Twice a year, something magical happens in Austria: Restaurant Week. Dozens of restaurants around the country offer diners a set three-course menu for a very small price (i.e., lunch is 19 Euros). I found it difficult to choose only one restaurant to try for my first Restaurant Week, but not so this time. I’ve been dying to try Gusshaus ever since I first read about it. It boasts food from across the former Habsburg empire, which of course appealed to both the historian and food lover in me.
I got to try a meal at Gusshaus yesterday and it was definitely worth the wait. When I sat down I was greeted with a bowl each of green and black olives, a basket of bread, and a spread that tasted vaguely fishy. (I love fishy-tasting food, so this was a good thing.) I ordered a glass of white wine to go with the meal, and thus the three courses of yumminess began.
The first course was a bowl of cress “foam” soup with fried scallops. I am not sure exactly what “foam” implies, other than perhaps the soup had neither a clear broth nor a heavy, creamy broth. The scallops were very lightly fried (if at all), and the combination of scallops and cress made for a light and delicious soup.
The main was a pork cutlet with mushroom filling, served atop noodles with grilled vegetables (carrots and zucchini) and covered in pepper-cream sauce. The meat was cooked perfectly medium-rare and was juicy and tender. The cream sauce was surprisingly light and did not overwhelm the vegetables or noodles. In other words, a fantastic main course that didn’t leave me feeling overly full and nasty.
And a good thing, too, considering this is what was served as dessert. Knoedels along the lines of the apricot ones that I made, except they were filled with a thick, delicious chocolate cream. They were accompanied by a plum compote, strawberry compote, and sugared mint and lavender. I admit the picture is blurry because I might have been too excited about eating these.
And now I am dreaming about the next Restaurant Week…