By Sharon Hudgins • Photographs Courtesy Sharon Hudgins
“Bienvenue! Wilkkommen! Willkumme!” trilled the two rosy-cheeked, matronly sisters—in French, German, and Alsatian—as they greeted each customer who came through the door of their little restaurant, the Bon Vivant, in Strasbourg, France. Tucked away on a tiny side street near the city’s landmark cathedral, theirs was the kind of traditional, old-fashioned eatery typical of Strasbourg back when my husband and I first started visiting the region of Alsace, more decades ago than I care to admit. The Bon Vivant was always a place you could count on for a hearty welcome, good home-style Alsatian comfort food, and glass of the local white wine, poured from little blue-and-gray stoneware pitchers into classic Alsatian wine glasses, their slender long green stems the only slim shape in that tiny restaurant filled with well-fed locals crowded around the little tables.
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