Schloss Berg, Nennig, Germany – 18 December 2011

“Now the hardness of this world, slowly grinds your dreams away
Making a fool´s joke out of the promises we make

And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of grey
We lose ourselves in work to do and bills to pay”.

Blood Brothers – Bruce Springsteen

*

Schloss Berg with Christian Bau and his team is our local pride, situated “just across the river on the other side…” – you will know by now that this restaurant is my favourite one. We were invited by best friend Jerome to share a wonderful December Sunday afternoon. The daily routines and stresss has left little space for nursing our friendship with Jerome lately, so a quiet place with the best food and wines in the world seemed like a good spot to be to catch up.

Jerome with the missus and Jochen Hünd in front of Schloss Berg

We always get warmly greeted by all the staff, but Jerome seemed to take some of the focus, since this was his second or third visit within the last months. He loves this place, and I am happy to have introduced him here. We settled for the medium menu, and many good wines landed on our table. I am more and more impressed by the sommelier Daniel Kiowski. He is everything you want in a sommelier. He is dedicated and passionate, relaxed and still with a lot of style. He engages in each and every single wine he serves. The first question he will always ask you whenever a “blind” wine is served is…”Do you like the wine?”. I hope he never leaves Schloss Berg. He is a true gem.

What did we drink this day….I forgot.  But we started with a local Riesling 2004 (?) , and further on a California Chardonnay which was outstanding. A Chassagne-Montrachet 1. cru from Paul Pillot was followed by this pearler..

Lovely - vibrant.Thanks Jerome.

The usual army of amuses came heres a few of those…

Excellent, loved the melon

The duck liver flan with truffles and a foam of parmesan is back on the menu, and its absolutely stunning, but very difficult to get a picture to show – so you just have to imagine the most perfect delicate duck liver flan, topped with truffles amd then a light foam, – the foam is all you see when the dish is presented, so you have to dig in….but no picture this time.

The menu started then with the Asian inspired “sushi” dish…

Hamachi - Bau Style

A scallop never tasted better than this...

Fantastic, simply fantasticly cooked scallop.

Turbot....

Best dish of the day in my book. Perfect turbot, decoration and balance wise this dish just was to die for. Could I have one more please ?

What followed was the Nebraska Beef, 3 standing slim slices with a piece of slowly cooked rib-eye on the side and this was a presentation and taste worth a whole page alone. But I forgot to take a picture…so you will have to go there yourself and check it out 😉

You get a picture of the table deco instead

A rose (for the Nebraska Beef)

Pre-dessert...

The dish was perfect, nuts and apple in different textures….

Dessert

A walk through the forest in the fall…..with a fat truffle on the left…chocolate truffle in this case, but what a taste.

Then came the sweets and the coffee. And what was left was big smile around the table.

My conclusion for this visit:

Its fairly easy, and I shall make it short. So let me just state. This is as good as it gets in my book. Thanks Mrs. Bau, Daniel, Jochen, Jovana, Bastian and all the others on the floor for taking so excellent care of us. And BIG Thanks to Christian Bau, Tristan Brandt,  , Michael Mikolajczak and the rest of the kitchen staff for continue to produce small miracle both on the plates and in our palettes.

Thank you Jerome for your friendship, always…

“But the stars are burning bright, like some mystery uncovered
I´ll keep moving in the dark with you in my heart, my blood brother”

Blood Brothers – Bruce Springsteen

*

My rating for this visit:

Food 10p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5p (5), Total Score  20p (20)

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Der Butt, Warnemünde/Rostock – 16 August 2011

Der Butt is situated in the wonderful Yachthafenresidenz Hohe Düne – which I have written about previously

https://foodwinerocknroll.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/yachtresidenz-hohe-dune-warnemunde-rostock-germany-august-2010/

Der Butt is still proudly holding on to its 1 star Michelin Rating, and chef Tillmann Hahn continue to improve. Apart from the restaurant he is also involved to some extent in the other restaurants inside the resort. Tillmann Hahn has been with the resort since 2008 – and was chosen to cook for a German G8 summit, a few years back so he is probably good enough to cook for me. The restaurant holds only 26 places so booking is essential.

The resort offers a little bit of everything. I shall just hightligt the following reasons that we keep coming back.

  • A splendid view of the Baltic Sea, and Der Strom – you can just drift away on your balcony and wish the stay will never end.
  • Great rooms
  • A full-time children care – possible from 10 am to 7 pm, with each day having a special theme. The kids LOVE it.
  • A GREAT bar, with all you could wish for – a huge selection of cocktails, champagne, whisky, gin etc. etc. etc.
  • A good selection of children friendly restaurants
  • An amazing breakfast buffet, with a-la-carte chef preparing omelettes etc.
  • Der Butt, one of the best restaurants in the region, and for sure worth a visit
  • Top-service from all staff within the resort
  • Warnemünde with shops and beach just a stone-throw away

Hey, did I get carried away ?. Well we love it there. We had read on-line that the service was not as good as it used to be. We experienced nothing like that. Not a fraction.

