DINING AT 2 MICHELIN STAR RESTAURANT IN VIENNA
First time I ever had the privilege of dining in a Michelin star restaurant (actually 2 stars). Yes, it was amazing. Yes, I'm gonna tell you all about the experience.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before we get to the food, let me give you a little bit of background.
Went on this trip with my dad. I have family in Vienna so it is not the first time for me here, probably like 5-6th time. Compared to previous times I was here, this time I was in chrage of the accommodation and activities. The first idea that came to mind was to look for a Michelin starred restaurant before we arrive and book it in advance (glad I did that).
| Outfit: Watch: Daniel Wellington, Sunglasses: Illesteva |
Shot of espresso and glass of Perrier sparkling water courtesy of Dan Lounge at the Ben-Gurion airport, TLV.
Hopped on a plane and landed in Vienna. 20-minute taxi ride from the airport to the Hilton Vienna plaza which is located right in the center of Vienna.
Pro tip - Use Uber! prices are 30-50% cheaper than taxi service.
If you are not familiar with how this city is planned than the city center, or Zentrum, is surrounded by a ring. The Hilton is located perfectly on Schottering which is the northern part of the ring. I stayed at a Plaza executive room that is located on the higher floors and gives entrance to the executive lounge (breakfast is served in the lounge). Room was big, newly renovated, beautiful luxurious marble bathroom with a huge walk-in shower. It was worth the upgrade from the regular rooms. We arrived pretty late so a quick change of clothes and off to dinner.
| Outfit: Jacket: Armani Exchange, Pants: Levi's, Sweater: Zara |
Went for the dark look that evening.
Made my way through the peaceful streets of Vienna to have my dinner at Cafe Landtmann. This place is quite the establishment here since 1873. Old-fashioned cafe just the way I like it. Ordered some Steaks (no picture due to high hunger levels).
Vienna is known for having delicious Apple strudels. They even have an Apple strudel show at the Schönbrunn Palace’s Café Residenz (you can read about it HERE). I'm not a big fan of cakes combined with fruits. If I happen to eat a cake I want it to be worth the calories. I took the Mozart cake and it was one of the best desserts I have ever had. Food, in general, is good here. Last time I was at the Landtmann I had the Wiener schnitzel which was great as well. Definitely worth a visit.
Good morning Autumn,
This is some old school stuff right here. Now I understand why there were more paintings than pictures back in the days. Can you imagine how hard it would be to travel with that as part of your luggage? It was easier to actually spend hours painting than walking around with this sort of equipment. as photography enthusiast, I had to snap a picture with this.
| Outfit: Jacket: Armani Exchange, Watch: Daniel Wellington |
The morning started with a walk through the yellow leaf trees decorating the streets of Vienna. Made our way to the famous Stephansdom which is not surprisingly located at Stephansplatz. After you get rid of all the Renaissance looking men trying to sell you tickets to god knows what, you can actually start to enjoy the square.
If you want tons of shopping, cafes, restaurants, definitely go visit Stephanplatz. Clothing brands of all kinds ranging from ZARA and H&M to Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and more. Of course, you can find all the luxury brands when it comes to watches. Patek Philip, Omega, Rolex, etc. are all here with flagship stores.
Now it's time to get back to the hotel and get ready for probably the best food related experience I ever had.
Steirereck im Stadtpark here I come
Everything about this place was simply amazing. It is ranked as the 10th best restaurant in the world, and I can tell why.
I made a reservation to the Steirtreck a month before we came to Vienna and the only opening they had was for lunch. So I guess it is kinda busy here.
The restaurant is located in the middle of Stadtpark, a beautiful park divided by the Wien river. Sometimes getting lost turns out to be a good thing. We couldn't find the restaurant so we ended up touring the entire park which was filled with yellow leaves all over the green grass covering the ground.
Finally found the place, you are welcome to come in with me.
| Outfit: Suit: Zara, Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes: Aldo, Mankles: Ron Meker |
Even before you enter the restaurant you face a beautiful hive like building made out of metal and glass combination. We sat down at the table and immediately witnessed whats makes this place and other Michelin star restaurants so special. Our private waiter introduced himself and immediately set the table perfectly and served us our aperitifs:
The gray bowl - sour cream soup and saffron
Plate in the middle - dumplings with cottage cheese
Small brown plate - corn cracker, horse radish, carrots, white onion.
