Rüssel’s Landhaus St. Urban, Trier, Germany – 2 June 2011

Father’s Day in Germany…called for celebration – Good friends Laurence and Peter suggested we should try this restaurant together (with Arnaud and Edwige) – on the outskirts of Trier. Actually a small hideaway with a lake between forest and hills, beautifully hidden away. Whenever you arrive at such a location with clear blue sky, – your hopes and expectations are automatically very very high. You just know its gonna be a special afternoon. And of course it is then easy to be disappointed.

Rüssel’s Landhaus holds 1 michelin star and 18 points from Gault Milau and is run by Harald and Ruth Rüssel since 1992. They achieved their michelin star back in 1993.

Heres the view that greets you….

The house with entrance, hotel and restaurant

Sundeck near the lake, 100% romance ...

A beautiful spot....

Upon reservation our friends had duly informed about 1 person suffering from a gluten allergy. This of course puts higher pressure on the kitchen, but I think that if informed already at the time of booking – problems or embarassing moments for the guest should or could be avoided.

You can choose between 5 and 7 courses, – from two different menus – ar around 100-110 eur. The wine list holds a good variety of especially German whites but also known producers from France – and mostly lesser known producers from Spain and Italy. We opted for a local 2009 Riesling, a 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Pfalz, a 2008 Puligny Montrachet from Marc Colin, a 1999 Meursault from Mikulski and a 2004 Cote Roti.

Rustic out-door dining - I loved the furniture and the vibe.

Food was ordered, again it was noted that 1 person besides having the gluten allergy – also was a non-meat eater – and that one person had a nut allergy. That meant that the main dish being meat was swapped to a fish dish and that starter and dessert had to be adjusted for the person with the nut allergy. This was done without a fuss – nice.

So first round of amuses arrived and bread (cut baguette) was put on the table on a help yourself  basis.

Amuse 1....

Now as you can probably tell from the picture the fois gras creme had a nut dress, and all three somehow made with products that contained gluten – and far from vegetarian anyway – So the result of that was irritation, – if you do the effort to ask, and in this case evenare  informed at the time of reservation that there is something to consider – well then please adjust. We all agreed that this was a no-go. And it somehow took away the focus of the amuse. And the missus had to look at us all eating.

Amuse 2

Very nice – but again the missus – vegetarian and gluten allergic– remember she swapped a meat main dish against a fish dish – arguing her vegetarin/no meat status – was presented with a variation of this dish she could not eat – non gluten but with meat. So the second dish in a row. where the rest of us ate and the missus watched.

Kaninchen....

One of the best dishes of the day….I shall give it a good 8p

Pochierte Lachsforelle

First dish of day for the missus…I did not try this one..but it looked ok, with some nice details. 6.5p

Kabeljau - (Cod)

As Arnaud put it…”you cook cod better Bo” – (coming from a michelin starred chef) I felt good and proud. Well so do you Arnaud. However, I liked the “provence” touch of the dish – actually that “provence” touch ran through out the menu, the lighness and simplicity. 6p

Backsaibling

One of the weakest dishes – The morel had hardly any taste – so why include it ?- 5p

Felchen

The fresh creme cheese stuffed tortellinis were great, the fish good, the dish worked 7.5p

Lammrücken (rack of lamb)

Slowly cooked lamb,  with the fat crust. great beans – best dish of the day 9p

- some had the Stubenküken

Not a great presentation, but I did not try it. I did not like the look of the peas creme on the chicken. Looked like it had been standing a while. 6p

Abrikosen Müsli - with Joghurt Ice

Very nice joghurt ice, the rest alright if not stunning. 7p

Sweets

Conclusion:

Whenever you are dining with an insider, you get the chance to discuss the obvious flaws and the highlights. What goes wrong or good and why it is so difiicult to cope with this and that. However, being just a guest – and a hobby chef – you tend to judge more “black and white”.

On an overall opinion, the food had a nice “Southern Vibe”, but something was done very simple or easy, but maybe that is the style of Chef Rüssel. I actually like when you are presented with dishes you can re-produce. But for the price you pay, you get more sophisticated food at Becker’s in Trier, or you get food from a different planet at Schloss Berg for 30 eur more per person.

The garden, the terrase, most of the staff  – all warm and inviting. I loved the warm greeting we got at the entrance. But it all lost a bit along the way, when we had to wait longer periods for a wine or a course. And when the missus for the third or 4th time had to say no to bread to her cheese platter because of her allergy, well at some point you wonder if the service  listen or care or just wander through the valley of life with ears and eyes closed.

So I would say – on this day – we were slightly disappointed with the overall impression of the place. Maybe we were unlucky and caught the staff on a unlucky day. I thank Mr. Rüssel  for signing a cook book, which I had spotted upon arrival, with a nice personal message. I collect and treasure these books and memories. Having looked a bit into the book, it looks great, and I am sure will inspire me in my kitchen. Maria, the young female sommelier, you kept a smile on your face, even on what seemed like a busy day.

To Laurence and Peter, thanks for showing us this beautiful place, even if the standard was not up to your previous visits, one can argue that we finished most plates and that the problems with the allergy and vegetarian status of Astrid is something we ALSO have to learn to come to terms with. And we had a lovely afternoon.  Looking forward to our next joint adventure on the 22 October. Laurence, Peter, Edwige & Arnaud – we treasure your friendship and love you all.

My rating for this visit: Food 6.5p (10), service 2.5p (5), ambience 5 (5), total score for this visit  14p (20)

Some happy faces to finish the day on a positive note….

The beautiful girls....

3 good looking guys....

Good food, blue sky, great wines - good friends - what more do you want ?

http://www.landhaus-st-urban.de/

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4 comments on “Rüssel’s Landhaus St. Urban, Trier, Germany – 2 June 2011

  1. Maria F. Orr says:

    Another great review, thanks for sharing, keep them coming! Sorry for Astrid’s trials here, how very unfortunate; and so totally avoidable! Should not have happened in todays restaurant world, there are SO many people allergic to gluten and SOOO many people who are vegetarian or even vegan.
    Also very nice photos. I agree with Arnaud, your cod looks better; but I have yet to taste it though 🙂

  2. S Lloyd says:

    Superb review, Bo!
    On the very last set of mini desserts there seems to have a tiny square of raspberry mousse (with perhaps a raspberry jelly on top). I hope it was good, because I love those.

  3. bo frederiksen says:

    Maria, S. Lloyd….

    The usual suspects…

    Your comments mean the world to me. I think I write for myself, and for my boys, kinda to keep a legacy of what I have done when all is said and done. And I can see I have around 1000 visitors per month…but you guys with comments, makes it all worthwhile.

    Actually there were 3 major flaws more -, which we laughed at, and they did not disturb the dining experience in a big way. I have had a glimpse at the cooking book of Mr. Rüssel, and read about him. He is truly inspired by the “landküche” – regional products – in a Provence way. And that is what we got the other day. Not to much of fuss, decent food, which some plates working better than others. And yup, it was a raspberry kinda thingy Sony. My favourite berry by the way.

  4. Bo,
    I am glad to hear that our contributions are appreciated. Like you, I believe it is important to share our experiences (I found it unfortunate that some of our ancestors could not do it, so I am not making the same mistake). Your kids but also the rest of the world can benefit from your dining experiences. Eventhough I am not living in your area, I find it so refreshing to learn from places you visit.

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