The Michelin Guide states: “A gorgeous little spot in the country! In this 19th century farmhouse the ducks and pigs roam free (or waddle) before ending up as pork products, foie gras, magret etc. Local cuisine that you can purchase in the adjoining shop. “
That is already an encouraging prelude to our fervid foodie foray to Montenach in the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine region.
At L’Auberge de la Klauss in Montenach (France), you can eat real Foie Gras with distinctive, unique flavour and silky texture that you cannot find anywhere else. Foie gras is served in three different forms: raw, semi-cooked and fully-cooked. ‘Les trois foies gras de la Klauss’ from the menu of this restaurant includes ‘foie gras three-ways’.
You may choose either raw or semi-cooked versions for the first plate.
The raw one melts on your tongue really smoothly whilst the semi-cooked variant has smooth texture but is slightly firmer.
The fully-cooked version with shredded apple on top, can be served as the main plate.
As is often the case with adept gourmands, they are never satisfied with normal dishes. In that case, “Filet de boeuf Rossini” would be the best choice to satisfy their wild stomach. This dish is generally called “Tournedos Rossini“. This was named after the great Italian composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini, who had many dishes named “alla Rossini” because of his famed ‘foodie’ nature.
The name “tournedos” comes from the French expression, “tournez le dos” (turn your back), that Rossini used while waiting for the preparation of this unique beef fillet. He made the chef prepare the dish in front of him at the dining room. As the chef could not concentrate on cooking, he asked Rossini not to disturb him. Rossini replied, “Tournez le dos.” or “Turn your back.” ; and that is how this great dish got its name.
Back to Foie Gras
There are five important basic tastes in Foie Gras – subtle but unmistakably savoury, sweet, sour, bitter and salty.
A glass of sweet wine is always a good choice for gourmands. ‘L’Auberge de la Klauss’ can offer various kinds of selected good sweet wines such as Sauterne, Cerons and Loupiac from the Graves region on the left bank of the Garonne river in Bordeaux or Vendange Tardive (late harvest) wine from other areas in France.
You prefer normal white or red wine? No problem. You can pick ‘Crus de Luxembourg’, ‘Vallée de la Moselle’, ‘Bourgognes’, ‘Bordeaux’, ‘Vallée du Rhône’, ‘Langudedoc-Roussillon’, ‘Loire’ , ‘Alsace’, or ‘Champagne’. ‘L’Auberge de la Klauss’ has a big wine cellar set into stone and they will find one for you from over 70,000 bottles that are hand-picked by Mr. Charles Keff, the current owner. They will even let you taste some before the meal, with a focus on French wine.
Located at Montenach, France, in the heart of three borders (France, Germany and Luxembourg) and close to the Schengen area where international border checks have been abolished by the “Schengen Agreement” in 1985, the old stone building of ‘L’Auberge de la Klauss’ quietly stands on a hill.
‘L’Auberge de la Klauss’ has been run by the Keff family since 1869, and offers a wide range of quality products to please the palates of gourmands. Charles Keff, the first producer of Foie Gras since mid-1980s in the Lorraine region in the far north-east in France, manages this restaurant with his son, Frédéric, who is responsible for cooking. An important policy of the restaurant is to use 100% local product at its highest quality.
To ensure the quality of, for example the Foie Gras, the ducks are raised outdoors on 20 acres of their open green field and it takes no more than 8 minutes to take out the liver, so that it retains its freshness. The animals are fed with cereals harvested in their fields around Montenach.
The adjoining shop is a purveyor of fine produce and wines.
Have we talked about the hams yet? Or the cheeses?
‘L’Auberge de la Klauss’ is listed in the Michelin guide every year. They rate highly for the quality of their cuisine and the atmosphere of the building within this 19th century farmhouse.
Many gastronomes visit from France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and other countries. They are totally fascinated by the tasty food and cosy ambiance and almost forget the time!
AlphaLuxe Three-Tongues award!
About the Author
Ken Hokugo is a contributor to AlphaLuxe based in Japan but a citizen of the world. During his travels, he brings us tales of wine, food and other epicurean delights. He is also a Moderator-at-Large for the respected horology website PuristSPro.com and writes extensively about wristwatches in English and Japanese publications.