Big yellow dumpling looking thing is actually butter.
Just a little treat to enjoy while we pick our dishes from the menu. To top all that they have a bread wagon with 50 or so different options to choose from. But the biggest surprise was that with every dish served you get a full description from the waiter about the history, ingredients, area of Austria that inspired the dish and the way it was made. If you didn't get all that, a card is placed in the middle of the table with all the information for your entertainment.
We wanted to get the full experience so we didn't go for dishes from the À la carte menu but from the tasting menu. The difference is between ordering individual dishes or a 4-7 course menu set by the chef. We each ordered the 4-course lunch (link to menu) and I added wine-pairing which was, in retrospect, a great decision. When you order wine-pairing you get specific wine to go with every course. Wine is being selected by the Steirereck's Sommelier (wine expert) on the spot.
For the first course and probably the most special of them all we had Char with beeswax, yellow carrot ‘Pollen’ & sour cream. Let me just get it out of the way, the dish was delicious. The more interesting part is how it is prepared. the waiter comes with some sort of square plate with high edges and the slice of Char in the middle. Then he takes beeswax heated to 70-80 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) and pours it all over the fish. The heat from the beeswax is actually what cooks the fish. After roughly 10 minutes the beeswax is hardened and the cooking process is complete. Only then the waiter takes the cooked Char back to the kitchen to be served as you see in the picture above.
For the second course, we both had the Styrian beef goulash with white bread leek roulade. I know what you probably thinking, why the goulash?
The combination of the flavours and the quality of the ingredients made this dish so good I didn't even take the time to snap a picture of it. Luckily my dad had more patience than me.
Following right after was a dish that doesn't appear on the menu anymore and I couldn't find the name online, sorry.
Last but not least, the dessert.
What you see before you are probably 3 of the tastiest things combined on one plate. I give you the warm trinitario chocolate shortcrust tart with pineapple-pericon sorbet and coconut macaroons topped with coconut milk ice cream. You really do need self-control in order to take the time and take a picture on this little slice of heaven without eating it first.
Conclusion: Do yourself a favor and go visit this place if you are visiting Vienna or near by cities. Definitely worth the detour.
Sun was starting to go down on Vienna when we left the restaurant. 3-4 hours of such an amazing time here. Thank you Steirereck!
And on to the pursuit after the sunset.
As soon as we left I had a feeling the sunset will be beautiful that evening. We took a ride to one of Vienna's view points located at Josefsdorf, Kahlenberg. This specific view point gives you an amazing view down towards the city. This moment was like looking at a painting. You just couldn't get your eyes off of it.
After watching the sunset we went to the family event that brought us here. Back to the hotel for a good nights sleep and up for a new day.
Last day - doing the tourist attractions
| Outfit: Pants: Zara, Shoes: Creative Recreation, Watch: Daniel Wellington, Mankles: Ron Meker |
Good morning subway ride to Prater!
Prater is literally a landmark in Vienna.It is the world's oldest amusement park and entrance is free of charge, 24/7, all year. The attractions do cost money, roughly 2-5 Euros each (list of attractions).
The weather was not kind to us that day, visibility wasn't great but up the Ferris wheel we go.
Even though the weather was poor and we had gray sky, this city is absolutely beautiful. The old but yet sophisticated architecture and the colors just pop into your eyes. Vienna definitely has a charm to it. Furthermore, If you are on the romantic side, you can reserve one of the cabins to have a private dinner while having this view as you eat and drink.
If the Ferris wheel took us 65 meters up the air, our next stop takes us 170 meters up. It is time to go visit our last stop of the trip, The Vienna Danube tower or Donauturm.
At the top of the Danube Tower in Vienna you have 3 options:
you can sit down and relax at the Cafe (160 meters), the restaurant (170 meters) or simply enjoy the view from 150 meters off the ground at the observation deck. I do advise you to make a reservation before coming here because the restaurant and Cafe were packed with people even in the cold weather and gray, rainy sky. We were able to find a table at the Cafe. The cool part about this place that the entire floor is spinning very very slowly, pretty unnoticeable. So even if you sit in front of a view you don't really like, just wait a few minutes and you will enjoy the entire city of Vienna and the Danube river. And what better way to enjoy this view if not with some Sachertorte and coffee.
We started with a cake, and we are gonna end with a cake. so far for this vacation to Vienna. As always it was fun, beautiful and hopefully next time weather will be nicer to us.