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« Krems: Wine City/Wine People | Main | caption me »

07 June 2006

The Flea Cooks

Derfloh Suppose I told you to try out a restaurant in which the chef is named "Flea" and the Sommelier is named "Rado."  Would you go?  Would you wonder if the restaurant's name were RedHotCP?

The Gastwirtschaft Floh, also known simply as, "Floh" (flea in German) is 45 minutes outside of Vienna along the Danube River (near the city of Tulln).  Eating here feels like eating at home - except for the yellow-pages-sized wine list.  The place is informal and unintimidating.  Der Floh and Rado have put together one of Austria's greatest wine list.  It focuses on 'neighborhood' wines, and gradually spreads out to include regional wines.  The food menu includes traditional Austrian dishes, as well as some seriously avant garde stuff that tastes great (fried elderberry blossoms for dessert, anyone?).

I was led through a tasting menu, which included:

  • A dry Muscat Ottonel wine served as an aperitif.  This wine can out-gooseberry any New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Lox made from lake trout with asparagus mousse (+ Sauvignon Blanc from a small 6-ha winery)
  • Wurst made from lean Siberian swine
  • Bloodless "blood" sausage (+ Gruner Veltliner from a producer in the Wagram valley - right by the restaurant)
  • Beef tongue - The Floh is famous for this dish.  And, as an American, I decided to just get over the heeby-jeebies already and enjoy the culinary creation.  It's incredible.  By the way, traditional Austrian cuisine contains a lot of "spare parts."  The philosophy was/is:  Don't waste anything
  • A crazy, funky unsulphered white wine cuvee containing Chardonnay and Neuburger.  In my tasting note, I wrote: "holy $%@&, this wine is full of coffee, butterscotch  - with background notes of pear and apple."

Now that's what I call gastronomic voyaging & oeno-exploration.  Go Floh!  See my pics here.

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