Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Hotel and Restaurant L’Ami Fritz and Domaine Fritz-Schmitt, both in Ottrot, Alsace, France
I have had a number of memorable evenings at Hotel and Restaurant L’Ami Fritz in Ottrott in Alsace over the years. Sometimes, we stayed there over night; sometimes we drove back to Germany after dinner.
We always had at least one wine from Domaine Fritz-Schmitt, also in Ottrot. Domaine Fritz-Schmitt is owned and run by the brother in law of Patrick Fritz, who owns and runs Hotel and Restaurant L’Ami Fritz.
My last dinner at L’Ami Fritz was in September 2012, with the Weinfreundeskreis Hochheim, on the way back from Bordeaux to Hochheim.
Bordeaux Trip September 2012, France
Alsace is a fascinating amalgam of the German and French. The end of the 30 Years’ War in 1648 gave Alsace to France. In 1871, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, Alsace was taken by Germany. After World War I, it was once more part of France — until 1940, when Germany reclaimed it. With the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, Alsace became French yet again — and so it has remained.
While the great powers ruling Alsace alternated between the Germans and the French, I see more German elements in Alsace than French elements. For once, the German winemaking tradition is based on the concept of varietals whereas the French winemaking culture tends to believe in the concept of terroir. Alsatian wines are bottled under their varietal names, unlike virtually all other French wines.
Dinner in Alsace
For me, dinner in Alsace is always a very special event. It can range from very rustic to very sophisticated: Alsace is well known for its traditional, hearty food, reflecting the rustic simplicity of rural life, influenced by next-door Germany (to which Alsace has belonged at different times in history).
Ombiasy Wine Tours, and Christian G.E. Schiller with Chef Patrick Fritz, Hotel and Restaurant L’Ami Fritz in Ottrott in Alsace
At the same time, Alsace has the most Michelin stars in France; you can eat at very high levels in many places in Alsace.
Dinner at L’Ami Fritz
Set on a cobbled street in the charming village of Ottrott, the 250-year-old L’Ami Fritz is a great hotel and restaurant, with its warmth, value, and charm, and the personal attention of the owners. The guestrooms are appealing and charming.
L’Ami Fritz has a lovely restaurant dressed in pinks and salmons with a gorgeous scene in wood inlay at one end and a painting of the weinstube at the other. In September, we had dinner downstairs in the “vinstub”, the oldest part of the building. In the summer, there is also a very nice garden terrace.
You can dine a la carte, but Patrick Fritz also offers 3 menus: Menu du Terroir for 28 Euro, Menu Sentier des Saveurs for 45 Euro and Menu Plaisir for 65 Euros (6 courses). For the group in September, we had the 3 course Menu du Terroir, with wines from Domaine Fritz-Schmitt.
The Wines of Domaine Fritz-Schmitt
I always like to drink the wines of Patrick’s brother in law, who owns and runs the Domaine Fritz-Schmitt in Ottrott, although I have never been to the Domaine Fritz-Schmitt.
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