Long time, first time. I am finally going on my honeymoon a year after eloping to Kauai. We have an ambitious itinerary, as you'll see below, so please weigh in wherever you can. We will be there in September-October. The one caveat I have is that we have become pretty snobby about our terrestrial meat consumption. We only eat humanely raised meat (free range, grass fed, etc.). I had expected that France would be easy street for us, but having done some research, it seems like the situation is complicated.
We are spoiled here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where many restaurants are very open about their meat sourcing, and I have become somewhat comfortable asking the front of the house what they can tell me about the meat (in English, though I am brushing up on my foodie French). Game like pheasant and boar are on our menus as well. Long story short, if you happen to know of restaus that focus on ingredient sourcing or heavily lean on game, seafood and/or veggies, that would be great. Otherwise, just ignore my disclaimer and give me your must-eats, and I'll research sourcing on my own. :)
We like everything, and I'd like a mix of classical and contemporary cuisine, as well as traditional regional and international or fusion. Also, if you know of any great bars, wine bars, or beer haus in these areas, please do throw those in the mix. I think I will also post a thread for maisons du vin recommendations, but if you feel inspired by the itinerary, please chime in! Also, we will be exploring Bordeaux and Bourgogne, so let me know if you have any great spots outside of our home bases.
Our itinerary is as follows:
>> 1 week in Paris (I know there are a million threads on Paris, but maybe not with my focus. We will be staying in the Marais, but I want to explore as much of the city as possible. There is a lot of kosher, halal, and vegetarian food around our place, but I am hoping to do plenty of fine dining/prix fixe dinners. Any great Manouche or traditional jazz spots would be appreciated as well. The jazz caves look fun, but seem to focus on progressive jazz and funk, which is probably not the vibe of this romantic trip.)
>> 1 night in Reims (I know there is an ever-present online debate about Reims vs. Epernay, but since we have allotted only one night, I figure Reims will provide a more balanced day.)
>> 2-3 nights in Strasbourg (Probably staying in Le Petit France somewhere)
>> 2-3 nights in Dijon
>> 1-2 nights in Lyon (Any bouchons that might make the cut? Perhaps one that is focused on game?)
>> 1 night in Annecy
>> 2 nights in Durdogne
>> 2-3 nights in Bordeaux
>> 1 night somewhere in the Loire or Normande?
>> 2 nights in Paris
Just writing that down is a bit exhausting, so maybe we are making a terrible mistake by biting off more than we can chew. There is just so much to see, and I want to explore as much as we can. Thanks in advance, and I promise to start contributing on Bay Area threads. (PS. If you have any general advice for seeking out meat that meets our standards, that would also be greatly appreciated.)