After barely making our flights on Delta and KLM, our Europe Trip was starting to hit its stride. We were enjoying a great first evening in Colmar, we had a good nap at Hotel Kyriad, and now it was time for dinner. I was oh so excited about dinner too. We were going to check out Restaurant La Soi, the premier place in Colmar for Tarte Flambé and its cheap. Tarte Flambé is the Alsace region’s answer to Pizza. Tarte Flambé is bread dough rolled out into a thin rectangle, covered generally with creme fraiche or fromage blanc and covered with thinly sliced onions (sound familiar). However, when we arrived the minute they opened we found out they were completely booked full. Apparently, even in the off season, you need reservations. Whoops.
Immediately, I could tell Stephanie was having flashbacks to our last time in France. That time we waited too late to grab dinner and could not find anything open. This led to a quest to drive to a 24 hour McDonalds. We got there saw the McDonalds, but there seemed to be no road leading to it. The GPS didn’t help and eventually we just went back to our hotel and split a bag of potato chips. Rather than wasting time researching somewhere else to eat, we walked in to the nearest restaurant that was not booked full Le Fer Rouge.
Le Fer Rouge
We knew nothing about Le Fer Rouge. It was near La Soi, and had a table open, good enough. Le Fer Rouge is an cute restaurant matching the aesthetic of Colmar perfectly.
It specializes in serving the Alsatian cuisine local to this region of France. This cuisine is surprisingly more German than it is French, but there is significant French influence. Their menu is a great example of that blending. A lot are traditionally German,, but have clear French ingredients and flavors.
I ordered Onglet de Boeuf. Which is an undercut of beef with shallots, alsacian red wine sauce, potatoes, and vegetables.
Stephanie ordered the Fish of the Day.
No visit to france would be complete without a creme brulee.
My onglet de boeuf was a solid dish, but nothing life changing. It was very good, but did not really stand out among the amazing food that we ate on this trip. Given we went into Le Fer Rouge with no knowledge, it was good. Stephanie felt exactly the same about her fish of the day. Compared to the other meals, it was just forgettable. Presently, Stephanie could not even recall what type of fish it was. Which says volumes as Stephanie recalls the little details of great meals vividly.
The citrus creme brulee hand was fantastic. We both recall that dessert, it made the meal worth it. They serve it with a bit of theatrics. As they lit it at the table, we could hear the sizzling crackle of the sugar. More of a Creme Flambé than a brulee. A traditional creme brulee is burnt with a cooking torch, this one is set alight at the table using a standard lighter like a flambé. The creme itself was perfectly silky and smooth. I am not a sweets person; the sourness of the lemon kept the dish from being overwhelmed by sweetness.
Le Fer Rouge is not an inexpensive restaurant. However, by France standards, it is not expensive. The average main course will cost between 15€ and 20€. When you consider drinks (remember water is rarely free in europe), appetizers/desert a full meal can start to get pretty pricey. Our total bill was about $64. This was significantly more than I was expecting to spend at La Soi. Their average dish is less than 10€.
Le Fer Rouge is a good restaurant serving Alsatian food. However compared to some of our other meals on the trip, this meal doesn’t stand out. If you are only spending one night in Colmar I would suggest ensuring you have a reservation at La Soi or another restaurant of your choice, as I felt the cost did not match my experience.