…sind schon sehr eine Frage der Perspektive und der Zeit. Und irgendwann waren offenbar 500km Kabelfernsehen eine tolle Sache, wie diese Tafel im 16. Bezirk zeigt.
Eine kuriose Kombination in einem Haus im 21. Bezirk: Jesus House und Pizza Babylon. Zu ebener Erde und im ersten Stock…sozusagen episch umgedeutet.
Ein Lokal in der Lugnercity sucht Arbeiter zum Mieten – oder so.
Bax-Bex-Bix-Box-Bux … wähle deinen Vokal.
Einer der schönsten in Wien – und er hängt auch nach so langen Jahren noch dort in der Schleifmühlgasse im 4. Bezirk 🙂
Gut Ding braucht Weile…seit 2010 läuft die Arbeit an meinem Aufsatz über die Geschichte von Jehovas Zeugen in Österreich für die von Gerhard Besier und Katarzyna Stoklosa herausgegebene Sammelbandreihe „Jehovas Zeugen in Europa – Geschichte und Gegenwart“. Während ich die Zeit bis 1945 behandle, beschreibt Reinhard Kohlhofer in seinem daran anschließenden Teil die Nachkriegsentwicklung.
Da sich die Drucklegung verzögert hat, ist mein Aufsatz inzwischen schon überarbeitet in Zeitgeschichte erschienen.
Jedenfalls freue ich mich, dass nunmehr auch der Sammelband seinen Weg in die Druckerei gefunden hat und erschienen ist:
Jakli, Timon und Reinhard Kohlhofer: Jehovas Zeugen in Österreich. – In: Besier, Gerhard und Katarzyna Stoklosa (Hg.): Jehovas Zeugen in Europa – Geschichte und Gegenwart. Band 3. Berlin: LIT, 2018. S. 343-378. (=Studien zur Kirchlichen Zeitgeschichte 7).
Since my first visit at Mraz&Sohn many things have changed – but many have stayed the same. Inbetween it has become my favorite fine dining spot in Vienna and was awarded with a second Michelin star. Let me tell you a few words about it.
I came to love Markus Mraz‘ approach to cooking: Great products, sparkling creativity and a good portion of crazyness – always paired with relaxed service and a great wine pairing. Over the years the cooking evolved to more concentration, more simplification…and a bit less crazy ideas on the plate.
This has not only culminated in a second Michelin star, but also in a whole different concept: No more choices, just one menu and the promise of a delightful evening. This has been fostered by the fact that Markus Mraz now cooks together with his son Lukas. So no more water menu 🙂
In the beginning of the set menu (140 €, including water of choice) the ingredients are presented and explained:
The price information is hidden in an excellent fortune cookie – paper thin an crackling, flavored with soy sauce.
Then the journey begins:
An allusion to edamame. The peas are dusted with horseradish powder. You can taste their freshness and excellent quality, the radish gives a tickling kick.
A sandwich like combination, skillfully connecting Austria and Asia: A very comforting umami sensation hits the palate with this intense, tasteful, yet elegant snack.
The butter has been matured in kombu leaves, which gives it a more intense, cheeselike character. Together with the grilled leak and the rustic bread this is very pleasing.
One of the optic highlights of the evening: This very elegant, fragile dish connects perfectly fresh zucchini with an almost etheric verbena oil and a tatar razor clam with almond. The firm bite of the clam adds nice texture, while the almond milk connects the dots.
Again a very reduced dish with beautiful presentation: A perfect slice of tomate, filled with fermented cherries. The cherries add sweetness, chew and a smoky depth to the freshness of the tomato. Together with a well balanced vinaigrette another great vegetarian dish.
The small eggs mushrooms look like litte gems on the plate. They are firm to the bite and waxy on the inside, adding their warm, eggy, wooden notes to the dish. A kimchi based sauce puts it to a whole other level, setting it into an Asian context and adding some fermented spicy notes. The thyme oil brings it back into the wooden context. Simply great.
A very nice dish around crayfish. Unfortunately the product quality here is not perfect, the crayfish is soft and mealy. The sauce/soup is very light – with a wonderful combination of sichuan pepper and fir tops (!), evoking images of an Asian forest.
The meat course is a perfect example of the more simplistic, concentrated and Asian-inspired approach: A good piece of deer is topped with shiso leaves. The umeboshi jus puts it into another dimension though: The fruity, sour notes of the plum go perfectly well with the intense meaty flavor of the deer.
My absolute favorite of the evening and and a flashback to Frantzén’s french toast: A piece of buttery brioche, topped with smoked deer tongue and a lot of truffle. Pleasing, complex, comforting – just perfect and finger licking good.
As a refreshment some shaved elder ice cream with lovage oil is served. It is shaved with a Japanese Kakig?ri machine, a traditional way of preparing ice cream.
Some things stay the same: The excellent cheese and bread selection.
The first dessert is like the citation of a childhood memory. A creamy espuma is topped with a crunchy ovomaltine cake. Good, but not entirely my thing.
At the end of the menu we had Eismarillenmochi – a fierce combination of mochi and the famous Viennese „Eismarillenknödel“ by Tichy (which translates ice cream apricot dumpling). A great fusion dessert – in the best sense of the word. We also got a very nice bar of chocolate as a compliment of the house for our wedding day.
Well, to sum it up…
Some things stay the same: The love for eclectic yet wonderful taste and texture combinations, the friendly and familial service, the interesting wine pairing. Some things are new: The inspiration by japanese taste worlds that now dominates the whole menu, the reduction to 2 or 3 components. I kind of miss the crazy eclecticism of the „old“ Mraz, while at the same time love the new more consequent approach. I hope they further focus on good products in order to avoid downers like the crayfish. In fall ’19 Lukas will bring in more ideas and I am thrilled to see where it goes. Besides that it is still my favorite adress in the hood.
