Le Jardin des Violettes had it all: a secluded yet easily accessible bucolic setting, an inviting dining room, and the ultimate trump card, an outstanding young chef. Located within the Romantik Hotel and Spa Les Violettes at the edge the lush forested foothills of the Vosges Mountains, the restaurant overlooked the farmland of Alsace’s famed Route des Vins . Its spacious dining room was lined with broad picture windows and French doors that gave the room an airy atmosphere and let in the tranquil country vistas. In season, it opened onto a terrace and lawns that provided a lovely stage for al fresco dining. However, I especially enjoyed the room at night when the indirect lighting subdued by crimson silk shades bathed the space in a faint rosy glow. It enhanced the formal table settings and provided just the right touch of romance to showcase the exceptional cuisine of Chef Jérôme Jaeglé
This contemporary five-bedroom two story rental house, built in a former grain storage barn dating back to 1613, offered many advantages for an extended stay in Burgundy, France. Situated in a historic village of 200 residents sandwiched between the Lochere Stream and the famed Burgundy Canal, the corner house had been lovingly renovated by its owners whose own home was immediately across the fenced in pool courtyard of the rental property.
Lunch at this iconic Paris restaurant was, in spite of a near full dining room, excellent. A beautiful setting within an elegant winter light filled salon, attentive staff, and delicious dishes, cooked and presented to their best advantage, combined to leave us glowing with pleasure.
Our sampling of classic seafood favorites of langoustines, lobster and scallops, duck foie gras and a seasonal game pie specialty afforded us a broad range of flavors that remained exciting and vibrant without crossing the “interesting” line.
During a stay at the Hotel Le Meurice we had lunch at its eponymous lobby level gourmet restaurant. I had dined there with a friend years earlier and remembered the striking dining room and formal ambiance. In the intervening years the hotel had renovated the common areas and I was unsure what to expect. As soon as we entered the restaurant we took a liking to the opulent yet cozy dining room.
Named for Charles-Augustin Meurice the hotel’s history began in 1771 in Calais, where upper-class British travelers on their way to Paris would arrive after crossing the Straits of Dover. There, an enterprising regional postmaster, Meurice (1739-1820), welcomed them to French shores at his Calais coaching inn and arranging rides to Paris aboard his coach service. It was a 36-hour trip, and Meurice built a second coaching inn in Paris in 1817 to welcome the weary travelers on their arrival. The Hotel Le Meurice moved in 1835 to its present site, one of the most fashionable locales in the city, overlooking the historic Tuileries Garden.
For years we have visited this well situated restaurant in one of the city’s most prestigious neighborhoods and been rewarded with outstanding meals. On our most recent visit to Paris we returned to rediscover the well known restaurant which had a new chef and a new manager.
As in past visits we much enjoyed the beautiful Louis XV style dining room. Although the building facade was under renovation and the windows facing the famed Place de la Concorde were covered the dining room is so lovely we scarcely noticed the absence of the view even though we were seated at a window side table.