Not really amazing, but worth the detour

Restaurant Review: Au Moulin de la Wantzenau

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

22 February 2018

For the second time in three years (this is, perhaps, too infrequent), I enjoyed a fine meal at Au Moulin in the Wantzenau: about a 15 minute drive outside Strasbourg.

It is not a Michelin rated restaurant, but excels in many respects.

Dining with two work colleagues, we enjoyed a good dinner with a bottle of Champagne and a fine Burgundy for only €100 each: taxes and service included.

The service was friendly and professional.

Another reason I chose to go here? People in the know have told me several times about friendly (restaurant) wine prices. In our case, we enjoyed a predictably fine Pol Roger NV Brut for €54: a good restaurant price.

Another friendly restaurant price for the Méo-Camuzet Marsannay 2015, which pleased us all with its ripe fruit and fine structure, for only €57 per bottle. An engaging wine, with depth and sensuality. The appellation of Marsannay is said to be one of the less “exalted” villages of the Côte de Nuits, but when the wine is made by a top producer like Méo-Camuzet, you get a style that can resemble that of neighbouring appellation Gevrey-Chambertin, albeit perhaps softer. Marsannay reds can have intense color, like this one did, and a bouquet of vivid red and black fruits like cherry and ripe blueberry, like this one did, too.

How about the food?

Good to excellent, with some finesse and refinement, and let us not forget to mention the fine amuses bouches and complimentary mignardises for the finale.

The food tasted – and looked – good. Starting with the amuse bouche combo of a delicious lentil cream with a velvety texture and subtle taste, served with a delectable foie gras pastry and biscuit-like breads baked with olive and cheese.

Menu choices were all very good, and hats off to chef Philippe Clauss for being able to juggle a variety of styles.

In French, the word entrée means starter, which makes more sense because the word “entrée” actually means entrance. My entrée then of roasted scallops, fresh tasting, proved delicious, served with zesty mushrooms, and two purées: sweet potato over aubergine. The fresh bread went perfectly with both.

Somewhat less impressive was the main course of Tournedos of Angus beef: not the most original concept, but well cooked as medium rare: pink in the middle and not bloody red as you can sometimes still get in France when you ask for something more cooked ? … It was good, but nothing particularly extraordinary. Still, the potatoes au gratin proved a most savory accompaniment.

My colleagues had a similar reaction: for example the entrée of sautéed liver and salad was delicious, he said, but a main course of chicken was somewhat boring if good. The cheeses at the end were fine, albeit a bit paltry for the €7 price.

A fine evening, overall, with an ambiance both relaxed and elegant.

Anyone who goes to Strasbourg searching for fine cuisine is spoiled by many good choices, and Au Moulin de la Wantzenau offers good gastronomic cuisine for a decent price in a fine setting: worth the detour!

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