Japanese-born Kazuyuki Tanaka’s serene Zen dining room near the cathedral in the heart of the city is the table not to miss during a visit to Reims and the surrounding Champagne country. With suave service overseen by Tanaka’s French wife, Marine, and befitting the restaurant’s Michelin star, a meal here is an intriguing and refined gastronomic experience.
Tanaka’s menus change regularly, but a recent good-value €60 lunch menu began with four Fabergé-like hors d’oeuvres, including finely grated beetroot with smoked eel and smoked eel bouillon, and continued with marinated salmon with kiwi and rutabaga and John Dory with a trio of sauces. Both dishes were made with superb produce and were supremely elegant in their deeply meditated minimalism, too.
A dessert of green-tea sponge, sorbet and fresh fruit concluded this memorable meal, which was accompanied by several champagnes by the glass from small producers which are rarely seen outside of the region and which proved that champagne pairs as brilliantly with food as any other wine.
6 Place Godinot, Tel. (33) 03-26-35-16-95, racine.re
From France Today magazine