Since Christmas, Baby Girl has been staying with my niece in the countryside. I can’t wait for her to come back this weekend, but I also enjoy this time where it’s just the Husband and I. Well, not really just us because there’s also work, but you know what I mean. I don’t have to worry about picking Baby Girl up from school, or prepare our meals at the proper time, and think of activities to occupy her. I might be criticized for saying this, but as much as I love my daughter, I do feel the need to take a break for myself and for my couple. I’m aware that I’m super lucky because my family is not too far away and they love having her with them and vice versa. When Baby Girl comes back home, I feel like I’ve been given a breath of fresh air and I feel ready to be a productive mother again.
Whenever Baby Girl is away, the Husband and I try to do couple activities. Unfortunately at this time of the year, there isn’t much to do. But we do like going out to eat at restaurants, which was what we planned to do tonight.
Originally, we were supposed to eat at the restaurant Saveur d’Afrique in Metz, France which was highly recommended by a Senegalese client of mine. Unfortunately, when the Husband and I got to the restaurant, it was closed.
We quickly tried to think of a Plan B. I didn’t want to eat in an Asian restaurant. The Husband didn’t really mind. We thought of several restaurants in the city center, before finally settling for La Winstub in Metz, France.
This was not our first time to eat at La Winstub. The first time was in 2015. A good friend of mine from the Philippines came to visit us and we had decided to have dinner at this restaurant for our first night together. La Winstub specializes in Alsatian cuisine. In fact « La Winstub » is literally a bar-restaurant type serving specific wine in Alsace. Kinda like a « Bouchon » in Lyon or a « Bistro » in Paris. It was highly recommended by friends and clients, and I remembered ending the night fully-satisfied. The Husband and I didn’t want to risk being disappointed, so we went back for a second time.
It is highly recommended to reserve before going to La Winstub as it is highly popular and appreciated. Since it was a Thursday, I hoped that we would be able to get a table right away. Thankfully, we did.
The Husband and I started our meal with a main dish and a glass of Riesling wine (6.50 Euros).
I had a very traditional Alsatian dish – La Choucroute Winstub Tradition (17.90 Euros). This is a dish made of pickled cabbage / sauerkraut, potatoes, 4 kinds of sausages, lard / French bacon, and Kassler / smoked pork.
Personally, I never make Choucroute at home. It’s a dish I like, but not particularly love (I’ll have it maybe once or twice a year max). I also hesitate to order it out because if it’s not well-prepared it can be very sour. At La Winstub, there is a perfect balance of sour, salt, and fat. The portion is quite generous!
The Husband ordered the same dish he did the first time – La Schieffala à la Biere (14.90 Euros). Since 2015, he has mentioned it to me a couple of times, so I wasn’t surprised that he ordered it. If you’re afraid of calories then this is definitely not for you, but oh my God it is so good! It is made with pork shoulder, beer, cream, mustard, and emmental cheese. He decided to get Roasted Potatoes to accompany his dish. La Winstub is particularly known for their melt-in-your-mouth roasted potatoes.
For the dessert, we decided to share a Crème Brulée (6.90 Euros) which was good, although I thought the top layer of sugar lacked of crispiness.
Now here comes the part I least liked. As much as I loved the food, the generous portions, the restaurant décor, the service left a major bitter taste in my mouth. And honestly, because of this, I don’t think we’ll come back here again. We were seated at a table in a reasonable time, food was served also at a reasonable time, but no kidding, I had to ask 5 times to 2 different waitresses for a pitcher of water! If we were seated in time, served our food in time, served our dessert in time, and given our bill in 2 seconds, I can’t help but wonder that the problem of the water pitcher was because it was free?! I started asking for water the moment they served our main dish and wine and it finally found its way to our table while we were eating our dessert. That’s 40 minutes! We saw the waitresses walk by us at least a dozen times. At some point, I just wanted to shake her and beg to be given some water. It was somehow very insulting to be ignored this way. I couldn’t but wonder how many seconds I would have been served if I had asked for bottled water instead! So why didn’t we order a bottle of water instead? A question of principle and respect.
It’s unfortunate but it’s too bad it had to end like this …