We brought some relatives here as a 70th birthday treat and it was truly the most enjoyable restaurant meal we have ever had. Wheelchair access was no problem and gave us the bonus of peeking into the laundry and washing-up station, as well as the herb and spice store.
We’ve become a bit cynical about eating out, but the sumptuous, airy restaurant, the hot wet towels given with the pre-starter and the multitude of laden trolleys (bread, cheese, herbs for tea, whisky, schnapps, and wafer-thin dried citrus fruit) gave our guests the impression that they had stepped into a parallel universe of unparalleled luxury. The service was simply outstanding throughout.
The lunch menu costs EUR 75 for four courses (85 with cheese) and represents excellent value. This is a great place for a mixed crowd, as there is a choice of many exquisite vegetarian options, innovative dishes and Viennese classics. The char starter (cooked in beeswax at the table) remains one of my favourite all-time dishes. Having now tried a few of the second courses, I would have to recommend the goulash – it’s not big or heavy and comes with a wonderful leek roulade.
In terms of mains, I was bowled over by the meaty-yet-light barbecued sturgeon, although my fellow diners all loved the calf’s liver, and the beef I had last time was excellent.
I am not a fan of desserts – and normally don’t finish them even if they taste good – but all puds here are exceptional (and not too sweet). My favourite is probably still the crunchy, sponge-like coffee creation with a date and plum sorbet, but the crispy crepe with medlar kernel ice-cream and edible violets would warm the coldest heart, while the apple and the chocolate desserts were also simply outstanding.
Perhaps the price is the only downside (be aware that there is also a EUR 6 cover charge, more than compensated for by pre-starters and post-desserts). As with every restaurant in Vienna, there is no shame in asking for tap water, and – after a disappointing and horrifically over-priced wine pairing last time – the wine list has bottles from EUR 35. A small coke is EUR 6.50, but there are some great juices at the same price. I strongly recommend splashing out on EUR 4.90 for a coffee – simply one of the best I have ever tasted.
Lunch at Steirereck is truly a worthwhile experience – go if you possibly can.
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