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A L'Aigle d'Or

14 Rue de Gerstheim
Osthouse , France http://www.hotelalaferme.com
33 3 88 98 06 82

Customers call the cat who freely roams this winstub by name: it’s that kind of place. L’Aigle is the only restaurant in Osthouse, A La Ferme the only hotel, so when you book a room at the one you automatically wind up eating at the other (both places are owned by the Hellmann family). It takes three minutes to reach the hotel from the winstub, a pleasant walk. The younger Madame Hellmann’s kugelhopf—a yeast cake with almonds and raisins baked in a tube pan with swirling fluted sides—is a modèle du genre. All petticoat lampshades and morbid gold swagged curtains, l’Aigle looks like Waverley Root just got up from dessert (cinnamon ice cream, say, and an apple roasted with salted butter) and the hot plates have been toasting in their warming tower ever since. L’Aigle’s menu reads like the excellent Petit Recueil de la Gastronomie Alsacienne (Editions S.A.E.P.). Matelote brings together assorted freshwater fish in a sauce of fumet, cream, and mushrooms. Pot-au-feu always begins with a bowl of bouillon, except in Alsace, where it begins with marrow quenelles in a bowl of bouillon. L’Aigle also observes regional pot-au-feu distinctions by serving it with individual carrot, cucumber, celeriac, and beet salads. These are in addition to the root vegetables from the pot, and yet somehow the salads seem so necessary (unlike the sautéed potatoes).

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