Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by markk

  1. Now that I think of it... after our second meal at Le Cerf, Michel Husser, the chef (and owner) invited us into the kitchen to take photos, and we got to talking. (He also unwrapped the "Pata Negra" ham from Spain that was the focal point of the main course so that we could get solo pictures of it, and in general he turned out to be the nicest fellow imaginable, especially as one by one he brought out the various ingredients, including the black truffles, for close-up photos.) I mentioned that I was going to give up on 3-star restaurants after my horrible meal at Illhaeusern, and he said that the restaurant north of them in Alsace that had recently been awarded their third star, was superb. I don't remember it by name, but in looking at the guide, I do believe it is L'Arnsbourg, in Untermuhlthal, near Baerenthal. This recommendation works for me!
  2. I've spent three weeks each of the last 3 Decembers on eating trips through Alsace, so I can share a few observations (and photos) with you. I ate at Le Cerf twice this past December. It's an absolutely fabulous resturant. The food is exciting and delicious. Photos of the chef's Truffle Menu can be found here Le Cerf truffle dinner. We had the Poached egg on Piedmontese polenta, over a coulis of spinach and ricotta, covered with black truffle shavings to start, followed by the large ravioli of smoked and poached duck foie gras in pot-au-feu bouillon, covered with black truffle shavings , and then the Penne pasta in an aged Parmesan cream sauce with aged Iberian black prosciutto, roast juices, covered with black truffle shavings. Everything was spectacularly delicious. On the previous visit we had the same two first courses but for the main plate we had the roast wild duck with chopped duck hearts and livers on toast. Also rather spectacular. I didn't have the pasta offering the first time, thinking that I hadn't come to France to eat pasta. But the meal was so wonderful that I felt I had to come back the next week and have the complete truffle menu, including the pasta. And I have to say that I cannot remember ever eating a dish that was so culinarily exciting, and so rewarding to eat. I don't necessarily like invention for inventions's sake, but I'd been in search of culinary thrills, and finally found them here. This was definitely more culinary genius, but in a delicious and satisfying way, than I've ever found at a 3-star place. The chef turns out to be a warm and hospitable person, and you can certainly taste this in his cuisine. Highly recommended for culinary thrills and gastronomic satisfaction. In complete contrast was a meal at Auberge de L'Ill. The gastronomic "menu" there consisted of all the right things (truffles, foie gras, lobster) but tasted like food that's prepared in advance and served on an airplane. It had no vibrancy, no life, no excitement whatsoever, and the lobster with mushrooms was actually too poor tasting to eat. (I've had a similarly disappointing meal at other 3-star restaurants, and then again, wonderful meals at others.) I'd have to say that in nine weeks of dining in Alsace this was the least good food we had. We also had a perfectly nice meal at Julien in Strasbourg, although if you're seeking great dining I don't know that I'd recommend this as anything other than just nice. (Also, the portions at Julien were of the tiny, one-bite size, and I like a little more to sink my teeth into.) Thanks to the Michelin's new "bib gourmand" symbol, I've discovered two restaurants that serve exceptionally good food, and I'm not sure why they're not awarded a star: Au Chasseur in Birkenwald, right near Le Cert, and Faude in the mountain village of Lapoutroie, about 20 minutes up into the Vosges above Colmar. But if you're willing to try other than starred restaurants, you can have some great eating at these places, and you can preview their cuisne here... Faude food photos Au Chasseur food photos I've been to Faude dozens of times, and this is reflected in the photos. The food is truly delicious, and so varied that it requires many return visits. Everything there - the regional dishes and the "gastronomic" creations, are just top notch. I've been to Chasseur twice but the photos are not updated to reflect more than the one fabulous meal. (If your interests include wine, Au Chasseur has an utterly fabulous cellar, which they're quite famous for, and the Bordeaux and Burgundies they serve absolutely live up to the cellar's reputation. This one's a must for food and fine wine.) I've never eaten at Buerehiesel, but I can tell you that one year while dining at Faude we struck up a conversation with a French couple from Strasbourg who seemed quite knowledgable in cuisine, and when I mentioned I'd be going to Auberge de L'Ill in a few days, told me that it had been resting on its reputation for years and was lousy, but that Buerehiesel was wonderful. In that they called the Augerge de L'Ill perfectly right, I'd be inclined to believe them about Buerehiesel. Hope this helps you find some great dining in Alsace.
  • Create New...