Business lunch at the one star Buerehiesel
Restaurant review by Panos Kakaviatos for Wine-Chronicles.com
7 February 2015
We were seated in a well-sunlit space, the large windows offering lovely views of the trees in the surrounding Orangerie park on a cold, yet sunny February day.
The site was the Restaurant Buerehiesel, located in the heart of Strasbourg’s rather expansive and pastoral park, the Orangerie, just across from my workplace, the Council of Europe.
I have been in Strasbourg for many years, but this was my first ever experience at this legendary restaurant, housed in a beautiful half-timbered 17th century farmhouse that had been once dismantled from its original location and rebuilt in the Parc de l’Orangerie.
Although the restaurant had existed for over a century, Viviane and Antoine Westerman purchased the Buerehiesel in 1970, taking it to great heights of gastronomy. In 1994, chef Antoine Wesermann obtained 3 Michelin stars.
In 2006, he left the restaurant to his son Eric, who continues with “refined and reliable regional cuisine, accompanied by a wonderful choice of Alsace wines with pleasant service” – so says the internet-based Michelin guide. Since 2011, it carries one Michelin star, although some people I know who know the history of the restaurant say that the food is not as impressive as it was under Antoine Westermann. In any case, I do not have such experience to compare, but the setting of the restaurant is marvelous.
A colleague and I decided to go for a 37-euros per person “business lunch” which looked very good. The service was very good, right from the start. We entered the restaurant and immediately had our coats checked. Promptly seated in the comfortable and well lit room, we enjoyed the lighting, surrounded by large windows.
Of course, when you dine at a Michelin rated restaurant, you notice the little things. Like for example how just one butter was served for two people. Or that the bread was not warm when served. In any case, it was lunch, and the food proved delicious, particularly delicate samosa like pastries filled with foie gras and truffle, that we dipped into a delicious emulsion of topinambour or “Jerusalem artichokes”, which come neither from Jerusalem, nor are they artichokes. These are a species of sunflower whose tubers (root vegetables) can be delicious.
Wine choices were very good, although I did not like any of the set per glass options for the 37 euro menu, so opted instead for a delicious white Burgundy that was 38 euros per half bottle and which went very well with the main course of slow cooked pork and delicious roasted root vegetables with a truffle infused sauce.
Although one qualm: not much meat, with a good portion of fat. Yes, that lended flavor, but I would have liked a cut with a bit more meat, for the money paid.
The dessert was a crepe over a chestnut cream, with nuts and chocolate and a slightly superfluous portion of vanilla ice cream, that I ate guiltily.
Well, if you are going to spend well over 120 euros for two on lunch, no less a business lunch, you may as well fully enjoy what is offered.
A delicious meal, recommended, and the location can’t be beat if you are in central Strasbourg.