...Le Relais D'Alsace (Tours, France)

Overall - 7.5/10
Food - 7/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance 8/10

Ever since our  first taste of Alsatian food we have not only craved the heartily and down to earth meals of sausage and roasted meats but also the lively atmosphere of the restaurants and plentiful beer. Le Relais D'Alsace is a monster of a restaurant located in the heart of Tours' shopping district. It's got an amazing terrace but also two stories of dining space decked out in the traditional Alsatian decor.

Starters we sampled include this rillette de porc which is essentially slowly cooked pork shoulder and belly shredded and potted in its own fat and cooking juices. It is then spread over crusty French bread and enjoyed with either a cold beer or some local white wine.

For lunch we had both the  roasted whole fish served with a beurre blanc sauce and the classic choucroute which is a huge dish of braised sausage and potatoes served over sauerkraut. The fish was fresh and well cooked while the choucroute was extremely filling. In hindsight the choucroute probably would have been enough for the two of us but when in France it's tough not to sample as much food as you can. If you're a sausage fan, the choucroute is definitely for you as there were a number of different locally made sausages including a garlic sausage, bratwurst and frankfurters.  The fish was extremely fresh and was accompanied with a beurre blanc.  Absolutely the best grilled whole fish I've tried.

As Alsace is located fairly close to Belgium, moules et frites or mussels and fries are another popular dish. Unlike the mussels we get here in Canada which seem to be quite large and minerally these ones were small, plump and much sweeter.

The grilled rib steak was also a great choice for dinner. It was flavourful and grilled just right albeit slightly tougher than then the beef we have here in Canada.

Le Relais D'Alsace is a great place to have a meal after an afternoon of shopping. By no means would I call the food refined but the overall experience was definitely satisfying!


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