On our last night in Vienna I was excited for a special meal. Nothing extravagant, but something definitely delicious that would make for a great memory as well as culinary experience.
My husband and I strolled around the heart of the city, checking out menus and due to my characteristic indecisiveness when I grow hungry, I left the decision up to him.
He chose well.
He spotted Martinjak Am Ring from across the street. Instead of darting across 4 lanes of traffic (as I was prone to do in that moment) we backtracked to a crosswalk and made our way like civil tourists to the restaurant.
The menu outside was immediately appealing as was the interior of the restaurant itself.
Regrettably I did not get great photos of my husband's dish ( I sometimes reach a point where I realize I need to put down the camera and just focus on the experience) but I had a taste and it was....mmm, the memory makes me hungry now.
Above: The truffled potato wafer with vegetables & portwine shallots that came with the Filetsteak "Cafe de Paris."
Well, I can't say it was the art that made us hungry, because we actually did not go to any museums, but Vienna itself, as a city, is art in motion. Stopping for lunch on a Sunday afternoon at the spacious and popular Halle Cafe Restaurant der Kunsthalle Wien.
Crispy Thai Chicken garnished with wok fried vegetables, red curry and coconut rice. Creamy deliciousness.
I loved the vibe at the bar and lounge of the hotel we stayed at. It seemed to always be quietly buzzing with activity and below, the two bartenders who truly exemplify genuine service with a smile. Big up gentleman.
The dinner. Oh the dinner.
Above: Grilled chicken breast on potato-pasta with walnut parsley & sour cream
I am huge fan of open kitchens. So as we had just neared about 5 hours of walking and wandering Vienna and came across the backside of Zum Schwarzen Kameel, with their kitchen and deftly moving cooks on display for all passer by's, I had my heart completely set on eating here.
We made our way to the front of the building. Once inside we found a somewhat hectic but jovial atmosphere. Definitely a hot spot on a Saturday afternoon. The dining room was full so we found a space in the mostly standing room only cafe/bar section.
Open faced sandwiches that everyone was munching on. Above: curry egg, carrot and shrimp open faced sandwiches (they run about 1.10 € apiece).
The atmosphere. Most people seem to come here specifically for drinks, sandwiches and good company and will spend the entirety of their stay, as we did, standing, munching and talking.
I regret not having taken better photos of the sandwich bar. The sandwich lady was in the process of restocking the trays as I shot these pics.
Walking around the heart of the city on our first morning in Vienna, I saw these macarons in the window and basically could not contain myself. Breakfast location found (Kurkonditorei Oberlaa Wien), and luckily they had plenty of savory things on the menu too because I cannot dine on sweets alone, not matter how good the macaron.
I opted for two vanilla (vanille), one pistachio (pistazie) and one raspberry (himbeere) macaron and nibbled them down to the last crumb before breakfast came. And cut it with a cup of strong Viennese coffee.
In addition to several other dishes, I labored lovingly over my first attempt at Bruschetta. There will indeed be many more bruschetta evenings. I love that this tasty dish can literally serve as a meal ( a light-ish lunch perhaps?), or a delicious complement to a main course. There is also something so deliciously sensory about it- the crisp of the bread after it has been lightly oiled and toasted, contrasted with the bright, juicy blend that is tomato and herb excitement to the max.
Getting the bread ready for the pan
Preparing tomatoes for the choppin'
Mixing the diced tomatoes, diced onions with a garlic spice blend that I made the previous day and left in the fridge overnight so the flavors could really merge.
Throwing a good amount of chopped basil into the mix
Lightly toasting and crisping the bread with olive oil in a pan
Not all as golden as I had planned, but hey, this was the first go. I will perfect my technique!
End result: completely edible and pretty tasty. I am very exhausted to continue on with this recipe and try it out a couple of times a month, with variations! Bruschetta Love!
The Temple Bar(in the Temple Bar district) is clearly a beloved institution, well frequented by tourists and locals alike. We enjoyed a couple of rounds our first evening in the city and returned the next day to enjoy and taste more from the extensive (sandwich heavy) menu.
The awesome outdoor seating area. Even deep on a chilly December night, this place was packed and buzzing with different languages and the sound of good cheer.
Oysters with shallots and vinaigrette & Bloody Mary Oyster shots
The Crab Club: crab, rocket, tomato, cucumber pickle & sundried pesto mayo