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Apr 15, 2013 11:49 AM

Question about reservations and critique my list

I’ll be in Vienna for several days in July and was wondering how far in advance it’s possible to make reservations, both at upscale places (would like to go to Steirereck) as well as more casual places (i.e. Rudi’s Beisl, etc.)? In NYC, usually you can only make reservations 30 days in advance but I know in foreign cities you can sometimes book farther in advance.

Additionally, would love some feedback on my proposed dinner line-up:

Rudi’s Beisl
Gasthaus Pöschl

We have two more nights. Of the following, which would you recommend, keeping in mind the above restaurants: Gasthaus Wolf, Phonixhof, Gaumenspiel, Glacisbeisel, Zum Schwarzen Kameel, Figlmuller

Does it make sense to have dinner one night at a heuriger? We will be spending a day in the Wachau Valley so presumably we’ll be spending some time in heiringa in Durnstein so not sure it makes sense to allot a dinner at a heuriger but would appreciate input.


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  1. Sturmi is the local expert and I'm sure will help out more than I can. The only guidance I'll provide is on Phonixhof & Glacisbeisel where I dine quite often.

    Phonixhof is very, very casual; when I look at the rest of your list you are in a different bracket than Phonixhof. It is a great little neighbourhood joint and the food is always good and consistent but there is no "wow" factor. I still think it's worth going there if you're looking to hit a wide spectrum of Viennese dining but I would go into it with the right expectations.

    Glacisbeisel is very good and in the mid-range for pricing, atmosphere and service. Based on the list you have the primary reason to go to Glacisbeisel is if you plan on being in the Museum Quarter at around your dining time and if the weather is nice. Glacisbeisel has a beautiful outdoor dining area that is well worth enjoying. The food here has always been very good, NYE dinner this year was a real hit with the SO and myself. Again, I recommend dinner/lunch here but I don't know that I would go too far out of my way to get here.

    Worth noting if you are in the Museum Quarter area after dinner and if the weather is good (should be in July)... they have great night life with all the restaurants and bars in the middle of the MQ. It's a young, hip crowd with a few tourists sprinkled in and makes for outstanding people watching (if that's your thing).

    You may want to update your "subject" to include Vienna otherwise the local experts may not see this. I just happened to click on the post to see which city/place you were asking about.

    4 Replies
    1. re: vanderb

      Thanks for the input. I can't seem to figure out how to change the title to add the word Vienna. That was such an oversight on my part!

      1. re: vanderb

        Vanderb, thank you so much for your assistance, which is quite on the spot !!

        For high-end dinners Steirereck and Vestibül are hard to beat, especially since both have outdoor dining areas, weather permitting.

        The same is true for the low-end beisl Pöschl and Rudi. Especially the outdoor dining of Gasthaus Pöschl, located on Franziskanerplatz, is charming. Rudis Beisl also has a nice outdoor area, but the traffic noise is quite annoying.

        I am missing one of our favorites for outdoor dining: Zum Finsteren Stern ! Their location on Schulhof is maybe even more romantic than Gasthaus Pöschl...

        Recently we were disappointed at Gaumenspiel and at their low cost bar St.Ellas. IMHO they have extended their enterprise to a size they cannot manage any more. Service is so poor, even the quite acceptable food does not help...

        Zum Schwarzen Kameel is best used for a quick bite at their bar: their canapés are great !! The interior of their bar and restaurant is cozy fin-de-siecle, but the food in their restaurant is just Viennese basics.

        Gasthaus Wolf is a very small and very down-to-earth place, specializing in head-to-tail cuisine. The right place if you are into offal such as lung, liver or brain, but not if you want "real" meat...

        And yes, a heurigen is a must in July !! We prefer the Stammersdorf area because of its authentic setup. And they have so many heurigen, one at least is always open !
        Wieniger is a sure hit:

        And in the Wachau you do not have to go to a heurigen: The Wachau has a long list of excellent restaurants with wonderful gardens !

        1. re: Sturmi

          I forgot to answer you request regarding reservation:
          Reservation is always recommended.

          Early reservation more than 30 days in advance is no problem and maybe even necessary for Steirereck, which is always heavily booked (being the last man standing after the "crisis" killed most high-end places in Vienna).

          1. re: Sturmi

            Thank you so much for responding, Sturmi! I was hoping to get your input.

        2. The inner court yard of Gaumenspiel is in July one of the best and most beautiful places to have dinner. Booking here is definitely recommended. With their focus on fish, vegetables, herbs and fruit they are indeed not typical viennese, where meat and starch have imperial status.

          (Comments elsewhere on this topic are misleading and somewhat malicious. There is a second restaurant and even a hotel next door that share the connecting court yard, but kitchen and staff are separate operations.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hblnk

            Thanks for the tip on Gaumenspiel's court yard, I'm booked for dinner there on Thursday night this week... hopefully the weather will hold for us to enjoy it.

            I also noticed they rent rooms, so I'll be trying that as well on Thursday as our usual hotel in Vienna has disappointed us of late.

            1. re: hblnk

              I had dinner with my SO at Gaumenspiel last week, in the court yard. The court yard was splendid, even on a late April evening as it had been about 28 degrees that day.

              I was greatly intrigued with their pre-built menu recommendations but as we were not sure of the portion sizes and were not starving we chose to pick a few different dishes instead of taking the full menu. Next time I'll go with the full menu.

              I started with the crab and avocado salad which was excellent and wonderfully crabby with a light and very tasty vinaigrette. Next up was their pink saddle of lamb with cilantro and lime crust. Hands down the best lamb I've had in a long time, perfectly cooked and the lime/cilantro crust was an outstanding addition to the lamb and complimented the flavour beautifully. At the end I had a couple of bites of my SO's desert which included a cherry ice cream and chocolate dome. The ice cream was good but lacked real depth of cherriness, the chocolate dome was right on the spot.

              Dinner was excellent as were the surroundings, the service was a bit slow but not enough to disrupt the evening. We will definitely return.

              As an aside the rooms available at Gaumenspiel were quite nice, especially as the price is about half the rate at the nearest Mercure branded hotels. The bed was very comfortable and the room well laid out. The room opened onto the court yard which seemed it could be a problem with all the people dinning and the noise, but in the end the restaurant cleared the court yard around 22:30 leaving us with a very peaceful sleep. I wonder if it could get too hot later in the summer as there is no air con, we'll see as I'm sure we'll be back for accommodation and dinner in the future.

            2. We will be in Vienna in August and have already made reservations at Steirerick, as well as three others. There was absolutely no problem having them confirmed this far in advance.