List of Michelin-starred Restaurants in Europe Under 30 Euros

Travel restrictions are FINALLY relaxing across Europe and it’s now time to travel and spoil yourself!  Good News! You can surprisingly dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant without breaking the bank and here is their advice – shift from a dinner reservation to a lunch reservation. Most restaurants offer a menu du jour, or menu of the day at lunch, which is more affordable than the regular tasting menu at dinner.

Chef’s Pencil recently featured a map of the top Michelin-starred “most affordable” restaurants in Europe (under 30 Euros) – here is their top 10 for you to try!

  1. L’Antic Molí, Ulldecona, Spain – 20 euros / person

 L’Antic Molí is one of the best restaurants in Spain and is about a two-hour drive south of Barcelona, ​​is the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe. Here, surrounded by greenery and with a beautiful panoramic view, you’ll spend 20 /person for a lunch by chef Vicent Guimerà Sales, if you choose to have lunch in the Espai Bistro.

  1. La Robe, Montaigu, France – 24 euros / person

La Robe restaurant in Montaigu, France, is in the Pays de la Loire region. The dining room is spread over two floors. Here you can taste chef Xavier Giraudet’s lunch dishes at affordable prices.

  1. Hostellerie la Montagne, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France – 25 euros / person

The Hostellerie la Montagne – a Michelin-star restaurant located in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises in the Haute-Marne department of France’s Grande Est region.  This is the region where the former French president Charles de Gaulle lived (and later buried). This is why the restaurant’s dining room is called A la table du General (at the General’s table). Chef Jean-Baptiste Natali proposes a lunch ‘menu du marché’, a market menu, starting at 25 euros, consisting of an entrée, main course and dessert.

  1. Les Clefs d’Argent, Mont-de-Marsan, France – 25 euros / person

Another French restaurant, Les Clefs d’Argent in Mont-de-Marsan, is located in the southwestern part of the Hexagon. Here, chef Christophe Dupouy offers a menu that interprets the flavours of the territory in a contemporary key, with an exotic spin. A ‘très chic’ address, where you can stop and try ‘Le Menu Retour du Marché’, three dishes prepared according to the produce of the day and Christophe’s inspiration, available only for lunch from Tuesday to Friday.

  1. Essência, Budapest, Hungary – 25 euros / person

Essência can be found in Budapest, and is the restaurant led by the Portuguese-Hungarian couple Tiago and Éva Sabarigo. Guests can savour an original menu that draws on Hungarian and Portuguese cuisine, choosing a “fusion” tasting-menu that combines the two cultures. Among the most convenient options, there is no shortage of proposals for lunch starting from 25 euros / person.

  1. Hotel Restaurant Le France, Villers-le-Lac, France – 26 euros / person

The Hotel Restaurant Le France is in the heart of the Haut-Doubs. Here, chef Hugues Droz tempts you with creative dishes, capable of blending flavours, colours and great technique. All can be savoured in a warm environment, where design meets the territory, including refined details and decorative elements made with local materials.

  1. Le Mascaret, Blainville-sur-Mer, France – 26 euros / person

Le Mascaret is located in the spaces of a former convent for women in Blainville-sur-Mer, a small town in Normandy. The setting is decidedly baroque, but with a modern touch, while the dishes by chef Philippe Hardy are super-creative and well defined. With a ‘la petite table’ formula, at lunch, guests can try a very economical fine-dining experience: at 26 euros / person, the menu includes dishes revisited by the chef with a ‘French touch’, capable of combining tradition and modernity.

  1. Silabario, Vigo, Spain – 27 euros / person

The Silabario restaurant is located in Vigo, in the region of Galicia, in the north-west of Spain. Here, right under an imposing glass dome that houses the headquarters of the Real Club Celta de Vigo football team, chef Alberto González Prelcic prepares a delicious array of dishes with fresh ingredients from the local market at a very affordable price. The menu, at 27 euros / person, is available from Monday – Thursday for lunch and dinner, while only for lunch on Friday.

  1. Auberge du Cep, Fleurie, France – 27 euros / person

Auberge du Cep is located on a famous Burgundy wine route, in the Beaujolais region. The restaurant is led by chef Aurélien Merot, who stands out for iconic dishes with a very French style, mainly focused on jus and sauces. There are several tasting menus to combine with the remarkable selection of regional wines. Try the ‘menu du marché Grille-Midi’ for 27 euros, served every day for lunch, except Saturdays and public holidays (one starter, one main course and one dessert).

  1. La Grange de Belle-Église, Belle-Église, France – 27 euros / person

The Michelin-starred restaurant La Grange de Belle-Église, located in Belle-Église, in northern France, expresses the quintessence of French gastronomic attitude according to Chef’s Pencil. Directed by chef Marc Duval, who offers dishes prepared with high-quality ingredients and a wide selection of Bordeaux wines and champagnes. The menu du marché is served at midday, during the week (except holidays), and offers fresh seasonal produce.

 

Sources:  Michelin/Chef’s Pencil

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The Boletín Oficial del Estado BOE) Certifies Strict New Zoning and Segmentation of the D.O. Cava

BOE has published a new regulation regarding the ambitious zoning and segmentation project led by the D.O. Cava, that will appear on labels starting in January 2022. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has approved the new regulations drawn up by the D.O. Cava, marking the start of an important phase of implementation that will involve all winegrowers and winemakers of the Designation of Origin.

