For a small town, Riquewhir has a fair number of good restaurants. During our four day stay there, we tried three of them, recommended to us by Hugel et Fils
La Grappe d’Or
It was Sunday evening and La Grappe d’Or was packed. David Ling of Hugel et Fils had reserved tables for us weeks ago and we were greeted like old friends and led down narrow stairs to a beautifully decorated and lit cellar. There were fresh flowers and candles on the tables. It was warm and cosy. We had already selected their Menu Gourmand.
A slim young lady with a shy smile and big dark eyes opened bottles Dopff & Moulin Pinot Gris. Dopff & Moulin based in Riquewhir, are predominantly producers of Crémant d’Alsace. The 2012 Pinot Gris was a pleasant enough wine but with only 17 g/l of residual sugar, was no match for the excellent, rich and substantial Foie gras de canard comme un opéra. It however, matched the crayfish that followed, beautifully (16).
A 2013 Pinot Noir from the small Riquewhir producer Bernard Bonner accompanied Magret de canard à l’aigre-doux et aux baies roses and Gratin dauphinois. Like most Alsace Pinot Noir, it was thin and uninteresting (14.5). The duck however was excellent and the Gratin, fabulous. La forêt noire « maison » was rich and chocolaty.
All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
The next day we went to the d’Brendelstub for a light lunch. We were tasting at Hugel that morning and we only had to walk a few yards to get to the restaurant. We were delighted to see Ann and Jean Trimbach having lunch there with wine journalists from the US. “We all seem to know where to eat” Ann said. I reminded her that we will be tasting with her that afternoon in Ribeauvillé. We opted for the Terroir Lunch Menu with excellent tarte flambée, spit-roasted ham with wok vegetables and Marc de Gewurztraminer parfait. The wine was Gentil which came with with Hugel compliments.
Le Sarment d’Or
It was Tuesday night and lunch has been only a picnic in between tastings at Rene Mure and Josmeyer. Le Sarment d’Or is a ten minutes walk from our hotel and by 8 pm, everybody was ready for a good dinner. We were not disappointed.
The head waiter took me to the bar and made me taste the wines for dinner giving me the option of changing any or all of them. I was happy with what they were offering. We started with an excellent game terrine and ate a wild boar stew as the main course washed down with wines from Domaine Weinbach. Service was excellent
The Best Western Schoenenbourg, another Hugel recommendation, was just outside the walls of Riquewhir and within easy walking distance of all the attractions and restaurants of the town. The outside swimming pool and restaurant were already shut but the hotel was clean and comfortable with superb service and breakfast. The bedrooms were spacious and I could see the vineyards from my window. The barman served could G&T and Anna at the front desk spoke good English.