5 Charming Terraces on the Alsace Wine Route
24 July, 2017
The Alsace Wine Route is speckled with numerous wine cellars where you can taste the famed wines of this French region. And, if you’re travelling with family, friends or your partner, you can opt to discover the world of winemaking through a series of leisure activities in a number of delightful towns and villages, some of them regarded as among the most beautiful in France. You will also come across an endless array of restaurants, from Michelin-starred establishments to the typical winstubs, a kind of bistro offering traditional cuisine from locally sourced products in a relaxed setting. And, seated at a terrace café, to wit. Take note of these venues, which we can highly recommend.
La Nouvelle Auberge
This former post office is located between the cities of Colmar and Munster. The ground floor features a bistro offering market cuisine at moderate prices. The first floor is given over to an acclaimed, award-winning gourmet restaurant, with the subtle creations of a chef who combines cutting-edge technique with simple Alsatian recipes, conditioned solely by seasonality and in line with the slow-food movement, of which La Nouvelle Auberge is a member. They offer four tasting menus with different dishes every day, depending on what the freshest produce from local producers happens to be. Some of their specialities include snail soup with garlic and parsley, oxtail consommé, smoked river fish fillet in red wine sauce and snail paté on toast, all paired with local wines. The interior design is that of a traditional, half-timbered Alsatian home, while the establishment boasts a pleasant, quiet, shady terrace set in natural surroundings.
A comfortable, inviting establishment with refined decor where the chef crafts new suggestions every day, over and above a menu which is both contemporary and traditionally inspired. Special mention goes to the homemade desserts – watch out for the seasonal fruit tarts – and their wine list, extensive and with acclaimed local wines. As soon as the morning sun peeps through, they open a terrace behind the lovely red house that is Avenue 294. They have comfortable easy chairs and a plant-fringed area suited to having a last drink, for example. Pleasant ambient music accompanies the experience. A gourmet venue in a perfect setting you won’t want to leave.
A five minutes’ walk from the centre of the picturesque city that is Colmar – also known as “Little Venice” for its canals – you can relax in the garden-terrace of this establishment, owned by the Keller family, the fifth generation of restaurateurs. Their cuisine, based on seasonal products, is refined and very Alsatian, as evinced in the homemade foie gras with Gewürztraminer wine gelatine, or their organic five-meat sauerkraut. However, the standout feature of this restaurant-hotel is the interior patio, sited in a garden full of trees and flowers, totally cut off from the rest of the city.
A genuine old-time Alsatian winstub located in the heart of Colmar. They offer the authentic – most compelling – local dishes, including sauerkraut, onion tart, Munster cheese salad and duck magret, cream cheese and potatoes and beef tripe with Riesling. We loved their beautiful, flower-filled urban terrace where you needn’t hesitate to spend a long after-meal sipping those fabulous white wines from Alsace, served in glasses with a green foot.
Marlenheim, the first town you come to on the Alsace Wine Route if you start off from Strasbourg, has some great wine cellars and a great restaurant – Le Cerf. This establishment, which doubles as a hotel, has been run by the Husser family since 1930. It combines rustic interior design with avant-garde cuisine, which has earned it a Michelin star. Theirs is top-drawer cuisine, featuring regional dishes crafted using contemporary techniques, attested by the likes of sauerkraut or bouchées à la reine (stuffed vol-au-vent), and such international dishes as ravioli au foie gras or oxtail sashimi ramen, served up amid surrounding vineyards. Their terrace is a central patio where local red geraniums lend a touch of charm.
Book your Vueling to Basel, an hour and a half from the start of the Alsace Wine Route, and be sure to soak up the views in some of these magnificent terraces while tasting their delicious cuisine.
Text by Laia Zieger de Gastronomistas
24 July, 2017