Anyone lucky enough to be traveling along the Route des Vins in Alsace should plan a detour to pretty Obernai, where young chef Thierry Schwartz has won a growing reputation for superb contemporary Alsatian cooking. Schwartz’s delightful wife Hélène runs the rustic dining room, where her husband often uses the big fireplace to produce superb dishes including his lobe de foie gras de canard, a whole duck foie gras cooked over the embers. Schwartz, an Alsatian who previously cooked with Joël Robuchon, takes great pride in showcasing local produce, including vegetables from a farm in nearby Truttenhausen and a spectacular assortment of Alsatian cheeses. Best bets: the original and delicious red cabbage cooked in a salt crust, the veal-stuffed cannelloni or succulent sandre (pike) with black sausage. A first-rate and fairly priced wine list adds to the pleasure, as does a great selection of Alsatian eaux de vie.

35 rue Sélestat, Obernai, 03.88.49.90.41. €40 per person without wine

Originally published in the October 2007 issue of France Today

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