Lunch at l’Atelier du Peintre, Colmar

Petite Venise, Colmar, at Christmas, copyright Tourist Office Colmar
Petite Venise, Colmar, at Christmas, copyright Tourist Office Colmar

Recommending restaurants is a dangerous business (says she, who does more of it than many…). A Basel-based friend who’s thoroughly into his food and a terrific cook recently mailed me for ideas on where to have lunch in Colmar. He’d be meeting up with “food-interested friends” from Sydney – a city not noticeably short of good spots to eat – and wanted to give them a treat. Did I have some recommendations?

I thoroughly approved his plan to go to Colmar right now: the Christmas markets have just opened and the city is looking drop-dead gorgeous. But where to wow his Sydneysider friends? The stakes were high.

Top of my shortlist was L’Atelier du Peintre right in the centre. It has a Michelin star and is quite fancy but they do a midweek lunch menu @ 24 euros for 2 courses or 29 for 3 courses. Another that made the cut was the similarly starred JY’s, a bit more expensive than L’Atelier du Peintre (their 3-course lunch menu costs €41) but it’s great for updated Alsace food and it’s right in La Petite Venise, so very close to the markets on the Place de l’Ancienne Douane. Final suggestion, also nice but less fancy, was the Brasserie Coté Cour-Coté Four on Place de la Cathédrale, where they do typical but modernised brasserie food.

In the end L’Atelier got his vote – and I just got his feedback:

“Just wanted to report back that we had a lovely lunch today at the Atelier du Peintre in Colmar with our Aussie friends. The lunch menu is really such good value and we had very good food (chestnut soup with clever additions and a “deconstructed” tarte flambée were the starters, delicious Thai-inspired cod and a fancy pork roulade for mains and chocolate crepes for pudding) … we absolutely loved the sommelier, who was as bespectacled and charming as you intimated in your review😊 [which I wrote back in 2012, so it’s great to have this update and endorsement] and who recommended lovely Alsace wines. Thanks for the tip- it was just the thing.”

Love it when things work out – and when people report back. If you’re planning a visit to Colmar’s Christmas markets any time soon and you get a bit peckish (it happens), give any of these a try. And let me know how you get on, please.

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