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Vienna, Salzburg, Munich


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Hey all-

I will be visiting Vienna (6 nights) Salzburg (5 nights) and Munich (3 nights) this summer for the first time, and would love some suggestions for great lunch and dinner places. Anything from traditional and hearty to contemporary and expensive would be great. Thanks very much!

Robert

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I was in Vienna the end of April. Overall standards of food and drink were incredibly high, not a single bad meal. On the classic side I really enjoyed Plachutta (www.plachutta.at), everything we had was flawless, I could eat some Tafelspitz and the Schulterscherzl every week. The famous Wienerschnitzel at rustic Figlmueller (www.figlmueller.at) is fun, and it makes a rather cheap and filling lunch...though you can get an even better Schnitzel at other places (if not as huge and thin).

What I really enjoyed in Austria was that even the hipper places were solidly grounded in the classic austrian cuisine. It is not all foams and no substance. Zum Schwarzen Kamel was quite an entertaining scene, and the food very good...ranging from Gulasch to some international classics. My favorite was Gaumenspiel with smart and rather cheap prix fix options and an incredible friendly and motivated young team (http://www.gaumenspiel.at). What it also had in common with the other places (exception of Figlmueller...more simple and limited) was a wondeful austrian wine list at reasonable prices.

for sweets I would recommend the outlets of cafe oberlaa....they taste even better than they look. Mr Schuhmacher is the mastermind who rejuvenated and reinvented classical austrian desserts. try everything and safe space in your luggage! (http://www.oberlaa-wien.at).

We also spend some time in the Wachau, abit more than an hour away by car. How beautiful was that! And both food and wine on the highest level.

I had not been in Austria for many many years, but now I cannot wait to go back.

Gg

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We also spend some time in the Wachau, abit more than an hour away by car. How beautiful was that! And both food and wine on the highest level.

Agreed. And this is the prettiest time of year to visit. Sit outside at any of the many high level heuringen overlooking the Danube and sip some Gruner Veltliner or Riesling sitting in the sunshine under the apricot trees. It's really quite lovely and well worth the day trip from Vienna. You can visit the monastery in Melk or the castle in Dürnstein while you're out that way. It's a nice place to visit.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Doing an eG search for Vienna will turn up a bunch of threads.

Here's a sample:

Cheap Eats in Vienna, Prague, and Budapest

Vienna, Sacher torte, Demel, etc.

Vienna Dining

I'll mention two at the extreme ends of the spectrum: Zum Drei Husarein (lovely and elegant) and Trezsniewski (off of Graben, a sandwich buffet, cheap and tasty!). :smile:

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As the thread "Vienna Dining" has been mentioned, to which I contributed almost three years ago, I would like to update some of my comments.

First, the restaurants considered a cut above the others:

I can no longer offer an unqualified recommendation of "Restaurant Steirereck". They have moved (which is not the problem, although I consider their new residence a bit hideous) and also lost their chef de cuisine. The demotion in the Austrian Gault & Millau from 19 to 17 points reflects my sentiments exactly. I might also mention that prices have risen quite a bit, but that is normal these days, alas.

"Mraz & Sohn" - still interesting, but I was not overly enthused the last time I was there. Don't let me persuade you, or dissuade you either. It will NOT be horrible, that I promise; you might have a wonderful time.

"Meinl am Graben" is recommended. You can expect excellent products, a fine selection of wines, a nice view of the Graben (one of Vienna's pedestrian zones with expensive boutiques, etc.) if you are lucky, and a bill of EUR 100 if you don't go overboard.

"Palais Coburg" is often mentioned as the top in town. I have never been there, but I have heard that it is good to very good, not great. This was from people I do not trust blindly, so you may just have the best meal available in Vienna there, and possibly the most expensive.

Moving down a notch or three:

"Zu den Drei Husaren" is not taken seriously by Viennese gourmets. I am sure they serve excellent, unexciting food. I was there a few years ago: it was all delightful, but no more. Not a bad thing, that, of course. They rely on the tourist trade, and by all accounts make the tourists happy.

"Figlmüller" is farcical. First, they do not serve "Wiener Schnitzel". A Wiener Schnitzel is (by law!) veal. They serve deep-fried pork and seem to be proud that their plates are too small to handle it. Emetic, if you ask me.

