L’Auberge de l’Ill (***) – Alsace

Food: French classic
Address: 2 Rue de Collonges au Mont d’Or 68970 Illhaeusern, France
Phone Number: +33 (0)3 89 718 900
Website: http://www.auberge-de-l-ill.com/
Guide Michelin: 3 stars
Gault & Millau: 18
What I paid:  € (Large tasting menu, including wine, water and coffee. Per person.)
Visited: November 12, 2016

The Auberge de L’Ill has held three Michelin stars since 1967. Only one other restaurant, Paul Bocuse in Lyon, has held three stars for longer and that just for one more year.

It all began with the Haeberlin women catching freshwater fish from the river Ill that ran alongside the old house in Alsace, to be served up in the front room. When those grandmothers first opened a restaurant here in 1878 it was called L’Arbre Vert. When World War II was coming to an end, a bomb aimed at the nearby bridge destroyed the old building. However, the Haeberlin were determined that this should not end a 67 years’ family operation.

 

Paul Haeberlin and his brother Jean-Pierre rebuilt on the same site and decided to name the new restaurant after the river at its door. Paul won his first Michelin star in 1954, its second in 1962 and the ultimate third one in 1967.

Four generations of the Haeberlins family have now run the restaurant on the banks of the Ill in the tiny village of Illhaeusern (which translates to “the houses that run along the Ill” in the local dialect).

Classical French cuisine is served here and we decided to go with their biggest tasting menu.

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Summary: This is classical French cuisine in a classical French restaurant and a respite from the many other restaurants that try a little too much to be “modernist”. I enjoyed my meal here, even though I would rate Auberge as an “average” 3-stars restaurant. This is a restaurant frequented by many famous celebrities and it is, for instance, a favorite place of the Swedish King.

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