But…this time its about Der Butt and Tillmann Hahn and his team,

The missus at the Kamin Bar, Der Butt in the back-ground

Ray Tschörner, the tall smiling waiter had already spotted me a day or two before and we had a small chat. Im a sucker for recoqnition. It always work on me. Upon reserving we had noted the gluten-free issue as well as the vegetarian status of the missus.

So when entering it was a releave to see a speical basket of bread prepared for her. Why do I keep mentioning this. Because you have no idea how stressy and irritating it is when this issue is not handled correctly. Apart from the emotional stress – the health is at risk. So thank you all you chefs out there who does in fact realise this and adjust accordingly.

4 different thematic menus are offered, a classic, a meditteran, an exotique and a vegetarian menu. You are free to cross choose from all 4 menus, and the price of menu varies then from 65-115 eur depending on how many dishes you order.

Small selection of tasters...

The new Sommelier, Sven Mähnert, made a good impression, and was very service-minded and attentive throughout the evening. We opted for a Pouilly Fuisse for Astrid, and also the wine menu for me – I felt like trying something different than just Chardonnay.

3 kinds of extra virgin olive oil, 5 kinds of salt

This was an improvement to previous visits where we were offered to choose from 20 different kinds of salt to go with the bread and wonderful oils. This was much better and not as time consuming, – and how much salt do you need to try. Great selection, the olive oils delicate, all of them.

2. amuse

Wonderful, the lightness of being. Hahn cooks ever so light. And we like that.

3. amuse for me

- and for the missus.

Again, wonderful, again respecting her non-meat eating status. We felt this was going to be a wonderful evening.

Fois Gras

A highlight for me, wonderful dish, pretty and so delicate and tasty. 10p

The dish of the missus...Tartare of Langoustine with avocado and mild chili granitê

Lots of details, Astrid could have wished for a bit more chili in the granitê – but I guess we like it more spicy than your average customer. 8p

The best wine of the evening I found was this one….

Chenin Blanc from South Africa

Primeur de Provence, 3 kinds of veal...

Actually it was one of the starters on the 4 menus, but I decided to throw it in as small something in between the dishes. The kitchen decided it would be boring for the missus to watch me eat, they had prepared a little something for her too…(nice touch).

Brook trout on beans and "Satureikraut"

Both great little dishes, I love the presentations. And you have no doubt in your mind that the kitchen works with best of produce available. 8.5p

Grilled Yellowtail-Kingfish with mango salsa and choriander

I loved this dish, the missus found the fish a bit on the dry side. 8.5p

Poached Turbot for the missus...

- lamb for me...

Both dishes very strong. The presentation of the lamb was maybe not the best, but the tenderness and the taste made up for that. SIMPLY GREAT. 9p

Chocolate Grand Cru with full-ripe cherries

Great stuff again 8.5p

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for honey...

Conclusion

If you are ever in the resort, dont miss out on Der Butt. Its good. Its not outstanding or re-inventing the wheel. But its sometimes classic, its sometimes a bit innovative, but most of all its a kitchen that treats the products with respect with good presentations and the service match all that. The wine list is a bit on the expensive side like in most 5 star resorts, but the selection is good and leave you many choices from overseas etc in the lower end as well. Should you feel like drinking Chateau Margaux or Ornellaia, well then there is choices there as well.

At the end of the meal, Tillmann came to our table and we had a good long talk. We were happy to tell him that this was the strongest achievement of his kitchen we had experienced so far. And that the food throughout the resort had also improved from last time. There was no apparent flaws in the other restaurants as last time, except maybe for lack of salt and pepper on the dishes….Würzen fellows…würzen. But that off course was not the issue in Der Butt.

Thank you Ray and Sven for taking so good care of us, on our last evening at Hohe Düne. We for sure hope to be back next year. So do the boys. Thank you Tillmann Hahn for great food and for your inspiration.

I shall leave you with a few shots from the resort…and with my rating of Der Butt below.

Room with a view..

.

My rating for this visit: Food 9p (10), Ambience 4p (5) and service 5 (5)  Total score 18p (20)

Lameloise, Chagny – 26 June 2011

Had a rough start going to Bourgogne this time. Trip was postponed a day, due to a shortly announced school show performance of Oscar, and litterally minutes before leaving I smashed my car coming back from the baker. First accident in around 30 years, and no-one to blame but myself.

We arrived in Beaune – safely in the old Volvo – and were greeted by blue sky and 27 degrees. The day was spent, calming the nerves with Meursault, with good Friends Jörg and Sus, who had decided to join us for the following days big lunch at Lameloise. It would be their first visit to Lameloise, my 11th or so.

