Today I continue with my second gastronomic experience in Vienna, the first being in the Restaurant Vestibuel, reported a couple of days ago.
After a rather long meeting and under very wet conditions I found myself in the comfort and warmth of the Steirereck Restaurant in the middle of Stadtpark in Vienna.I selected it after reading the Michelin Red Guide, which has awarded two stars to the restaurant and is overall very enthusiastic about he place.
I will start with the food, and finish with the wines.
Part I: The Food
The first bite came compliments of the chef. Trout with onion and yellow ginger. Succulent and full of aromas, a nice way to start the meal.
Gillardeau Oysters with buttermilk, glass pasta and pea shoots. This is the first dish in the 5-course set menu of the chef. The dish evolves around the oysters and magnifies their taste and flavors. A subtle and discrete dish.
Braised “Oxheart” Carrot with fillet, milt and marrow from Styrian beef. When I first read the menu, I thought that this was the heat of the ox! Wrong! Oxheart is a type of carrot, named so because its shape is like the heart of the ox! The braised carrot was served on top of raw Styrian beef fillet sliced paper-thin, and topped with a very light vinaigrette with marrow. The sticks you see on top are a type of rich bread with majoram.
Gilt Head Bream and Moscardini, with black radish, rocket and parsley. The fish was pan fried to perfection, its fresh firm and juicy. And -as always- the skin was the best bite of all! The bream was served on top of a angel pasta bed and was accompanied by one moscardino in vinaigrette, and paper-thin black radish, which was delicious! I must say that I somehow lost the flavors of the moscardini, this iwas rather neutralized. But if you exclude that, everything else in the dish was perfect.
Pheasant breast with chevril root, chanterelle mushrooms and yellow dates. What a wonderful dish! The breast was cooked to perfection, succulent, full of flavours, accompanied by the mushrooms and the dates. But the real taste booster was at the bottom. The skin of the bird was served with a semi sweet and savoury sauce, and this made the difference!
Cheese selected from a trolley with 60 different cheeses from Europe (mainly France and Italy). My only comment on the cheese is that next time I visit the restaurant, I will ask to have a five course cheese menu!
Part II: The Wines
I now come to the wines of the evening (wine maker, grape, year):
1. Prager, Gruener Veltliner, 2008. Very young, fresh, a superb introduction to the menu.
2. Hiedler, Riesling, 2008.
3. Emmerich Knoll, Riesling Kellerberg, 2007, Smaragd. A knock-out! ? Never had a riesling like this, and I have already had quite many! Intense fruity aroma, pepper aftertaste, full body! It stood up to the strongest and most mature cheeses like the best brunello! Totally unbelievable!
Value for money: We were a party of three, and the bill for all of this, which lasted exactly 4 hours with immaculate service, was 140 EURO per person.
Style of cooking: This is the type of cooking that builds on the tradition, but is not blinded by it. Especially in the oxheart dish, I felt that all the centuries of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, were somehow encapsulated in the dish. Hegel would be very proud of this dish, as it more or less excemplifies his concept of history as eternal progress through time.
P.S. At the time of the visit, the restaurant was recommended by the Michelin Red Guide as “two stars”.