Lutter is a lovely, tiny village in deepest, darkest Alsace.
It’s a 34 minute drive from Basel through rolling hills, and apart from being a cute village, where the farmhouses haven’t been yuppiefied yet, and people greet each other on the street, it is also the home of the Auberge et hostellerie paysanne – the location of our battling (lutter to fight) through a stupendous meal in Lutter….
During the course of a very long, very good, four course meal, I was full after the first course, “lutter à Lutter” was born. In addition the name of the town Lutter, derives from Luther – he of the reformation, which although we weren’t eating like royalty, more like landed gentry, still tickled my fancy. Lutter the verb however, apparently stems from pure…..(disclaimer: etymology courtesy of www….. ) I digress….
And because you had such a good time, and the chairs were really comfortable you are shocked it’s that late.
You sit and you sip and you savour, and it’s so wonderful and so European.
We had the most wonderful salad with large shrimp, served warm, not a speck of gut in sight with a “nappe” of freshly made, slightly warm pesto. Heaven on a plate, I almost didn’t order it expecting fridge cold, hard shrimps, but the dish was perfect, and beautiful.
And then after the first course there was a long pause, we sat and we sipped and chatted and sipped, and the great thing was that at some point we started thinking – hm the next course would be perfect round about now.
And then it appeared. Chateaubriand – perfect, brought to the table in a small copper pan and carved while we watched.
This old-fashioned way of serving meals is one I love, makes me feel pampered and involved in the process. Lunch is served: ratatouille in a kilner jar, pumpkin puree, chanterelle mushrooms and perfect slices of Chateaubriand.
And then when we were full, there came the cheese plate, which I forgot to photograph…I only managed just a small picture, with a speck of homemade bread on it.
And so on to dessert. The house selection or what could be termed the “I just can’t get enough/killing me sweetly” plate: fresh fruit salad, vanilla ice-cream, with vetiver sauce, at least that’s what I thought the lady said.. but it was late, and I was sleepy.
And a crème brûlée – this the first thing to disappoint .- a crème brûlée can be beautiful in it’s simplicity, smooth custard base, crunchy top. Perfection. Unfortunately this one had a milk chocolate melted base below the custard, and the custard was eggy, I dislike eggy crème brûlée, more like a Crema Catalana, which I don’t like half as much. But this was the only disappointing part of an otherwise wonderful meal, so why quibble.
For Monsieur there was the lemon sorbet in marc, alcohol of some type, yummy but intense. And of course a coffee.
The lunch menu was 45 Euros a head, total cost of lunch including the house red, came to 130 Euros. During the week the lunch menu is 12 Euros a head and includes starter, main and dessert. The quality on both occasions is stupendous. Cannot recommend this place enough: http://www.auberge-hostellerie-paysanne.com/web/
CAVE: Oh the frustration, this was meant to be a beautiful blog, but the lack of formatting ability in wordpress just about drove me crazy. After numerous hours formatting and reformatting and reformatting and trying to get the picture and the text to match up, as they would in a magazine article I give up, so here you have it.