Chagny is a small dull village but on any Sunday, the town center is extended and filled with a market AND A LOT OF PEOPLE. If you ever in the area dont miss this market – nor Lameloise.

Some shots from Chagny go get you started

The Town Hall

Onions anyone ? All kinds....

Old friends enjoying a good morning discussion, what was the topic you wonder, Greece ? Sarkozy ? We will never know.

The reason for our visit...

With such a great Maison and entrance it is difficult not to have your hopes way up in the sky for an extraordinary culinary feast. We were greeted warmly with recognition by some of the staff, the sommelier, the elderly waiter and off course soon after Frederic Lamy came to our table and personally asked the boys who were Oscar and who were Emil. Nice touch, and something that always work in my book. Monsieur Lamy has an elegant style, but with a down-to-earth touch that makes him come over as a genuine warm person that I am sure has an eye on every table – and waiter. During the meal he passed our table a few times, and was increasingly impressed about the boys good behavior. Even though Emil was a bit ill, they both did a fine job, and severeal issues did inded make proud parents on this “Lazy Sunday afternoon”.

I shall not give you a break-down of all the dishes this time, but just note that the menu this time was de facto flawless. Gluten free bread was offered through-out the meal to the missus. The amuses had a gluten free version for her as well. A minor mistake were that they had forgotten or not noted my information that she is semi-vegetarian (no meat) – so the first version had to be changed – which were done without a fuss and rather quickly.

Wines were ordered…a Rully 1. Cru from Jacqueson 2009, lovely crisp, followed by a Chassagne Montrachet 2003 – damn I forgot the producer, but I got a big smile from the sommelier, a smile to show me he loved my choice. And later on we had another Chassagne Montrachet from 2006, all whites – all PERFECT whites.

Amuses 1

Langoustines Chaud & Froid

A highlight for all of us. The best dish of the day. Simply stunning.

Blanc de Turbot, with rhubarbe and sabayon moutarde

The Sabayon FANTASTIC, the fish cooked perfect. The rhubarbe adding a nice twist to the dish. The razor mussels…..well they will never be my favourites.

Homard Bleu, with artichokes and tarragon

Great dish, I love lobster and with the creme of potatoes, just like I learned to cook it at Clairefontaine. Second best dish of the menu.

Veau de lait Limousin, with Girolles

Great dish, the veak cooked to perfection. After having had less succes with veal elsewhere lately, its nice when you are finally presented with a great cooked piece. The girolles, very tasty. A great and very classic dish.

The cheese trolley...

All sections and some cheese nicely presented. And this is what landed on my plate according to my wishes…

Say "Cheese"

Pre-dessert - Crumble

Pre-dessert - sweets

My choice of dessert - Pommes & Passion

Astrid's choice - Chocolate, raspberry...

Last round....

Emil not up for being shot at this point....

My conclusion:

It is always good to be spoiled at Lameloise. And I doubt that anyone will leave disappointed or hungry. The service at this visit was top-notch – flawless, the small room with three tables simply cosy. The food classic but this time with some fresh new touches.

You feel like a king at all times. The gluten allergy was almost treated as good as it could have been. At least an effort was made, and that was nice to experience. I asked by a copy of a chldrens cooking book by Eric Pras, exhibited at the entrance. It was duly signed with a message to Oscar and Emil, and – hey – put on the bill – but for the prize of 0. I thank you for that, and note that the personal touch was just what I had hoped for when requesting the dedication.

I think our good friends felt the trip was more than worthwhile. I dont know what impressed them more – the behaving of our boys or the food. Lets just say – Boys you were great. All boys. Oscar and Emil – and all you boys at Lameloise. Thanks for behaving and spoiling us. Jörg and Sus, we treasure our friendship and its good to feel as if we have never been apart, even though you now live in “la chic Suisse”….

My rating for this visit:  Food 9.5p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5 (5), total score for this visit  19.5p (20).

Sölleröd Kro, Denmark – 8 August 2010

Celebrating a special day with old best friends is always great, but this day was in fact out of this world. I am actually glad the rain was pouring down, because this way there is still room for improvement. Other than that, what we experienced as to hospitality, creativity, good food and stunning wines – was simply amazing. I had high expectations for this lunch. Seeing old “friend” Jan Restorff again, and knowing that Jakob de Neergaard in the kitchen is as sharp as ever – it would be easy for my high expectations not to be met.

But from the moment we entered the room, Jan meeting us outside – at 12.00 till we left 5 hours later we were spoiled and taken care of, in a manner that it will be hard for anybody to follow-up on, or even try to get close to.

I have said it before, and I would like to stress it again. For this restaurant to hold “only” 1 michelin star is so close to criminal as it gets. Wake up Michelin, Take away a star in Hong-Kong and one in Luxembourg, and put them here – right there in the heart of Sölleröd.

