Saturday, January 20, 2007

l'Ami Schutz

L'ami Schutz, the picture of modesty and restraint, was the Winstub I chose to try out another Formule Jeunes, an annual Alsatian promotion offering special set menu prices for customers under 35. Assuming that participation in this promotion was a sort of stamp of approval from Etoiles d'Alsace, I happily made reservations here. Not comparing it to a starred restaurant, but expecting hearty, satisfying, Alsacian dishes, boy did I strike out with this one. If my post on Au Crocodile qualifies as "food porn" then this post can be compared to the Billy Madison version of food porn (who could forget classics like "Drunk Chicks" and "Women over 80"). Are you ready?

As soon as we were seated we were brought coupes of Crémant, a regional champagne wannabe, and toasts topped with smoked salmon. I started with la salade de cèpes à l'ail aux aiguillettes de pintadeau tièdes. While apparently this was thought out in advance, given its mention on the website, at the time it just seemed like they were trying to get rid of all the leftovers in one plate. Some excellent cepes, hot and saucy, sitting on a bed of not-so-fresh chopped endives and walnuts, surrounded by raw-on-the-inside young guinea fowl. The boyfriend started with a very unphotogenic slice of fois gras, which he enjoyed.

Next comes the main dish. I was so looking forward to having deer again, after falling in love with it at the Crocodile. I knew that this would be no comparison, but I was still very disappointed: the first time in France I have ever had medium-well meat!The side on the right is squash puree, which was delicious in spite of being slightly crunchy on top. In the middle are beets, which I didn't touch, and to the left are spatzle, which were nice and greasy, just the way I like them. The deer was still tender in spite of being cooked a bit more than I would have preferred, but I couldn't stand the deceivious gravy: not the normal gravy I expected, but a poivrade au chocolat et raisins, the chocolate being the most noticable and distracting flavor, and the grapes being, well, the grapes thrown on the plate.

The boyfriend got the fish choucroute, with which he was pleased, and the presentation was beautiful:
Next come the desserts. Aye. The restaurant is not all to blame since I made a dumb mistake in ordering. I read kougelhopf glacé to mean iced kougelhopf (a traditional Alsatian brioche-like pastry) rather than, in fact, vanilla ice cream in the shape of a kougelhopf and drowned in alcohol: From the photo the lake of alcohol in which the ice cream was sitting is not clear; it was everywhere, and even ruined the gavotte off to the side. The boyfriend got the pineapples n'everclear combo, which even he, good Frenchman and vino (same thing, aren't they?), could not finish.
Re-reading this makes it seem like either my boyfriend lucked out or I picked all the misses. Perhaps one meal isn't enough to form a conclusion but I will most definitely not be returning (of course, I will soon be leaving and wouldn't have the chance to return even if I wanted to). We paid 36€ per person for this meal, wine pairings for each course and digestif included, so it could've been worse...but still.

l'Ami Schutz
1 Ponts Couverts
67000 Strasbourg
03 88 32 76 98

tags: ,


Anonymous said...

I am just wondering if this is a regional thing or an English language thing- where I come from (upper midwest) we always refer to cooked deer as Venison. When you say that you ate deer, it sounds to me as if someone was saying that they ate "pig loin" instead of "pork loin". Or "cow carpaccio" instead of "beef carpaccio". Weird.
Is this just me?

Anonymous said...

interesting, now I am hungry, so i run to eat something :) Thanks for the addresse

Etienne said...

probably not just you, probably me. I mean, I called it Bambi in another post! But I will remember to refer to it as venison in the future ;)

And thanks, negrito :)