Thursday, January 24, 2008

Vienna Restaurants

Vienna offers excellent food. Eat Wiener schnitzel almost anywhere and you will be surprised of how good this simple yet satisfying dish can be. How many zoos offer excellent schnitzel in their restaurants?
The same applies to pastry, supermarket bread is superior to what you can get in gourmet bakeries in almost anywhere besides France. Someone said Strudel?

But Vienna offers much more that that, it's a place where traditional dishes are transformed by the young generation of local chefs to modern and interesting dishes. Not too internationalized, these restaurants are redefining Viennese and Austrian food. As wine is part of the Austrian culture, wine lists are comprehensive and wine service is excellent. Following is the list of our favorite restaurants:

Kutschker44: The best restaurant in town - QPR wise. This place is run by a young Austrian couple, and combines traditional Austrian cuisine with modern creative cooking and uses local fresh ingredients. Don't miss the "Zwei Mal Schokolade" desert. The wine menu is very good, and fairly priced. We go there very frequently, and every dish that we had there was at least very good. Service is superb (which is not typical of Vienna...) 01-4702047

Hansen: A charming restaurant, inside the prettiest flower shop I have ever seen. The food is Italian with touches from France and Japan. The menu changes every week, just to find new exciting dishes. To the Israeli forum members, this restaurant reminds me of Lilith restaurant in Tel Aviv in its best days. Wine menu has both Austrian and International wines, with a good selection of wines by the glass.

The same company runs another restaurant: Vestibul, next to the Burg Theater. This is another Excellent place.

Both restaurants are under:

Steirereck is one of the most expansive and excellent places in Vienna. Its located in the Stadtpark - a green park in the center of Vienna. The food is distinctively creative Austrian, but the presentation is very modern with French influences. I have never eaten here anything less then excellent. The service is great, but expect a very formal restaurant: most men around you to wear suites - although no one will even say a word if you will come with jeans. The wine list is very rich on the Austrian side, with old vintages of Hirtzberger, FX Pichler, Knoll and others. Along with Meinl Am Graben, its one of the two best restaurants in Vienna.

Meierei: On the first floor of the same building, you will find Meierei, which hints the whole building was once a Dairy (Meierei = Dairy in German). This is a superb cheese place, with a huge selection of Austrian & French cheese and light dishes that come out of the same kitchen of the restaurant above. Wonderful place for breakfast/brunch. They offer many wines by the glass. One of my favorites is a Kracher Cheese and wine combination - heavenly!

Meinl Am Graben: is located in the same space of the gourmet store with the same name. It has a wonderful view on the graben street. The food here is a bit less creative than Steirereck, but is as good (creativity is not everything...). Old world kitchen (Austrian/French) with modern touches. The dishes are usually more towards nouvelle cuisine - light, delicate and interesting. The wine list is very good, but falls when going to old vintages - they don't have enough of those. This is a place to see and be seen: Chancellor Gussenbauer was spotted here twice. This is one of the two leading restaurants in Vienna. It provides a world class culinary experience.

Restaurant Coburg at Palais Coburg: The Palais Coburgis a luxury hotel in the recently renovated palace. This used to be the best restaurant in Vienna but showed a slight decline lately. Still its an excellent place, serving unique, creative dishes. Its a showcase of how far and modern one can take the Austrian Cuisine, while the result is still clearly unique to Austria. The wine list is stunning, presenting both an impressive international and local wines at a wide range.

01 518 18 - 800

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