While in Vienna for the launch of the Maragogype Special Reserve with Nespresso, we were treated not only to a funky hotel stay (at the Ruby Sofie boutique hotel) but also to a fantastic meal by Michelin starred Austrian chef Thomas Dorfer, of restaurant Landhaus Bacher. Since Austria is not a country I visit often, I know very little of the culinary scene, I confess. And seeing the beautiful room at the Ruby Sofie set up for a very large number of people, I had kind of basic expectations of the gala dinner.
I could not have been more wrong.
After the customary canapes and aperitif we took our seats at beautifully laid tables, named after Nespresso crus, and beautifully detailed too – the butters were shaped like the recognisable Nespresso capsules.
The first course was an incredibly refreshing Radlberg char pickled with herbs and buttermilk and marinated cucumber. Humble ingredients, elevated to delicate highs, I loved this opener. It was paired with a 2012 Schutt-Gruner Veltliner Smaragd.
To follow, what sounded like a little odd combination of flavours and textures: Summer pumpkin, braised watermelon, almonds, pepperoni and ricotta cream. Yet again, chef Dorfer surprised us with a light, harmonious dish, colourful on the plate and paired with a 2011 Brundlmayer chardonnay
The main protein came next, more substantial in the form of Ox fillet roasted in whole potato bacon crumble with burned onions. Once again, I could not fault Dorfer’s skills and choice of garnish. The fillet itself was tender and cooked to perfection (despite the huge number to prepare). This was paired to a 2011 Cuvee Solitaire, Feiler-Artinger.
Finally, dessert time. Perhaps, compared to the other courses, this was the least memorable by by no means disappointing. Marbre from Manjari and ivoire chocolate, mousse of Amarula and caramel brittle with sea buckthorn, paired of course to a Nespresso Maragogype in a Riedel glass.
After dinner, we had the opportunity to briefly meet Thomas, and thank him personally for such a fantastic meal. His food is creative, original, light and beautiful. I should learn more about Austrian chefs!
Thank you Nespresso and Weber Shandwick for inviting me to Vienna. Opinions are my own.