Laroche Wine Bar-Hôtel du Vieux Moulin, Chablis
Tel: 33 3 86 42 47 30
Concierge.com's insider take:
Water cascades beneath the dining room at this Chablis hot spot housed in a converted medieval mill over the Serein River. Winemaker Michel Laroche and his wife Gwénaël spared no expense designing the stainless steel bar, blond wood tables, stone floors, and banquettes. Chef Philippe Legrand (who trained with cult chef David Zuddas in Dijon) crafts a menu of creative cuisine to match: perhaps a mini-appetizer of smoked trout with caramelized cabbage, or entrées such as smoked carp sushi with piquant carrot and horseradish cream, or a suckling pig in a Granny Smith crust. At lunch (under $40 for a prix fixe), you'll eat with local wine experts and business people; dinner is more romantic. Upstairs in the seven guest rooms, contemporary decor—candy-striped cotton curtains, white linen bedcovers—provides a fresh counterpoint to the stone walls and heavy timbers ($150 to $366 per night); views from the rooftop terrace, which is open to overnight guests only, reach to Laroche's vineyards. The entire range of Laroche wines from Chablis, southern France, Chili, and South Africa are available for both diners and hotel guests—the best is a Chablis Grand Cru Réserve de L'Obédience.—David Downie
Restaurant open Thursdays through Saturdays noon to 1:45 pm and 7 to 8:45 pm, Mondays through Wednesdays 7 pm to 8:45 pm, mid-March through mid-December. Hotel open mid-February through mid-December.