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Our Dinner at the AUBERGE FRANKENBOURG in ALSACE  2012

Notes by
GERALD WEISL,
wine merchant

 

I floated the idea of a few visits in Alsace to my pals in Frankfurt as we've been frequent foragers in the region, scouting for wine and food.

In my research, I'd noticed some buzz about the Auberge Frankenbourg, a small hotel of ten rooms and a modest-sized dining room with a most interesting menu.

My friends called about two weeks ahead, but the hotel was booked.  They'd taken a cursory look at the menu I'd sent along, but only a while later did they realize this place looked pretty good.

We booked ourselves into the Hotel Haut Koenigsbourg in nearby Thannenkirch and made tracks for Frankenbourg.  From Ribeauville, for example, this place is about a 30 minute drive, with our hotel in Thannenkirch being 10 to 15 minutes away.



Here's a link to the Auberge Frankenbourg website.


Follow along, if you like, to see our remarkable meal.

The place was fully booked, so reserving a table ahead of time is a good idea.  As you may be able to see, tables are spread out, so you're not right on top of neighboring diners.

 



We opted for the 69-Euro tasting menu and added the additional 22 Euros for the wine parings (without an aperitif, water or coffee).


We began, then, with a pour of Paul Buecher's Cremant d'Alsace, a perfectly serviceable little bubbly.

And along came this little amuse bouche...

Those little "lollipops"?  Foie gras!
Delicious, too.


Some additional little amusements before the show started!

The sommelier then stopped by with a pour of a nice dry white from France's Southwest...

Cauhape's Jurancon Sec was a pleasant and unexpected surprise...no oak...Gros Manseng...dry and faintly steely and citrusy.


A tartare or crudo of Omble Chevalier, a sort of "Char" -- a lake trout of sorts with a green garlic sorbet on top and a little 'chip' on top of that....Very fine and a wonderful starter.



I'm not much of a fan of all the 'foams' and such, but have to admit this little crab dish was exceptional.  It featured a light avocado cream and some sort of yuzu 'clouds'...


Time for a new wine...and they chose brilliantly.

A Domaine Ardhuy Ladoix....wonderfully smoky, toasty and leesy as this was set up perfectly with the Jurancon which was stylistically so different.
This was a beautiful demonstration of how to get the most out of the wines you're serving.  They didn't have to be the most fancy, most prestigious or "highest scoring" bottles.  By having such wonderful contrasting wines, each one sang its best and they were marvelous.


They called this a "Raviole" of Langoustines with pickled celery, a 'jus" of Granny Smith apples & Tomatoes.
That little morsel of a langoustine was sensational and could not have been more pleasing.


Dorade Royale with Mussels and Lobster on a bed of Bulgur Wheat...



Fletan (Halibut) in an herb sauce...absolute perfection!

And time for a new wine, this one from the backyard...


This was an interesting plate....

Mackerel with arugula and a little morsel of Beef Tartare, apparently a signal we were transitioning from the "surf" to the "turf."

 
Chateau Mac Carthy, a nice little St. Estephe.

 

Then things became a bit decadent!


Foie gras, more foie gras and morels in a sauce of Vin Jaune....
It tasted even better than it looks!

By the way...

...many courses came with an auxiliary sauce which the servers added at the last minute.


Pigeon d'Alsace with a bouillon of fava beans...unusually rich.
And on the side plate accompanying this:

...a cromesquis of a pigeon leg with a bit of mesclun.


One Happy Camper.

Then...some sweet things for dessert.

"Norbert, what shade of lipstick do you like?"

It was some sort of frozen granita or ice...

 

Then...these:

Then raspberries with a pistachio mousse...

And then a Lemon Meringue dessert...

We were surprised, frankly, that a suitable dessert wine was not part of the wine offerings and I flagged down our waiter and inquired...he brought a Fux-Fuchs Gewurztraminer which was hugely aromatic and delicious, but came with an additional charge on the bill.



This was a sensational meal and we thoroughly enjoyed such an exceptional menu.
The service was professional and we will certainly be making a return visit to this stellar restaurant.



BACK TO A PAGE OF TOURING IN ALSACE





 

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