But I do have a recommendation, somewhere in the middle here:

"Tempel", Praterstrasse 56, in the 2nd District (not at all far from the centre of the city - the U1 station "Nestroyplatz" is right next to it). Excellent value for money (5-course evening prix fixe EUR 37 with deductions if you want fewer courses), somewhat trancelike service, but fine cooking.

The Wachau? If the weather is right, GO! For a Heurigen in the wider sense of the word, I very emphatically suggest Jamek in Weissenkirchen. You can eat well there, too.

Last of all:

Vienna's best restaurant is probably in Mayerling, if I be permitted to add to all this confusion. Mayerling is some 30 km (18 miles) to the south of Vienna.

"Hanner" is the cook and the name of the restaurant/hotel. I have heard that he achieves miracles these days. I haven't been there for ages; I was happy then, I might be rhapsodic now. High time I went...

Best wishes and good luck,

Charley

Charles Milton Ling

Vienna, Austria

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I just returned from Munich and found myself eating at "Taverna del Sud" three times while I was there. It's a neighborhood Italian place run by real Italians (loation: Widenmayerstrasse 52, 80538 Muenchen, ph: 089-24292199) and is open daily for lunch and dinner. They had the BEST olives that come complimentary when you arrive and when I tried to buy some of these gems I was told they were not for sale outside of the restaurant but they were straight from their own source in Italy. Excellent, green, very mellow and nothing like I have ever tasted over here. They had several items on the menu with tartufi (truffels), the pizza is wood oven baked, and the pastas were fres- I can recommend everything. They also had a wonderful antipasti case from which one can pick and choose for a platter. After seeing the owners serve their house rose (a dry kind) to what appeared to be fellow Italian guests, I tried it and loved it. The place was clean, service friendly, and prices very reasonable (dinner entrees from 5 Euro and up). They accept credit cards and shake your hand "grazie signora" when you leave. Highly recommend it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite meal in Vienna was at a Wurstelstand down the street from the Hapsburg palace. Standing up eating a great sausage with mustard, semmel, and a beer with a bunch of Viennese construction workers in overalls - all the food on glass plates and no plastic forks in sight - it was awesome (all the while the tourists were trying to pack themselves into Demel). And I also highly recommend visiting a heuringen, not only is the food usually pretty good, the atmosphere is great as well (think accordians and drunk musicians). I also ate at the Donauturm (sort of like Vienna's answer to the space needle). The food was good, not great, but the atmosphere was awesome (a soccer game was being played that night and we could see the stadium lit up).

I want to go back again soon. In fact, I would love to live there. The city is just wonderful - visit Naschmarkt if you get the chance.

Shannon

my new blog: http://uninvitedleftovers.blogspot.com

"...but I'm good at being uncomfortable, so I can't stop changing all the time...be kind to me, or treat me mean...I'll make the most of it I'm an extraordinary machine."

-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

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In Salzburg "Hangar 7" (a bit outisde the city on a private airport) is said to be great. The owner (he is not chef here!) is legendary austrian 3*-chef Eckart Witzigmann, who, along with his 1*-chef Roland Trettl, invites internationally renowned chefs like Robuchon or Vongerichten or Dieter Müller each month to create a tasting menu (along with a "regular" menu by Trettl).

I have never been there but judging from the reviews it must be stunning!

http://www.hangar-7.com/

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My favorite high-end places in München:

Tantris, Johann-Fichte-Str. 7

80805 München; ph. 089 3619590

Königshof, Karlsplatz 25

80335 München; ph. 089 55136142

Acquarello, Mühlbaurstr. 36

81677 München; ph. 089 4704848

Orientel Mark's Restaurant, Neuturmstr. 1

80331 München; ph. 089 290980

Schuhbeck's, Platzl 6-8

80331 München, 089 2166900

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  • 1 year later...

Any more current Munschen suggestions?

My favorite high-end places in München:

Tantris, Johann-Fichte-Str. 7

80805 München; ph. 089 3619590

Königshof, Karlsplatz 25

80335 München; ph. 089 55136142

Acquarello, Mühlbaurstr. 36

81677 München; ph. 089 4704848

Orientel Mark's Restaurant, Neuturmstr. 1

80331 München; ph. 089 290980

Schuhbeck's, Platzl 6-8

80331 München, 089 2166900

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Any more current Munschen suggestions?

