Christian Bau is still my favourite chef – his wife Yildiz and the staff makes sure your dinner or stay are second to none. Christian Bau has kept his 3 michelin stars for a number of years, fully justified in my opinion. Christian Bau now requests that visitors out of respect to other guests and I guess the “Privacy” of his presentations do not photograph the plates. Thus this review will only consist of photos of the hotel, surroundings and a single shot of the missus with a variety of the amuses – (I promise – no guests was hurt during that shot since we were the first to arrive in the restaurant).
The hotel and restaurant offers a variety of different packages which you can all check out at their homepage. Having the boys grandparents around for a few day we profited by opting for and booking a “Gastronomic stay”.
The deal is that you for a fixed amount get a Deluxe Room with queensized bed (which in fact is a second category room but not a suite), in the old castle. In the package – the room comes with a non-alcoholic welcome drink, half a bottle of champagne, sweets and fresh fruit. For dinner you are served the big “Au Cœur des Saveurs” menu with corresponding wines. Coffee, mineral and sparkling water as well as a big breakfast next day. You have access to the Pool, Spa and Health facilities of the neighbouring “Mediterranean Villa”. Our room had a nice view over the Mouselle valley from both bed- and bathroom.
Upon arrival we were greeted with a warm welcome as well as put the question how our trip had been. How it should be done…and it is so easy.
We were shown to the room, and a few minutes later the cold refreshment drink (grapefruit/fruit) arrived along with the half bottle chilled Gosset Champagne. It was 17.00 so we had tome to relax and prepare for the dinner.
At 19.00 we sat down in the Chesterfield sofa and were greeted warmly by the very friendly young male servant, who took our aperitif request – Gin tonic´s – which were served instantly. A few ice-cubs would have made this gin tonic more to our liking ….but as you will read below….that was the only flaw of the stay and I guess it is a matter of taste.
When our table was ready, we left the Chesterfield with the drinks and were eagerly awaiting the menu which was not known to us, and which was lying in a small folder on our table.
As soon as you are seated the kitchen serves a small plate consisting of 3 tastings, today it was shellfish/oyster with apple cream, baeked tomato filet on a millefeulle topped with green pesto and a filet of sardin on a crispy bread.
Along that some salted and roasted nuts, thin and crispy rolls stuffed with creme of spanish sausage or alternatively guacamole, and finally a cold melon soup with a straw.
But still before the first plate of the menu is actually on your table you are further served a variety of tastings from the kitchen. First follows a piece of freshly baked Foccacia bread, with virgin olive oil.
Then a beef tartare horn with caviar on the top…..served in your hand.
Then cucumber soup with macrel.
Finally a semi-warm flan of chicken liver with pieces of liver and lots of truffles, decorated with a (parmesan?) foam.
Whenever meat was served a corresponding one was served to my wife. For instance a beef tartare horn was replaced with a tuna tartar. The flan of Truffles and chicken liver was replaced with a creamy soup of peas.
On this occasion all the starters was top level and really shows you with which detail and finesse the kitchen operates.
We were now finally ready to start the actual menu…but also a little scared, cause all these “starters” had already taken away a lot of free space in our bodies.
Taschenkrebs & Jakobsmuscheln
Zitrusfrucht / Apfel / Avocado / Curry
Steinpilze/ zucchini oliven / Jus Pressé
2 x Langoustine /2 x Spitzkohl / Krustentiertee
and for the missus because she dont eat meat….
Paella / kleine Meeresfrüchte / Sauce Aioli
and for me
3 x Blumenkohl / Sherryessig
Degustation von Hartkäse
Jahrgangshartkäse von Maitre Anthony selektiert
Kokoscrème / Guavengelee / Kokos-Ananassorbet
Schokolade & Maracuja
Café-Canache / Maracujacrème / Kakaobohneneis
I will not translate the menu in English, but feel free to ask me ….
The corresponding wines were ranging from local Riesling Kabinett, Italian Sauvignon Blanc, South African Chardonnay, to Haut-Medoc. All very well-balanced with the food. Thank you Ms. Jäger.
For me the highlights in the menu was the first 3 dishes…and the last dessert. The fishes were all served – cooked 100% perfect, as it should be in a 3 star restaurant but nevertheless I need to underline…flawless. The veal was perfect for my tasting, so tender, it almost melted on your tongue The red mullet, so tasty.
The highlights for Astrid were the turbot and the chocolate dessert.
Some outside shots of the surroundings…
There was no mentioning on the bill for the 4 bottles of Taunusquelle water we had during dinner, nor were the gin tonics listed. I think thats nice and how it should be.
I also requested the new book by Christian Bau – which he then signed for me with a nice note, and I picked up upon checking out. The book is called “Einblicke” and can be bought at Amazon, in German only – but lots of shots and back-ground story of the restaurant, quotes from family members, chef colleagues and friends alongside of course plenty of faboulous shots of the great efforts of the kitchen. The food.
Our rating for this visit: Ambience 4,5 (5) Service 5 (5) Food/Wine 9,5 (10) : Score 19 out of 20.
We want to thank all the staff for making this a memorable stay, the break-away we needed. The food and the service was as good as it gets. Only flaws were the missing ice cubes in the gin/tonic and the fact that the portions are in fact very generous…but we will blame that on the big heart of Christian Bau and forgive him for that. However, we did not feel bad going to bed, but just very happy and very full. If we had the money we would be back next week.
To all you fellow gastronauts….book your stay now.