Michelin Goes Country

Photo of Meo Modo courtesy of Meo Modo

Today’s metropolitan cities are saturated with Michelin-starred restaurants. Their prominence and infallible quality creates a self-reinforcing cycle that sees us continuously visiting the same sites. This week, however, The Edit explores those undiscovered, rural Michelin diamonds worth visiting on your next countryside tour. They may not have the celebrity reputation, but they will certainly leave you wondering why you hadn’t stopped by sooner.

 

The Black Swan

Oldstead, United Kingdom

Photo courtesy of The Black Swan

Winning the highly prestigious title of ‘Best Restaurant in the World’, this Michelin-starred village pub in Yorkshire has won the hearts of its customers and is well worth a visit during your next countryside tour of the North. Perched just off the North York Moors National Park in Oldstead, the family-run Black Swan boasts glorious British countryside views, as well as the freshest, organic ingredients that come straight from the family kitchen garden down the road. The youngest British chef to ever win a Michelin star, 24 year old Tommy Banks, believes his restaurant’s success derives from the laid-back attitude the family business has towards fine dining; moderating the excessive formality associated with Michelin star experiences, and rather focusing on creating a culinary reflection of Oldstead – traditional Yorkshire with an innovative edge. Enjoy picturesque views, a charming and knowledgeable service and an elaborate tasting menu for only £95, including succulent Raw Dexter Beef, delicate Scallop with Fermented Celeriac and ingenious Jerusalem Artichoke Fudge.

 

Restaurant Lamartine

Bourget-du-Lac, France

Photo courtesy of Restaurant Lamartine

Exceptionally situated in the heart of the Bourdeau Alps in Bourget-du-Lac, Restaurant Lamartine offers infinite panoramic views – from the spacious terrace when the sun is shining and through the floor-to-ceiling windows during the colder seasons. Although it is located just off the motorway between the towns of Aix-les-Bains and Chambéry, Lamartine remains a popular stop for both tourists and locals. It provides a tranquil break from the busy roads, with the glorious, glistening Lake Bourget only a few hundred metres below, easily reachable for a relaxing swim via one of the many fully-equipped beaches. The pièce de résistance however, is of course the Michelin-starred food by Chef Pierre Martin, who serves his self-proclaimed ‘new look traditional cuisine’, working closely with local suppliers and serving fish caught directly from the lake. The current autumn menu encompasses a variety of fine foie gras, fish and crustaceans so fresh they melt like butter in your mouth and, of course, a selection of provincial French cheeses paired with fruit coulis. Alternatively, there are four set menus ranging from an economical €37 up to a full degustation menu at €98.

 

Meo Modo

Siena, Italy

Photo courtesy of Meo Modo

This restaurant is housed in a magnificent, carefully restored thirteenth century villa in Siena’s countryside. It boasts classic, elegant interiors and a terrace with breath-taking views of the blossoming 200 acre grounds of Borgo Santo Pietro it is nestled within. The exceptionally beautiful ambience, however, does not overshadow the cuisine – on the contrary – the grounds encompass a farming estate with two vineyards, allowing Meo Modo to easily fulfil its farm-to-table philosophy; working closely with the farmers who raise animals and bees, cultivate fruit, vegetables and nuts, and produce high quality, artisan products such as cheeses, raw honey and cured meats, all contributing to Chef Andrea Mattei’s Michelin-starred menu. Taste the Smoked Chicken Giblets with Eel and Vermouth from Prato, savour the homemade Agnolotti stuffed with Rabbit and Cacciatora Condiment and finally cleanse your palate with Flowers and Leaves on Plums and Mascarpone Cheese from the à la carte menu. Promising a culinary journey of sensory experiences, the delectable, seasonal set menus range from €110 to €180 and pair perfectly with wines from Meo Modo’s one-thousand-label wine cellar.

 

Auberge du Soleil

Rutherford, USA

Photo courtesy of Auberge du Soleil

Boasting unparalleled Napa Valley views to be enjoyed during a delectable al fresco dinner on the balcony, Auberge du Soleil offers the ideal stopover on your next Californian countryside road trip. Holding eleven consecutive Michelin stars, Executive Chef Robert Curry utilises seasonal produce, along with his superior expertise, to create an innovative menu that reflects the area’s rich natural diversity. As one might presume from the restaurant’s location, wine plays an integral part in the dining experience. More than fifteen thousand bottles of both domestic and international wines spill over fifty elaborate pages of the wine list, and each dish on the set menu is perfectly paired with a wine chosen by the restaurant’s in-house Director of Wine. The Six Course Chef’s Tasting Menu is available at $150, paired with wines for an additional $82. Offering a fine selection of Mediterranean fare, dishes include Veal Sweetbreads with Chanterelles in a decadent caramelized shallot sauce, the Watson Ranch Spring Lamb with flavoursome Nardello Peppers, Gnocchi and Nettles, and the indulgent White Chocolate Lemon Cream with Pistachios, Raspberry Sorbet and Black Mission Figs.

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