I do not need the craziness or innovation of Noma or El Bulli to recognize when something hits the spot. I need good food, a slash of creativity, a lot of attention to detail and to the table, add a romantic ambience, Jakob and Jan – and you have the perfect meal. At least I had on that Sunday.

Some of my shots came out a little blurry – I apologize for that, but have chosen to include them.

We chose the standard 5 course Sölleröd Menu with a few extras thrown in as suggested by Jan, and to start it all of we went for a Champagne – Pol Roger Millesime 2000 rosé. I absolutely adored this bottle, the long nutty aftertaste. Stunning. Note – Have to buy some of that for my cellar when there is some money left in my pocket. Just for the fun of it, Jan let us try another vintage white champagne from Pol Roger – was it 1999 ?. Powerful, but the rosé blew me away.

A quiet romantic corner

Fantastic bread, replaced throughout the entire meal.

Green Gazpacho with olive ice.

This little amuse was so great, so creamy. Wonderful 10p

Caviar - Avocado - Langoustine

Albino Caviar - Avocado - Langoustine

This was the first of the little throw-in dishes. Jakob came out and explained about the caviar, especially about the Albino caviar, how much was harvested in the world etc.  The men were served the black, and the women were served the albino version. This was caviar as good as it gets in my book, the delicate combination with the avocado creme and langoustines…wauw. This is normally on the a-la-carte menu I think. When you go there..TRY IT ! 10p

To continue with the meal we then chose a bottle of Meursault Charmes 2006 from Francois Mikulski. What a great wine for the following dishes. Jan suggested us 4 whites, explained about their differencies, making the choosing really interesting.

Römö shrimps with cucumber, horseradish and dill

A simple light dish. The mild horseraddish and the nutty oil in the bottom made this dish melt in your mouth. The small shrimps added the texture and great taste. 9.5p

Smoked cod with different types of cabbage

Again, light, beauty on a plate, pleasure in your mouth. 9.5p

Again is was time to change direction, wine wise, and we chose a bottle of Chambolle Musigny 2006 from Francois Bertheau. Again Jan helped us in choosing from the vast numbers of bottles on the wine list by presenting 4 bottles, explaining etc. Since the wine was such an instant hit, he tickled our senses by offering a second bottle from Cambolle Musigny, the 2007 (?) Philippe Pacalet. What a whine, at first much more closed and fruity than the well balanced and smooth Bertheau, later totally winning us over with its charm and elegance.

Variety of potatos with summer truffles

Simple food, what do you get when you pair potato the best vegetable in the world, with truffles one of the most expensive vegetables in the world ? Happiness. May I add the summer truffle was really tasty and the dish a hit in my book. 9p

Roasted turbot with chanterelles and parsley

A “standard” Sölleröd dish, perfectly cooked turbot with tasty chanterelles. What more do you want ? 9p

Breast of veal with foie gras, new onions and currant

Ring ring ring…..a true beauty. Veal vacuum-cooked at 48 degrees then braised….the perfect meat. A dish you never wanted to finish. In a good way. 10p

Buttermilk, lemon and mint

First of the desserts, was a mojito oriented pleaser. I loved it. 10p

Red berries

A “Noma” inspired presentation. Again, the ligthness (needed at this point) the taste of the berries. 9,5p

Raspberry - "guf" - Raspberry

I love raspberry – 9.5p

Chocolate - chocolate - chocolate.

For me the weakest dish on a perfect menu, but maybe, just maybe the stomach was starting to say enough. Chocolate is still a must in any menu lol. 9p

To accompany the desserts, we first had two different tastings of Riesling Auslese from Mosel – Saar – Ruwer, and later two red low alcoholic wines – Jan have to help me here if he sees this, because I simply forgot their names, but they were both great, fresh and perfectly matched the berries and chocolate.

Conclusion:

I would wish for any gastronaut in the world to try food at this level, I would like everyone to feel the warmth and hospitality of Jan. I would want all the waiters in the world to deliver at least 10% of the passion Jan delivers. He lives food and wine. I love him. For me he is the among the best in the world. As good as it gets.

Simply the best

How do you rate a visit 20 km. north of Copenhagen yet so close to heaven – with good friends – with a meal close to perfectness. One could argue that more innovative dishes have seen the world, but when all is said and done – can good food get any better than good food ? Not in my world. Thank you again Jan and Jakob for making our day even more special. We shall be back….and even though it will be a little while, I can hardly wait. Sölleröd Kro rock on …….and thank you. I will add an exta 0,5 point to reach the top mark which I felt we experienced that rainy Sunday. As good as it gets.

My rating for this visit: Food 9,5 (10), Ambience 5(5) and service 5 (5)  Happiness point 0,5 – Total score 20 (20)