One of the world’s most famous and oldest Michelin-rated restaurants, Haeberlin, located in the small town of Illhaeusern is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. A unique experience of luxury and style, dinner at the restaurant of Paul Haeberlin is your guarantee of amazement. Drive 50 minutes from Strasbourg and arrive at a small hotel hosting the restaurant. Come with me on a memorable journey, a story I’ll be narrating to my kids.
At Haeberlin, it’s the attention to details that count. Four persons welcome you; a hostess takes your coat, a waiter shows you to the table and makes sure to seat every one of the guests. The restaurant is divided into four distinct rooms, each with its unique style. Calm and quietness is the signature around here; table discussions are made with respect.
Beige table covers, signature porcelain plates made for the restaurant, yellow water glasses, and fine silverware. Tables are lit with two candles each. Amuses-bouche, homemade butter, and freshly baked bread, dinner started in style. Silver pepper mill. Water was refilled a dozen times.
What makes Haeberlin what Haeberlin is is the attention to details: you don’t walk along the restaurant but pass behind a wall of glass. No music is needed but the whispers of guests. The lightest wine glasses out there. The restaurant won the award of best sommelier of 1989 for the card, choice of bottles and wine service.
After enjoying three choices of nibbles of which the crème brûlée foie gras would be remembered for long, came a bowl of mi-cuit of tuna with all the flavors of the tart flambée and decorated with fried onions. A light cream that feels like fresh yogurt, crunchy cheese biscuits, smooth onions and a chunk of tuna in the middle. A superb balance of several ingredients coming together in a cocktail of textures to impress. The art of making of simple things an experience to remember.
Scallops, langoustine, foie gras, and poached eggs. If you think you know the real taste of the food items mentioned below, think again. Scallops with pétrissons caviar and mousseline of cauliflower. Red tuna tartare in cubes with a crown of poached eggs and a crumble of vermicelli. Homemade foie gras served in front of your eyes then the toast arrives and another after few minutes. My plate was the best, the most complicated, the most complex, loaded with several flavors and ingredients. Crunch bits of diced toast, excellent quality scallops, a load of caviar, complex flavors and zesty notes of freshness.
I loved my plate of pig (Cochon) with bits of crunchy nuts on top and the venison (roe deer) of my wife’s. My parents in law chicken plate was memorable as well. Cooked to perfection, every plate is prepared with knowhow taking years of experience... love and dedication add the signature flavor normal chefs can’t add.
You can’t leave without having dessert at one of the world’s few three stars. Vacherin and chocolate truffle were the choices; waiting for them to be prepared, we received a plate of dessert bites each: sesame craquelin, macaron, chocolate tart, and apple guimauve. Delicious desserts are served here but not better than the main plates.
I enjoyed my dinner tonight... but I felt something was wrong. Does it really deserve three stars?
Adding this restaurant to my list of Michelin starred experiences all around the world.