Looking for recommendations for 3 dinners in Champagne. Would love to mix some michelin stars and some less formal places.
Can you narrow down your locations a little more ? The Champagne region is huge. For instance, my favourite champagne comes from Urville, 150 km south of Reims.
BTW, practice the proper pronunciation of Reims. It’s often incomprehensible when coming from the mouths of foreigners.
We will be about 10 km north of Epernay.
You are so right about Reims - I once had dinner with a winemaker from Champagne and she trained me on proper pronounciation but I still butcher it probably.
Will be heading there in a few months time.
Years ago, I had the BEST and most memorable Michelin meal at ’ Les Crayeres ’ under Gerard Boyer. AMAZING!! Champagne pairing and with the meal ending with the presentation of a cold ’ death-by-chocolate ’ dessert platter consisting of 11 stand-alone components!
The 'new ’ Crayeres is now a 2* under another whiz-chef Mille. I was thinking of capturing some of the former memory but decided instead to try another 3* - ’ L’Assiette Champenoise ', ( La Liste #5 ) and their tasting menu is way cheaper than most of its Parisian 3* counterpart!
Where I live in the US, a sister city to Reims, the civic leader of a group trip to Reims came back and still pronounced it Rems, like rhymes with hems.
It rhymes with pants, but don’t pronounce the nt.
The only places I can recommend because of recent experience (a long-weekend expense account junket last summer) are the restaurants in the Royal Champagne Hotel in Champillon. Although the 1-star Le Royal was excellent, I preferred the less gastro Bellevue because of its glorious terrace.
And, in Epernay, Symbiose.
I should add that I much prefer Epernay and, especially, its surrounding villages to Reims. For me, the small villages north of Epernay better represent the heart and soul of the Champagne-making region. Reims is just too dominated by the international big brands and slick marketing. I’ve learned far more about Champagne by chatting (for free) to the small producers and winery workers in Hautvillers (the supposed birthplace of the méthode champenoise and home of Dom Pérignon; its inventor), Dizy, Champillon, etc than any scripted paid-tour of Veuve-Clicquot or Taittinger in Reims.
L’Assiette Champenoise is outstanding. Had a very, very amazing meal there in May 2022.
And while you are in Champagne, check out rosè des riceys, a highly unusual and, in the US, difficult to find still wine. There are two major styles, one more complex and coveted and truly rare in the US. But the drier style is also so delicious it’s hard to stop drinking.
Made a reservation!
Was deciding between L’Assiete Champenoise and Le Parc Les Crayères and you may have tilted the scale. Not sure I want to do both, since we want to try some less formal places too.
I have every intention of visiting small producers and avoiding corporate big brands.