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Eastern France Road Trip


KD1191
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My wife and I will be driving through France in May, and I'm hoping the community might be able to provide some advice for reliable restaurants along our route and/or in our destinations. We have a few "bigger" meals already planned (L'Arnsbourg, for example), but would appreciate any insight into lower profile places.

We'll be entering France from Germany, staying near Baerenthal, then traveling down to Colmar. We'll head toward Annecy, likely through Besançon. We are planning a day trip to visit the Grande Chartreuse as well as the Chartreuse distillery in Voiron. We'll stay overnight in Lyon before turning back north through Beaune and Reims, en route to Belgium.

I've looked through various topics here related to many of these cities, but the recommendations in most of them are quite old. Any updated suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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There are excellent threads on Lyon and Beaune, and quite à jour. I can't possibly add anything to those.

One of my fave places - very peasanty-hearty - on the lake of Annecy is Ferme de la charbonnière in Menthon Saint Bernard. Reserve ahead so that the farm will have a fresh reblochon heating and dripping on farm-fresh ham and onion at your table before you arrive. The village is enchantment iself.

Route de Thônes, Menthon Saint Bernard. Tel 04 5002 8259.

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Thank you, Parigi, that sounds delightful. You're quite right about Lyon and Beaune, and those are two places we've been previously. So, I think we're well equipped, there. Unfortunately, I can't find much regarding Colmar that's been posted within the last few years, and very little at all on Reims or Besançon.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I have two exceptional table d'hotes to recommend.

La Forestiere is a special lodging in the foothills west of the wine trail, a lovely refuge from the delightful but touristy villages along the trail. Eric is a hunter and a professional game butcher; Catherine is a suberb home chef. Meals were copious and special. Rooms were stylish and very comfortable. A superb address.

And farther west, in the middle of the Jura, in the fairyland village of Chateau Chalon, famed for extraordinary vin jaune:Le Relais des Abbesses. Again, a superb site, a talented chef and lovely rooms in an historic village abbey. A wonderful visit.

Both excellent sense of terroir.

eGullet member #80.

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I just returned from the Beaune area last week. In Beaune I enjoyed a very nice meal at Ma Cusine. Simply prepared food at it's best. Just a few minutes north in Nuits Saint George we enjoyed 2 very nice evenings at La Cabotte. A bit more of a contemporary flair, but they were 2 of the best meals I had on my trip.

In Lyon, no matter where you dine, be sure to had a pre dinner glass of wine or bubbles at L'Harmonie des Vins which is on the same Rue as Paul Bocuses' Nord. Great by the glass selection and a fun atmosphere. Have a great time.

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

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If you haven't found it, there are quite a few reviews of mainly Michelin one star in Alsace and Lorraine here

A few brief updates:

The Auberge Frankenbourg, La Vancelle now has a new grander dining room.

The Blanche Neige, Labaroche has changed chef and all other staff. We found the food rather salty on our last visit.

The former chef of the Blanche Neige has moved to Auberge de la ferme Hueb, Marckolsheim http://www.auberge-ferme-hueb.com/ There is a cheap 2/3 course lunch menu for less than 15€; if you want one of the more expensive menus at lunchtime it is better to mention when booking.

The Elisabeth, La Vancelle has shut.

Edited by milkman (log)
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  • 1 month later...

One of our favorite places to dine on that route is the Restaurant de la Gare in Guewenheim, south of Colmar maybe 30 mins by car. Great country restaurant in a tiny town with a fantastic wine list. Prices were very reasonable and service has been excellent. I have to admit though that my last meal there was in 2007.

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In Colmar you could cross the border to Germany and eat at Schwarzer Adler in Vogtsburg/Oberbergen. Very traditional french food that can be fantastic if you order wisely. Best dish for me is the Chicken with truffles in a pigs bladder, quite amazing and so rare to find these days. Or any of the other dishes for two (or more). In good weather you can eat on the terrace. They have a spectacular wine list with quite reasonable prices.

If you want to head further south (beyond Mulhouse) you should stop in Vieux Ferrette to visit Maitre Antony, maybe the best cheese affineur in the world. Incredible stuff, you will experience many well known cheeses as if you had them for the first time. They also offer a cheese ceremony on weekends, but it is always booked way in advance (though they told me last week that it is always worthwhile calling, esp if you are just two people).

On the way down south Arbois in the Jura is always a nice stop for interesting wines and old school french countryside. Auberge Grapiot in Pupillin (1km away) has very good food, great wines by the glass to experience the region and is very moderately priced.

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Thanks to all for the recommendations, they are greatly appreciated. We leave on Wednesday and are finishing up our plans.

glauer, I'm quite fond of the chicken with truffles in a pig's bladder...we had it at Paul Bocuse several years ago. It's hard to justify driving further on from our destinations after being in the car several hours each day to get to our various stops, but that may present a special case. I don't know if we'll get down to Vieux Ferrette, but we will have the chance to sample Maitre Antony's cheeses at L'Arnsbourg. I somehow missed them last time, a mistake I will not make twice.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Oberbergen is 40 minutes from Colmar, I actually thought it would be even closer.

If you want the chicken in the pigs bladder, you need to call ahead a couple of days. Without advance notice they can only make truffled chicken in salt or roasted, but the poached one is the most spectacular.

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