Friday, February 12, 2010

A Truly Memorable Dinner

We visited Vienna’s famous Zum Schwarzen Kameel (The Black Camel) and had one of the finest dinners of our lives. We were greeted by the friendly Johann Georg Gensbichler, Maitre des Hauses, quite an interesting figure with his dramatic mutton chops whiskers, bright red tailcoat and breathtaking vest and tie.

I loved the Art Nouveau decor, especially the lights:

Notice the inspired window shades:

The sumptuous suede-like menu with gold ink reminds you that this restaurant was founded in 1618! I later learned the Ludwig van Beethoven was a guest here. Presumably, many other celebrities had also found their way to Zum Schwarzen Kameel over the nearly 400 years it has been in business.

The special Opera Ball Menu, which we ordered:

A gift from the chef—salmon tartar:

Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar with avocado and sesame seeds:

I was pretty much full by now but out came the delicious farm-raised sturgeon:

Fourth course was the smallest lobster I've ever seen (but delicious) with the largest artichoke heart I've ever seen:

Our waiter asked us if we would like to take a break and rest between I took the opportunity to shoot another photo of the light fixtures:

Oh, yes, I forgot to take a photo of another gift from the chef, a cup of fabulous cream of potato soup with black truffles (forgive me...too busy looking at the lights, I suppose). Then the main course, beef filet with roasted goose liver. By now I was so full I could hardly finish this beautiful food...but it was too wonderful to stop.

Ahh, an irresistible dessert, a chocolate schnitte with coconut, pineapple, and cool sorbet. Truly one of the finest and most memorable meals of my life. Our compliments to the chef and thanks to the wait staff and Herr Gensbichler.

And then a wonderful cake, complete with fireworks, to take home! We checked the time and were surprised to find we had been there three hours! What a delightful three hours they were. We thoroughly enjoyed the beauty, the fragrance and the taste of our amazing meal, the ambiance of our surroundings, and the kindness of the wait staff.

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