Saturday, April 01, 2017

Vienna's Palais Hansen Hotel's EDVARD excels all expectations (3-23-17)

Our Last night in Vienna was at the beautiful and elegant Hotel Kempinski Palais Hansen where Edvard, their intimate and truly classy one Michelin star restaurant, shines with no more than 20 tables.  Super clean lines and comfy chairs,  crisp linens and so quiet with staff that respond to every need instantaneously, I can't imagine a more wonderful setting. On arrival Bollinger Special Cuvee was poured by Wolfgang the sommelier, as Christiana the manager took care of our every need and Martin our server bought out hot brioche  and smoked butter that could not be surpassed. 
The first amuse was a curry cracker with burrata cream and chicory with dried orange, followed by a second amuse of lobster praline with aioli and finally a third of mushroom with veal head Ragu, cream with lentils and beans and dandelion herbs. We were all set for for a wonderful journey.
The restaurant offers two various degustation menus and you choose the number of courses you want. What we did was roam back and forth between the two choosing the various items that sounded good.
First came a French oyster with pea, wasabi  & seaweed and this was served with a Calcinaires Domaine Gauby 2015 which had an herbal acidity to it from the Macabeo, Chardonnay and Muscat.
The second course was an organic duck liver with pineapple jelly pearls, cacao, red wine on a salted butter brioche slice and with praline ice cream which was really made of liver. OMG!! This was paired with a superb gewurztraminer, Terrazas de los Andes 2014 from Torrontes, Argentina grown at 5900feet altitude.
I think perhaps one of the best courses was the potato Ragu with Organic egg and grated potato, vanilla butter, miniature asparagus and potato foam with crunch, which was paired with a Preiler Chardonnay 2015 called "Sinner" from Burgenland which got small oak barrel fermenting and had a superb mineral taste.
Both the wine and the dish or truly highlights of the evening.

Char was cooked sous-vide then flambeed with broccoli and served with cashew nut and teff which is a small quinoa or millet made into a cracker as well as a salad on the side.
The wine here with an unfiltered Numen Chardonnay 2013 from Zilinger which was an orange wine and hence had scents of honey and walnuts but worked quite well with the fish despite my dislike for most orange wines.

Venison in its own sauce with celeriac, onion and poppy seed butter was an amazing dish served with a divine Etna Rosso called Novello Mascerese from Planeta where we will be actually staying this summer in Sicily.

The cheese course was gooey Vacherin served with Sorrel ice cream over Pumpernickel powder and presented with an herb cracker on a gorgeous stone slab. The wine was a 2011 Jura Cremant de Domaine Rolet.
Next was the Danubia saddle of lamb with aubergine, garlic and white soft polenta balls. The lamb had a gorgeous salted crust and was served with a Valferana 2009 Nervi from Gattonara in Piedmont which was 100% Nebbiolo.
The first dessert was called milk olive and rice and consisted of milk yogurt with ice cream and cracker as well as crumble, whille the other dessert was called carrot passion fruit and buckwheat. The wine was a Heiligenstein 2011 Riesling Zobing Reserve from Kamptal that had lots of intense fruit. 
A sesame cracker arrived with nougat, raspberry ice cream and raspberries as well as white chocolate ice cream with yuzu which was served with Lambrusco fermented in bottle called Cantina Della Volta.
It was truly a memorable evening and we are so grateful to Hanna who is my contact at the Kempinski hotels and showed us their two-year-old baby at now truly is a wonder on the Ringstra├če.
Vienna now has several Michelin stars, but our two nights truly were the best meals in town!