Only to second the recommendations of Schubeck's and Tantris. I visited both last month - Schubeck's seemed well worth its Michelin star, with excellent food enhanced with the judicious use of spices and very good service.

My meal at Tantris was a step up on all fronts, with food, service and wine all being outstanding - it seems worth at least its current 2 stars.

For reference, a few photos from Tantris (with apologies to those who hate people taking photos in restaurants...):

gallery_34822_5454_88871.jpg

Greeting from the kitchen

gallery_34822_5454_151975.jpg

Starter: Tuna with Beetroot and wasabi cream

gallery_34822_5454_121886.jpg

2nd Course: Sea bass with polenta

gallery_34822_5454_62969.jpg

3rd Course: Foie Gras and ravioli

gallery_34822_5454_192002.jpg

4th course: Venison with wild mushrooms, red cabbage and parsnip / herb puree

gallery_34822_5454_218873.jpg

Dessert: Chocolate and Banana

For the record, 5 courses with 3 wines (by the glass but frequently topped up), water etc. cost €220.

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Those pictures confirm my impression of Tantris, cooking wise. It is what we could these days call classic, well balanced and flawless. But there's no risk-taking, and all in all it even seems a bit easy, if fine tuned. To be honest, my most lasting impressions of Tantris were some exceptional wines by the glass (old Dom Perignon, Chateau Latour) and the spaceship/timetravel setting and ambiance. See here for my detailed review and some pictures of the place

All in all, after one and half year in Munich, I think the best restaurants I have been to in the city were unpretentious trattorias like Il Ruscello (Plantzelplatz, Perlach). In terms of fine dining, I found that only Königshof was vaguely impressive but I had much better and more exciting meals outside of Munich at Christian (click for review) and at Winkler (review here).

Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)
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Interesting - I hadn't thought of Herr Winkler as risk taking (not recently, anyway - other than perhaps in the area of wine pricing!) - I'll have to add it to the list for a visit next year.

Also, I'm happy to say that I enjoy both classic (if it's that easy why can't everybody reach the standard...) and contemporary / risk taking cuisine. Long may both continue to exist to give us choice and variety.

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I had dinner at Munich's Schubeck's (in die Südtiroler Stube) this past June and was not particularly impressed. The food was decent but not that memorable and the atmosphere was impersonal and not particularly cordial. A number of set price dinners was available and I chose the three course menu at 73 Euros (four courses were offered at 88 Euros, five courses at 95 Euros; according to their website, these prices are now 78, 98, and 103 Euros), so this is a fairly expensive place. I opted for an appetizer, a soup, and a main course for my three courses. To start, a potato based spread with toast was placed on the table and a smoked trout amuse bouche (two little pieces, one with green sauce and potato, the other with quail egg) was served. For my first course, I chose marinated Wolfbarsch (a type of seabass) with sliced fennel and lobster tail. The best part of the dish was the fennel -- the fish was just OK and the lobster was tasty but was a very very small piece. My soup course (Fischsuppe) was much more satisfying -- a foamy creamy broth (almost liike an oyster stew stock) loaded with pieces of salmon, shrimp, and some sort of white fish. This was a very good, rich, filling dish. The third course was "Kalbsmilchferkel", which was actually served in two courses. I have to admit that I was confused by this dish, thinking initially that it was a veal version of the german specialty "Spannferkel" (roast piglet). The second of the two plates did seem to fit this description, being two small chops with a very crispy skin served with cucumbers marinated in a mustard sauce, a potato croquette with bacon flavor, and raddishes. One of the chops was very tender, the other was dry and chewy. The first of the two plates, to my initial surprise, had small pieces of what were almost certainly sweetbreads ('Kalbsmilch' can mean 'sweetbreads' as well as 'calf's milk'), served on round thin bread with pesto sauce. Each of the two dishes was good, if not really outstanding. (Perhaps another eGullet reader can confirm or correct my description of what this Kalbsmilchferkel menu item was really all about.) I ordered two glasses of wine -- an excellent Red Portugieser rosé from Weingut Lützkendorf (from the Saale/Unstrut region of Sachsen, a new discovery for me), and a delicious 2005 Zeder Cabernet/Merlot cuvée from Kornell (Bolzano, Alto Adige/Südtirol). The wines (along with the fish soup) were the highlights of the meal (7.50 Euros each glass, but small pours). 9 Euros for mineral water was outrageous (compared to much lower charges at a number of Michelin three star restaurants!) Does Schubeck's deserve it's Michelin star? In its favor, it is not the typical French style restaurant that Michelin oftern rewards with stars in Germany. Much of the food is inspired by German cooking traditions. That said, it could not compare to a number of other German Michelin one star restaurants I've tried fairly recently -- Schlossberg Sackmann (Baiersbronn), Schwarzer Hahn (Deidesheim), and VAU (Berlin) but considerably better than the one star Villino (Lindau/Bad Schachen). [i hope soon to post my experiences this past summer at five fantastic German restaurants -- Bareiss, Schwarzwaldstube, Vendôme, La Vie, and Schloss Berg.]

