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Jan 6, 2014 01:01 AM

Vienna birthday celebration - calling Sturmi and others please

I've been lurking on CH for a while but now am asking for assistance. We recently moved to Vienna (and love it!) where I'll be celebrating my 50th birthday with a small group of friends coming from overseas. This is in a couple weeks time. We are looking for a typically Viennese restaurant or biesl, ideally cellar-like, that has an interesting atmosphere and good food. We don't need up-scale (saving Silvio Nickel, Steirerick and others for another time) -- just some where we can make reservations and enjoy ourselves.

One of the other nights we are thinking of going to Do& CO -- mostly for the view. If you have other suggestions for this, please chime in

I know Sturmi and others have posted on this board and I have looked through many of these and am considering Griechenbeisl but have read some not so great reviews which is why I am looking for other options.

Thanks so much!!!

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  1. Two questions in order to give a more precise advice:

    1. How many people will attend ?
    2. How much do you want to spend (per person including drinks) ?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sturmi

      There probably won't be more than 10 people or so and we can spend a bit of cash :-)

      Thanks, Sturmi. And perhaps you'd like to join us!

    2. Budget would be about 100 euros per person

      3 Replies
      1. re: myram


        We are currrently discussing your request withi our family, sitting in Cantina Friulana at a great Italian dinner...

        Will let you know tomorrow what the family counsil recommends !

        1. re: Sturmi

          I can't wait to hear! Thanks so much, Sturmi. Just fyi....some others have recommended the following:
          Beisl Gwolb
          Gosser Bierklinik
          Cafe Ansari

          1. re: myram

            Hello myram,

            There is a slight discrepancy between your budget and these locations: At most of these - excluding Plachutta - you might spend maybe just 50 or 60 Euro per person, for a three course dinner including drinks…

            These places are either beer cellars (Gösser Bierklinik, Beislgwölb, Melker Stiftskeller) which can be quite noisy and crowded, or rather touristy type places offering average quality of the Austrian basics such as Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz (Ofenloch, Plachutta, Griechenbeisl).

            The main task is to find a place were you can have nice atmosphere, good food and attentive service for a party of ten. I understand that you want something informal and cozy, not too fancy, but I doubt that any of these places, including the Do&Co and Griechenbeisl you mentioned previously, will be ideally suited, especially the service might be not adequate for a nice 50th birthday party of 10+.

            We (my wife, my daughter, my son-in-law and me) have discussed this and would recommend as best place for your birthday party the Hollmann Salon:

            We recently had a very nice family event there, when about 20 people met for a late lunch after the baptism of our granddaughter. The place can offer a table for 10 - 16 people, and they are used to cater to parties of this size. Of course you might have to agree on a fixed menu, with choices of starters and main course, when required. This restaurant is located in a quiet yard, Heilgenkreuzerhof, a hidden corner in the city, and is of course even nicer once you can use their outdoor dining area. The barocque architecture of this building provides a nice contrast to the modern style of their Austrian cuisine, and you will definitely never forget this birthday.

            The food is excellent Austrian cuisine, great value for money, and recently they got a toque (again) from tjhe Gault Millau gourmet guide:

            Other places you might want to check are located in the outer parts of the city, in the western suburbs:

            Eckel in Sievering is a wonderful traditional bourgeois restaurant, the last of its kind. Service is extremely kind and helpful, their menu is a long list of Austrian classics, food quality is a perfect rendition of classic Viennese recipes and they might even offer a la carte service for a party of ten - and not a fixed menu. The place is not too fancy, it is more like an old inn with a great old garden dining area, and a nice veranda looking out to this garden.

            Even older than Eckel is Pfarrwirt in Heiligenstadt. Its history as a local inn dates back to the medieval times, and it has recently been renovated and offers a great stage for birthday parties. It is more refined that the inner city tourist traps, but still has some of the informal Austrian character you are looking for.

            I recommend that you visit each one of these to see for yourself whether you want to meet there. At each of these places they will love to help you with your birthday party, and I am sure you will find afterwards that you will have spent you money wisely.

      2. Hi myram,

        Hollmann's is a good idea, though it can get rather noisy.

        Given your quite generous budget, why not consider Konstantin Fillipou -

        They have a separate room for parties. I recently entertained a group of similar size there and we were very very happy. They are open to negotiation on fixed price packages.
        It is - value for money - the best place right now in Vienna.

        No, it is not cellar like and not typical Viennese... But I am on record warning you about Griechenbeisl right?

        1 Reply
        1. re: hblnk

          I agree with hblink about Konstantin Filippou !! Currently the best place in town, and with a remarkable price/value ratio.

          The main reason I did not mention this extraordinary place before is that the presentation of their wonderful six course tasting menu is a theatrical event which might overshadow your primary aim, the meeting with old friends to celebrate your birthday…