TABLE DU GOURMET, Riquewihr, Alsace

TABLE DU GOURMET, Riquewihr, Alsace

7th September 2007

We drooled over the menu of this one star Michelin restaurant when we were in town in 2005, but it was closed on the only night we could go, so we chose it for our farewell dinner on last year’s Alsace tour, and it was well worth the wait. 

We all had the multi-course autumnal menu at 62 euros;  a memorable feast that just kept arriving, with none of that tiresome business of having to make choices.

We began with a small glass of mussel soup with diced crisp apple, a lively introduction to the feast, which continued with three small starters and instructions to eat them in a given order.  First, a layered rectangle of wild mushrooms with mushroom cream and a sliver of fine raw ham, an intense & delicious combination.   Then we had a beautifully balanced dish of lightly cooked foie gras with fig jam; dense but not too sweet and a garnish of sparkling jellied stock.   Finally, scallops with a strong blackcurrant reduction and chunks of apple, which rather overwhelmed the shellfish.   

The fish course was a triumph of flavour and texture - a small piece of bass on top of tiny smoked mussels and white beans, garnished with a razorshell clam, covered in parsley and garlic butter - yum.

A dish of subtly spiced venison, with sautéed cabbage, mushrooms, chestnuts and apple was the essence of autumn in Alsace.

We dallied with a cheese course, then concentrated on the puddings; there were two of them.  First, an upmarket version of bread and butter pudding - a raisin bread, with the raisins soaked in local marc served with a luscious almond cream, garnished with a skewer of grapes.  The pudding on the side was a glass of milk chocolate mousse hiding a layer of soft pear, topped with thin swirls of crisp roasted pumpkin.

The setting is as clever and classy as the food -  the traditional dark beamed dining room is livened up with cherry red walls and modern furniture and tableware.  The service is polished, in at least three languages, and the wine list is large and impressive. 

After consultation with the sommelier, Robert selected a luscious Gewerztraminer with the entree, the best Riesling I have ever tasted with the fish and a Rhone Valley St Joseph with the venison, which was OK, but the sommelier’s choice of a Bordeaux would have been better (Robert had his reasons).  This is a great place for a special dinner - that’s the only kind they do here.

Table du Gourmet, 5 rue de 1ére Armée, Riquewihr -  2024 the restaurant still has one MIchelin star and Chef Jean-Luc Brendel is still in charge.