Best new restaurant in Vienna ?
Hi Vienna Chowhounders,
thank you for all the great recommendations, feedback and informative postings. Lots of great information for anyone interested in finding the best restaurants in Vienna.
I am looking for a great new restaurant in Vienna that challenges such stalwarts as Steirereck on their home turf. The ambience should be a little less staid, but the food must be consistently gorgeous and the service great. It should have a focus on cuisine derived from local specialties (or at least leaning towards it). This is for a larger group of friends that we will take out for dinner in late June. It is part of a regular outing to different locations worldwide - we try to find the best, new place in town in each location. We usually go for a five or six course tasting menu with wine pairing. In the past we have been to such great restaurants as AbAC in Barcelona (already under Jordi Cruz - a must visit !), Ron Blaauw in Amsterdam, Coi and Saison in San Francisco and similar places.
At this time, I have a short list consisting of (in no particular order) Mraz + Sohn, Vestibül, Chef's Table (very little written about that restaurant here), Zum Finsteren Stern, Walter Bauer and Freyenstein. I would love to add Silvio Nickol to the list, but we are not fans of Hotel restaurants. I have heard that Konstantin Filippou is opening a new place shortly and was wondering what the talk on the street about it is.
Do you have any feedback ? Any new restaurants I overlooked that absolutely must be on the list ? Any of the above places that I should take off the list ?
Thank you in advance for any help you can give.
We had now a chance to visit Konstantin Filippou and to order the six-course tasting menu. It was quite an experience, and Filippou definitely has to be put on the list of Viennese high-end dining places worth a detour...
As I wrote before, Filippou has been chef in two other restaurants in town, and we had the chance to sample his cuisine at Weibel 3 and at Novelli. It these places his style has been quite different from what he is offering today, and we were quite surprised in what direction he has grown. His own place is now exactly what he has in mind, and not what the patron of an Italian-style/Austrian owned place such as Novelli had asked him to provide. It seems that the local gourmets have not yet found out what spectacular dishes he is now offering, and therefore it is still possible to get a table at this small and intimate restaurant at short notice...
Let us go into details:
Filippou created a new restaurant right from scratch. This does not sound spectacular, but everyone who knows local building regulations and the high rents in the inner city understands that opening a new place is quite a financial risk. The place is rather small, about twelve tables only, a small bar in front and large windows opening to the street, but without any outdoor dining area. The dominant colors of the place are black (also the cooks and waiters wear black), grey and white, contrasted only by the wooden tables which are not covered at all. There are two six course tasting menues to choose from, and you can also decide to get four courses only. The six course menues are 75 to 85 Euro, which is quite a bargain compared to Steirereck (6 courses 125.- Euro) or Silvio Nickol (168.- Euro).
You can find sample of the two menues at Filippous here, but the short lists do not give any hint of what to expect:
We had menu 1, but it differed from the menue online by a single detail, the fish was not a mackerel but a whitefish, not a bad switch. The most spectacular course was the snail: there was a snail ragout served in a roll made from a sheet of beetroot, a few baked snails and a foam made from bone marrow and lovage. Snails seem to be a favorite menu item, and maybe he is just taking the chance from the new snail farm operating in town, which has given local chefs a great opportunity...
I am not going to describe every dish, simply because I did not write down all the details and rather just enjoyed the experience of dining with our friends. Let me sum up the general feeling: here is a great master at work, who is able to make compositions of great harmony without changing the authentic taste of the produce used. He offers a lot of foams, sauces and stocks, which are always poured on the center of the plate right in front of you, the rest of the dish presented in a half circle at the border of the plate. On the other hand all these stocks, foams, soups are very simple preparations, no molecular cuisine, just the authentic taste of the mushroom, fruit, spice or vegetable used.
There are just a few minor points which could be improved: the chairs are quite low and soft, and sitting therefore gets a little bit uncomfortable over time. And the white wine is served at perfect drinking temperature, which rapidly turns to too warm when you are comforting your glass and not emptying it right after getting filled. We discussed this with the sommelier and he assured us we could ask him for a colder bottle next time.
It was a great evening, and therefore I am quite sure we can be found at Filippous again quite soon !!
Your list is quite on the spot, not much else to add, just a few comments:
Zum Finsteren Stern and Freyenstein are simple, no frills places, whereas the rest of you list is more formal and also more expensive, although the service will be about the same, friendly and professional.
Filippou has not yet opened, and will - when open - most likely present a mediterrean fusion cuisine with just a few local twists.
BTW: Silvio Nickol is not just another hotel restaurant, it is more a three star restaurant with some rooms ...
Steiereck is modern Austrian, Silvio Nickol is rather modern "international" cuisine, but both are definitely high end.
Just compare their different menus:
The overall experience might be similar, but Steiereck is less expensive...
Chef's Table takes place just once a month. Maybe this is the reason why nobody reports on it...