Visit: July 2018
Michelin stars at time of visit: **
Budget: 200€/person (including water and one wine pairing)
Ein sehr schöner, direkt beim Haus der Musik.
For my last culinary stop in France (for 2018) I wanted something special. So I chose the *** L’assiette champenoise by Arnaud Lallement, the highest decorated restaurant in the champagne region.
You would not expect this amazing property in a rather grey suburb of Reims. Behind walls a small paradise (with valet parking!) opens up:
The interior is very modern – like the living room on starship enterprise 🙂 I found it quite charming, starting with the wonderful carpet, comfortable chairs up to the bookshelves.
The service was very friendly, highly professional and spoke perfectly english. I could not resist browsing through the (electronic) wine list with 1089 (!) positions of champagne. Since I was driving I chose some glasses with the sommelier.
Then I started into the menu:
A nice selection of very nice crackers, my favorite being the one with shredded foie gras in front. Since the minimum serving seems to be for two, I had the pleasure of having 2 of each piece 🙂
No baguette, but a wonderful rustic rye bread with excellent butter and a glass of Roger Coulon Rosélie Extra Brut (€ 18).
This very, very rustic amuse is a quote of local cuisine. Although it was a very refined version of a dish usually served in pubs, the „brute“ taste of pickled pork, cabbage, bacon and soup didn’t entirely fit into the whole menu.
An very nice dish celebrating the beauty of summer and tomato: Different tomatoes, stuffed with other tomatoes and tomato sauce. What sounds boring was indeed a very product centered dish, with a very balanced acidity. It was nice and surprising to explore the different nuances of the vegetables. The tomato water served alongside was surprisingly fresh and cleansing.
Another vegetarian dish: Selected pieces of leek were given a twist with a very elegant vinaigrette of champagne vinegar. They paired with the fruity hotness of red sancho chilis and a sauce with Sichuan pepper. I liked the aromatic tickling of the pepper in the beginning, but it developed a very bitter aftertaste, that I did not like.
A perfectly prepared fillet of John Dory with different onions and a wonderful sauce with Noilly Prat reconciled me with the sauces again. It was nice to see that the service took the feedback on the sauce before seriously, since they asked it this sauce was to my liking and also Mr. Lallement stopped by to see if everything was alright.
A rather comforting dish: Very nice meat quality, together with wonderful pasta and a very natural lamb juice – again with a very balanced acidity. The carrots gave a herbal sweetness to this great plate. With it I had a wonderful glass of a highly elegant pinot Pommard „Les Vignots“ 2013 by Nicolas Rossignol (€ 24).
A wonderful selection of perfectly matured cheeses. Very simple, very good.
A very nice dessert, combining biscuit and almond with honey and fruity apricots. Very nice and versatile. I liked that it was very sweet but not simplistic – giving every spoon a slightly different taste/texture.
A giant amount of petit fours for the finish: I loved the raspberry tarte and the fruit gums very much. The nougat was really excellent. The waiters were very nice, since I asked to pack some of the lollipops for my son they made up a wonderful package adding some extras to take away.
I had a really great lunch at L’Assiette champenoise. The dishes were very refined and balanced with a clear focus on high quality products and refined sauces. It may not have been „comfort“ food in the sense that you simply enjoy it. Some dishes like the tomatoes or the leek were more an exploring of layers and subtile taste variations, which was very interesting and a beautiful culinary experience. And yeah, for the first time in my life I had valet parking 🙂
Visit: October 2016
Michelin stars at time of visit: **
Budget: 150€/person (including wine)
My visit to the Champagne region brought me to the wonderful city of Reims. Not only being the capital of sparkling wine it also is a culinary paradise. At Le Parc at Domaine les Crayeres I enjoyed nothing less than an imperial lunch.
The restaurant is situated in a fancy 5 star hotel.
After parking my car in the garden I was brought to the dining room. The interior is very fancy and old school, yet comfortable. For lunch Le Parc offers a three course menu (70€, wine pairing 25€).
The service was very friendly, we managed with a mix of french and english 🙂 I liked the presentation of champagnes very much: The waiter explained a selection, while holding a card holder with a card, explaining the prices unobtrusively. I went for a small wine pairing, since I had to drive. Then the menu started:
I especially loved the tartelette that was refreshing, filled with a cheese cream and topped with greens.
Two sorts of fresh, rustic bagguette and butter – flawless, like you would expect in France.
A very fresh tomato tartar was topped with a foam preparation, topped with spices. A fresh palate cleanser.
A wonderful dish: The smoked haddock added some intense notes and a rather meaty texture, while the potatoes were soft and waxy. The sauce was full of depth and the sweetness of saffron, binding it together and giving the dish roundness and a comforting character.
One of the best main courses I’ve had for long: The potatoes were breathtaking. Glazed with jus, soft, waxy and not at all mealy or crumbly…this was all a potato can be. The baby zucchinis added a fresh greenness, while some hand picked baby mushrooms (look at the uniform size) brought earthy notes into play. And the quail: The leg was shere perfect with it’s firm and tasty meat. The zucchini flower was a piece of art: Skillfully filled with quail fillet, that was perfectly rosé, juicy and full of taste. Wonderful!
Also the dessert was wonderful: A soft, warm lemon soufflé paired with a lemon and tarragon sorbet that brought a nice temperature contrast. Great and refreshing.
Also the petit fours were great, especially the biscuit sablé.
My lunch at Le Parc was really delightful: I loved the traditional approach and the evident focus on high quality products. No chichi, just good products and craftmanship brought to the plate. I would definetely go for a tasting menu or a greater a la carte selection next time.
Visit: July 2018
Michelin stars at time of visit: **
Budget: 95€/person (lunch and two glasses of wine)