( Note - I will not be making any more references to price in my culinary posts. Wife and I have been blown away about the quality to price value of what we've gotten during our trip. However, we have received notice through diplomatic channels [actually not that diplomatic of a channel] that lording the buying power of the dollar over those poor folks living in Europe was poor form. So we will try to be more discrete from this point on...but things still have been a great value!)
During our long, rainy cold touring day last Thursday, our guide pointed out a place that specialized in cuisine from the Northeastern part of Slovenia (near Hungary). We didn't want to eat too much as we had the big dinner planned for the evening so we opted for soup to warm us up.
Wife had a Goulash Soup
And I had a something I'd never tried and Sour Turnip and Sauerkraut Soup.
This was much less sour than you would think and was made with a number of smoked meats as well. I washed it down with a local micro-brewed porter.
#2 and 2B's foreign service colleagues and friends A and S selected this and it was wonderful. 2B did a great job of working with our server, who was very professional and congenial, in selecting a variety of Slovenian wines to go with dinner.
We started by sharing a couple of appetizers and salads
A Caprese Salad
A lovely cheese made with truffles in it and a truffle bread (mmm)
Then on to our main courses
A confit of duck with sour cherry sauce
Iberico Pork with truffled potatoes
Braised Smoked Pork Hocks
And a goulash
For dessert we had a version of apple strudel (probably my least favorite) and a special special Slovenian cake that had layers of walnuts, sesame seeds, and cheese between cake layers.
I mentioned that we had an unusually good meal at one of the road stops on the autobahn.
I had a very good rendition of the regional, seasonal pumpkin soup and they had a bottle of the roasted pumpkin seed oil on the side to season it. I also made a salad of around 10 different vegetables from their salad bar and used the same oil and some vinegar to season it.
Wife wanted some fried fish and they made it fresh in front of us.
Outside of the Vienna Airport in a small town we stayed at a Hotel/Gasthof (Landgasthof Hotel Muhr) that clearly was known for its restaurant. I hadn't made the reservation with that in mind but it was a very pleasant surprise. The cuisine was this interesting combination of traditional Austrian and fusion cooking). We didn't want to drink too much with a flight to catch the next morning so we had the waiter match glasses of wine with our dishes.
With a local sparkling wine aperitif we had a red pepper and Parmesan cheese spread for bread
They gave us an amuse before the courses we ordered
A celery root soup with a small dumpling that tasted like the filling of a pork dim sum
Wife had the traditional Austrian mixed salad that I described in an earlier post
I had an appetizer that I clearly didn't understand the translation. I understood it to be a version of blood pudding which it had as sort of a pate but it also had a fried shrimp with a marmalade and salad served in a tiny cup that was impossible to eat. This was my least favorite of the meal.
They had Roast Goose on the menu as it was in season and is served with potato dumplings and red cabbage. This was really yummy. Wife had a roasted beef dish that had ton of fried onions on it along with pickles and mustard and fries. Our waiter chose a red for Wife's dish and a special 'new' wine that was traditional for the goose. As she was eating it she said it tasted familiar. Turned out on going back over our posts that it was the same dish she had our first day in Vienna.
Daughter #3 and 3A wanted us to try a new restaurant they went to that they were very impressed with. This was more of a new style cooking and was very small and chef oriented. In fact the chef met us at the door and then talked with us during the meal and after it was done. The sommelier who also acted as waiter (it's a small place) was very good too. They have a fixed menu 3 course menu but you can add some things to make it a 4, 5 or 6 course menu.
It started with a corn cake and creme fraiche and a potato soup amuse
I had an extra course of poached oysters with a foam of Southeast Asian flavors. This might have been one of the best bites of food I've ever had. The oysters were perfectly cooked and the foam had great flavor complimenting but not hiding the oyster. 3A had an extra course as well of veal cheek but I didn't get a picture.
The main course was a pork dish but we were tired and (surprise) had been drinking a bit so the details are lost as were the dessert and cheese course ending :(
But trust me the meal was great!