere we turned more asparagas...anywhere here's one thought:
Wistub du Sommelier 51 Grand Rue, Bergheim Telephone (011) 33 3 89 73 69 99 Open Lunch, Tuesday through Saturday; dinner, Monday through Saturday Cost
This small, homey restaurant in the charming town of Bergheim reverses the usual approach to wine and food. Owner Jean-Marie Stoeckel was first a sommelier (at Alsace three-stars Auberge de l'Ill and Au Crocodile, among others), and he has tailored his menu to an innovative, extensive and reasonably priced wine list.
The Wistub manages to be traditional without falling into kitsch. Two small rooms are set with simple wooden benches and chairs. It's a fine frame for the unpretentious food, basically traditional dishes that have been both lightened and sharpened. The onion tart is extraordinary, rich and sweet; quiche combines a delicate crust with an eggy filling studded with mushrooms; the choucroute is light and crunchy.
The handwritten wine list is barely legible, but it repays perseverance with unusual breadth and very fair prices. There are more than 100 Alsace listings, many under $25, with vintages back to 1983. Bordeaux is abundant, too, with other areas of France also well represented, and 27 wines are available by the glass. Stoeckel is exceptionally adept at finding food matches that show off every nuance of his wines. +++++++++
++The best idea to find a restaurant is to go to a degustation (tasting) at any of the wineries - and many many are open to the public - and ask the folks there what they recommend. Those folks all speak English so no problem if you're not fluent. Bon Appetit!
Can't help you southwest of Colmar but I asked the same question last year for the Ribeauville area: -here was one answer:
"Table du Gourmet in Riquewihr is very good and I've seen they've also opened recently a lower price winstub. You are also close to our very favorite winstub, Zum Pfiferhus (spelling may be off) in Ribeauville.
We are also fans of Hotel du Faude (where we usually stay) and Les Alisiers, both in Lapoutroie. If you want really really great Tarte Flambee, take a drive into the Vosges to Ste. Marie aux Mines to Tavern du Mineur. That is about a 20 minute drive from Riquewihr.
Joan Kureczka Mar 20, 2007 06:30PM "
My wife and I really liked the Hotel du Faude, warm gracious service, good food. After our leisurely lunch the owner"s wife came and sat with us, inquired about how we liked the meal and chatted for about 10 minutes. We also drove to to Ste. Marie aux Mines and liked Tavern du Mineur.
Here is the link to that page with more info http://www.chowhound.com/topics/382959
We also took ChefJune's suggestion and went to Domaine Bott and liked their wines.
check out this link also http://www.chowhound.com/topics/259680
Glad to hear you liked Faude so much -- I missed your earlier post. Chantal and Thierry are terrific indeed, and Chantal is extremely helpful at arranging visits to some of the wineries that are only open by appointment -- Domaine Weinbach, in our case. Sounds like your meal was from the Faude Terroir menu. We really wish we could get back there.