Thursday, April 17, 2014

Restaurant Check - Landhaus Bacher, Wachau

After a long time without blogging, I am back from many different culinary experiences throughout Austria. As reported in previous posts, I was testing four of Austria's most famous and best rated restaurants. 

Last weekend I've been to the wonderful area of Lower Austria, excately in the wine region Wachau. I stayed at the Steigenberger Hotel Krems, referred as the best hotel of Krems, I did experience some awkward issues. 

To be honest, this hotel is modern and definitely one of the Top 5 places to stay in Lower Austria, but I did not like the way this hotel is leaded: I had ants in the first room (but the women at the front desk gave me a new one), there was no staff member in the spa, towels are hidden behind loungers in the relaxation room, breakfast was hectic and very crowded, and the elevators and hallways are too old-fashioned!

Steigenberger Hotel Krems - Double Room Standard
Maybe I will try the Loisium Hotel in nearby Langenlois, about 10 minutes north-east of Krems. They have large, bright and airy rooms designed by Steven Holl. The only thing is that they are a bit more expensive and therfore too expensive for just an overnight-stay, also because their spa is way larger and it is an Aveda branded Spa.

Steigenberger Hotel Krems - Panorama Sauna

Nonetheless, the main reason for my trip was to visit some good wineries and of course to dine at the Michelin-starred Landhaus Bacher in Mautern an der Donau, owned by the Bacher-Wagner family.

The restaurant is wonderfully decorated with a Mediterranean touch, paired with fine tableware and a picture perfect garden in the middle of the village. Completely unexpected: the extraordinary and absolutely top-attentive service, leaded by the best Maitre - Mrs Johanna Stiefelbauer - and the two daughters of Mrs Lisl Wagner-Bacher. 

Not only was the service fantastic, also the food of course! Due to the fact that I had ordered the Nespresso Gourmet Menu (via telephone, a few days in advance), I got a set menu at a reduced price, which is quite a good deal if you want to get to know some restaurants, you have never been before. So this seems to me like a strategic marketing promotion.

Although the prices are upscale, as usual for such category of restaurant, I would definitely go there again as soon as I am back in the Wachau region! 

Amuse Bouche: Horseradish with beetroot and a pudding of creamcheese

First course: a soup of leek with an one-hour egg

Second course: Boiled fillet beef with spinach

Main course: Breast of guinea fowl with vegetables and gratinated rigatoni

Dessert: Parfait of chocolate (three ways) with milk ice and peaches

Small chocolat cakes served with the coffee

Wonderful garden in front of the restaurant

Steigenberger Hotel Krems - Indoor Pool
Steigenberger Hotel Krems - Outdoor Panorama terrace

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Restaurant Check - Paznaunerstube, Ischgl

Yesterday, Friday evening, I went to Ischgl to test one of Tyrols best restaurants - the Paznaunerstube in the luxurious Trofana Royal Hotel. As this was not the first time for me to dine at this traditional-styled restaurant, I knew what to expect. 

Honestly, after this visit, Mr. Sieberer made sure again that he is the best cook in Austria's most charming region - Tyrol! Not only was the taste of the food excellent, also the way it was served, was more then impressive! One course was served in a wooden box where smoke came out while serving, and the Foie Gras (an amuse-bouche) was simply put on a stone!

Although it is nearly impossible to cristallize the highlight of the evening, I would say it was the trolley with approximately 30 different kinds of Pralines. Heaven for all sweeties!

It was an unforgettable evening and I can highly recommend this excellent restaurant to all travelers going to Ischgl or West-Tyrol!

Wonderfully decorated table

First Amuse Bouche - fresh cream cheese 

Second Amuse Bouche - Foie Gras on the rocks

Third Amuse Bouche - Bacon dumpling with lobster

Fouth Amuse Bouche - Salad of mushrooms

Fifth Amuse Bouche - Foam of mushrooms and truffle

First course - lobster meets tuna

Second course - warm carpaccio of veal and 24 hours cooked spare-rib

Third course - Passionfruit Sorbet

Fourth course - fillet of veal with asparagus and mashed potatoes

Fifth course - chocolate vulcano and vanilla ice with strawberries two-ways

Last but not least - An excellent coffee with housemade pralines!