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Caveau d’Eguisheim

 

This family run establishment is located in Egusheim, one of the most pictoresque medieval vllages in the Haut Rhin portion of Alsace, on the wine route, which also hosts some of the finest Alsatian wine producers. The restaurant is in a typical Alsatian building and extends on two floors, although the first seems not be currently used. It accomodates 35 people, tables are wide and well spaced. Ambience is warm and cosy. The old wood-burning cooker at the entrance is reminiscent of home cooking cuisine where every item is home-made, as is the case in the Restaurant of J-C Perrin. The semi-private, one-table room where we were seated was the perefect setting.

The menu is rather tradinionalist with deep creative touches. We opted for the menu du Pape Leon IX which features 7 signature dishes I had been curiosly reading about in reviews.  The wine list is rather short and features mainly Alsatian bottles, although some wines from Bourgogne and Bordeaux are present. Mark-ups are reasonable at about twice the retail price. The wine by the glass choice is acceptable, featuring a few producers from Eguisheim. As usual, we ask for each dish to be accompanied by a different wine. Only restrictions: must be local and white wines, with a focus on Riesling.

While looking at the menu we nibble on the warm appetizing mini tarte flambeè and cheese filled choux. Home made bread arrived straight from the oven warm in two kinds, dark and white. Amuse bouche was a pumpkin cream with fried croutouns which had both delicate flavour, textural bite and depth from the chiken bouillon.  
Entreè was a remarkable house foie gras, tightly rolled in a dried fig paste, accompanied by plum and date confits, impressively fresh leafs of spinach and a delicate, refreshing foie gras ice cream topped with a sesame crust. Superb.

 A cappuccino of lobster, duck confit and porcini from the nearby Vosges mountains was as exciting to the eye as it was to the palate. The flavour intensity was impressive with the unusual assemblage of ingredients producing sort of meaty current running through the dish. In addition to the surprise you get when digging with your spoon when you find the solid “parts” at the bottom. This was a very skilled dish.

 Tarte flambeè aux thon rouge at aux aubergine was one more exciting dish. The tarte was impressively crusty and well cooked, classic toppings (bacon and sour cream) were well balanced and in harmony with the seared tuna which retained  all its freshness. Red pepper cream on the sides was also remarkable.

A demi pigeon followed which was cooked just perfectly (the chef said it was just passed 7 minutes in the oven), with garlic confit and a rich, deep wine sauce. The pigeon is supplied by a local farmer, Theo Kieffer. It came with garnishes such as an unusually flavourful bake apple slise, white plum, daikon, and a particularly smooth, tasty, light sweet potato puree.
A comparison of  a young and an aged munster with a very good home made quetsche (typical Alsatian plum) marmelade was very enjoyable.

Pre dessert “Comme une petite bière sucrée rafraichie” was exactly that. Bier whose alcohol has been removed, sweetened, top by a delicious whipped cream that looked like real bier foam. Fun looking, tasty and highly refreshing.

The chef’s own interpretation of Foret Noire was inspiring and very well presented, with its typical components individually displayed on the plate. The warm cake had an intense cocoa flavour, good texture and offered appealing contrast to the cold sour cherry sorbet topping it. Particularly good were the griottes (sour cherry) from Fougerolles, the town of Kirsch.
Petit fours were freshly baked Christmas biscuits and did not disappoint.

The cuisine of Chef Jean Christophe Perrin is characterized by an harmonius blend of strong traditionalism, evident in the use of locally sourced ingredients and disches of the Alsatian tradition, remarkable creative touches and some middle eastern influence. Service was warm and attent, staff is very friendly.  

Wines:
Jean-Luc Freudenreich Pinot Gris 2007
Paul Ginglinger Riesling Grand Cru Pfersigberg 2007
Wolfberger Riesling 2007
Leon Beyer Riesling Les Ecailler 2004
Charles Baur Gewurtztraminer Vendages Tradives 2007

 

Caveau D’Eguisheim
Michelin: 1 star
Gault Millau: 15/20
Chef: Jean Christophe Pierrin
3 Place du Château Saint Leon
Tél. : 03 89 41 08 89
E-mail : contact@jcp-gourmet.com
web: www.Jcp-gourmet.com
  
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