Javier Pagés, President of the Regulatory Board underlines the importance of the regulations, which are the result of a new plan approved by the Board’s plenary session: “We are committed to maximum traceability and quality. It is the most demanding regulation in the world for quality D.O. sparkling wines made using the strict traditional method. All of this places the D.O. Cava at the forefront of quality sparkling wine designations of origin.”

Cavas aged for more than nine months will now be called Cava de Guarda, while those aged for more than 18 months will be called Cava de Guarda Superior. Cavas Reserva will be aged from 15 to 18 months. The ambitious new regulations also require that the production of Cavas de Guarda Superior, the long-aging category that includes Cavas Reserva (minimum 18 months of aging), Gran Reserva (minimum 30 months of aging) and Cavas de Paraje Calificado (from a special plot/minimum of 36 months of aging), will be 100% organic by 2025.

The Cavas de Guarda Superior will be made with grapes from vineyards registered in the Regulatory Board’s specific Register of Guarda Superior, which must meet the following requirements: vines at least 10 years old, organic vines (5 years of transition), vines with specific qualitative yields of a maximum of 4.9 tons/acre, separate production (separate traceability from the vineyard to the bottle), production starting in January, proof of the vintage on the label, and organic product (5 years of transition).

The zoning of the D.O. Cava has been established on two levels, marked by specific climatic, orographic, historical and cultural attributes that justify the new plan and lend these wines their unique identity. The following zones have been defined: Comtats de Barcelona, which encompasses the Cavas of the region of Catalonia (with sub-zones Valls d’Anoia-Foix; Serra de Mar; Conca del Gaia; Serra de Prades and Pla de Ponent), Ebro Valley (with sub-zones Alto Ebro and Valle del Cierzo), Viñedos de Almendralejo, and Levante.

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New Cava Classifications for 2021  

Designations of Origin evolve over time and incorporate modifications that have an impact on the way their wines are classified. This is the case of the DO Cava, which has recently announced changes and the approval of new regulations.

The origins of Cava lie in the wine-growing region of Penedés.  Cava can also be produced in other towns and regions, which are themselves divided into sub-zones. There are four main areas of the DO, which include the Valle del Ebro with the sub-zones Alto Ebro and Valle del Cierzo; and the Comtats de Barcelona with the sub-zones Serra de Mar, Valls d’Anoia-Foix, Conca del Gaià, Serra de Prades, and Pla de Ponent. Further regions are Viñedos de Almendralejo and Valencia.

The DO Cava has announced that it will introduce new regulations that will raise the requirements to reinforce the quality seal and will affect not only the terminology linked to the ageing months of its wines but also the geographical designations within the Designation of Origin.

Cava wines are differentiated by their residual sugar content -which divides them into Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, Semi-Dry and Sweet categories, as well as by their aging time, which divides them into Cava de Guarda and Cava de Guarda Superior (including Cava Reserva, Cava Gran Reserva and Cava de Paraje Calificado).

In addition, they must display the vintage year on the label and those DO Cava wineries that press and make all their wines on their own property will be able to use the Integral Winemaker label.

The greatest novelty is the segmentation and zoning that allows territorial identification, so that the consumer can clearly detect in which area of the DO the wine was made, whether in Comtats de Barcelona, Valle del Ebro, Viñedos de Almendralejo or Zona de Levante. The possibility of specifying each sub-zone is also envisaged.

The latter is a very significant change, as it recognizes and allows the particularities of each of its territories to be valued.

In addition to the new classification, DO Cava has announced the implementation of a new traceability system to provide consumers with the best possible quality guarantees. This also involved the development of a new, more modern digital platform.

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The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja unveils strategic five-year plan

The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja has unveiled a five-year strategic plan aimed at boosting the region’s sustainability credentials, driving wine tourism and increasing exports.

The aim is to boost total sales from 230 million litres in 2020 to 312 million litres by 2025, with export to account for 44% at 137 million litres, in addition to increased turnover of the Rioja brand by 23%, said the regional body.

White Rioja is set to grow to a total of 12% of volume and rosado to 5% of volume, a projection which aligns with current trends in the UK – still the most important export market for Rioja, the DOCa added.

Referred to as “a blueprint” for Rioja to establish itself as a global leader in wine production, the new strategy was developed following a year-long review carried out in collaboration with all key regional stakeholders, and in consultation with experts from each of the region’s 12 key export markets.

Central to the DOCa’s plans will be a focus on establishing Rioja as a leader in sustainability to help safeguard the future of the region, with key metrics having been developed to measure progress in this area, including the reduction of pesticide use by 50% and carbon footprint by 10%.

Another key pillar of the new strategy will be a focus on increasing wine tourism, with a target of reaching 1.3 million visitors by 2025, compared to the 343,000 visitors counted in 2020. The DOCa said it expected the number of wineries able to offer visitor experiences to rise to 250, just over a third of the region’s total.

Moreover, it said that digitalization would also play a prominent role in driving sales from the region with a target to quadruple online sales.

“The new strategic plan exemplifies Rioja’s pioneering character and aims to increase the value of the region and raise awareness of our wines, particularly in key export markets,” said President Fernando Salamero.

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