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Mar 12, 2012 12:47 PM

Some recommendations for eating outside of Paris, Champagne/Loire/Alsace

In all instances not looking for Michelin star restaurants primarily because of price. Have dined at many in the past, just sort of burned out on "fine dining" for the moment. Trying to find lunch and dinner places maxing out at €50 pp not including wine.Less expensive the better so long as the food doesn't take to much of a hit.

1: Staying about 7 miles outside of Epernay, some 15 or so from Reims. Everything I've been looking at looks so formal, maybe that's just the photos. Any Ferme, country dining that's good? Open to suggestions.

2: Driving from Epernay to Tours, via Orleans. Know of a good breakfast or lunch spot.

3: Driving from Tours to Le Puy Notre Dame. Option of going a couple of directions, thru Azay-Le-Rideau and Chinon or ? Any suggestions re lunch options?

4: Staying in a house a few kn from small village of Le Puy Notre Dame. Le Puy is a few km from Montreuil be lay and Doue-la-Fontaine. Will have a car so can access villages around the area. Probably don't want to go beyond an hour drive in any direction. I know Saumur and Anger are about a 20 and 45 minute drive respectively. Think I had read on chow about some place in or near Candes St-Martin.

5: Staying in Eguisheim for 4-5 days. Will not have a car, it is a few miles south of Colmar. Would prefer to stay out of Colmar unless there something outstanding food/price wise. Want to avoid larger cities until in Paris at end of trip. May bike during the day or cab. Any lunch or diner recs appreciated.

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  1. In Azay-le-Rideau is an unpretentious small restaurant, La Ridelloise. The cooking was good enough that we returned there on our next trip. It sounds like the anti-Michelin thing you're looking for. However, I don't know if they do lunch and their website doesn't say. Reservations recommended.

    Diane de Meridor at Montsoreau (the town next to Candes) doesn't sound like what you're looking for--we found it through Michelin--but if you give up on no-fine-dining, it's well worth a visit. Reservations recommended.

    1. Will you be touring the Alsace wine route? If you are, please do share which winemakers you are visiting. Villages like Riquewihr and Kaysersberg have excellent eating options for not much money. The Sarment d'Or in Riquewihr is a standout, with amazing foie gras and a three-course menu for around 26 euros.

      Colmar actually has some outstanding options well below your price limit. Aux Trois Poissons serves excellent seafood (around 25 euros for three courses) and Chez Hansi is great for traditional gut-busting fare, if you can excuse the kitschy decor and staff dress (dinner starts from 20 euros for three courses). ATP also has a large and reasonably-priced wine selection; I remember picking up an excellent aged grand cru riesling for around 40 euros.

      1. In Eguisheim I can recommend traditional Alsatian restaurant “Ville de Nancy” ( ). They serve typical Alsatian cuisine in a typical Alsatian atmosphere. The dishes were very good, especially fish. My friends, who are frequent visitors there, speak highly of game dishes. I was there in a large group of people and couldn’t order a lot of things I would have liked, but the menu looked great and what I did have was delicious and surprisingly light.
        Across the street from Ville de Nancy you could visit winery of Giglinger family ( ). Very good wines made by people passionate about them.
        Another place to eat in town is Caveau d’Eguisheim, a 1-star restaurant serving French dishes with Alsatian accents. I haven’t eaten there, just heard some good things about it.
        In Wettolsheim, small town just north of Eguisheim, restaurant La Palette serves upscale, more refined food ( ) It is not a typical Alsatian restaurant and its elegant decor is definitely not Alsatian, which after couple of days there may be an additional incentive ;). Wettolsheim also boasts some excellent wineries, Barmes Buecher being my favorite. It is, however, probably not a walking distance from Eguishem.
        Sorry for not giving you more options, but it is not my usual stomping ground...