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Interesting - I hadn't thought of Herr Winkler as risk taking (not recently, anyway - other than perhaps in the area of wine pricing!) - I'll have to add it to the list for a visit next year.

Also, I'm happy to say that I enjoy both classic (if it's that easy why can't everybody reach the standard...) and contemporary / risk taking cuisine.  Long may both continue to exist to give us choice and variety.

There are two sorts of risk taking: the cerebral one, where you try recipes, associations, techniques that are unusual or uncommon. Winkler does not take any of that kind of risks indeed. As I wrote, his style of cooking is frozen in 1989, 19.5/20 in GM (they abandoned that rating since).

And there is the cooking risk taking: serving a dish that is only interesting when it is perfectly executed: a perfect fish or fowl or calf cooking, a really balanced, subtle and light sauce, an apple tart which is just an apple tart but really is better than the others. Winkler takes that kind of risk with every plate and succeeds most of the time.

Haas at Tantris does not take any chance with the executiuon, with a very industrialized process, resulting in a high quality produce with no major disappointment -- see for instance his microwaved "soufflé": not bad, you can't miss it, unlike an actual soufflé which requires skills and adaptation to the singular ingredients, room temperature, etc... As a result, there is no emotion, no chef's touch in the execution of Haas cuisine. That maybe a very rational choice, and I am by no mean arguing that Tantris is not a good restaurant. I would, however, question whether it is an exceptional one.

As to why everybody can't reach the standard, there are a number of reasons, but the most compelling response is that many (not most) cooks could reach that standard if they had the means. Fine dining is expensive and not particularly profitable.

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I had dinner at Munich's Schubeck's (in die Südtiroler Stube) this past June and was not particularly impressed. The food was decent but not that memorable and the atmosphere was impersonal and not particularly cordial.

That's a very polite discription. I agree with you

"Kalbsmilchferkel", which was actually served in two courses.  I have to admit that I was confused by this dish, thinking initially that it was a veal version of the german specialty "Spannferkel" (roast piglet). 

Not only you are confused. The word "Kalbsmilchferkel" does not exist in the German language. "Kalbsmilch" is indeed sweetbread. nothing else. Just calfs and lambs do own Sweetbread. A"Ferkel" is a suckling pig. A sucklig pig fed with calf's milk might be the explanation but "Calf's milk" is by definition impossible because a calf can't produce milk. There are no other combinations except "Kalbsmilch mit Ferkel" or "Kalbsmilch und Ferkel" but even this combinations are very unusual.

Does Schubeck's deserve it's Michelin star?  In its favor, it is not the typical French style restaurant that Michelin oftern rewards with stars in Germany. Much of the food is inspired by German cooking traditions.

In my opinion: NO, but it's ok to have a rated restaurant in Munich which serves German/Bavarian food.

Schubeck's former restaurant "Kurstüberl" in Waging am See was far better.

H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would agree julots description of Tantris as being not so experimental, though the food tastes so wonderful I have a hard time holding it against them too much. (And that room!!)

I've been to Terrine twice now, and I like it more each time. There is a lot more experimentation (though then you also risk a few misses here and there) and the atmosphere is a little looser. they just got a well-deserved star, and the new chef is quite young.

Of course, there are many many non-starred places with really good food and atmosphere. Le Barestovino and Les Cuisinieres in Lehel immediately come to mind, as well as quite a few Italian places.

The most reliable source of reviews I've found so far is the yearly magazine, Delikatessen. I feel like I'm shilling for them at this point, but I really find they assessements to be spot on most of the time.

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