Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vienna's Romantic Rathauskeller Restaurants

You may remember my previous posts showing Vienna’s magnificent Rathaus (City Hall) as the backdrop for many of the city’s activities, including the city’s largest Christmas market as well as January’s elaborate ice skating rinks and trails. Tucked in a quiet corner of the building are cellar steps leading to several beautiful, romantic restaurants serving scrumptious food. We visited late a few evenings ago as the waiters were cleaning up.

The Rathaus in the summer, between events:

The cellar entrance:

As you descend the steps it's more tempting to look up than to watch your step:

Salon Ziehrer is a cozy yet ultra-elegant room featuring elaborately painted ceilings, black wainscoting, gold wood carvings and shaded chandeliers. Lovely!

We ate at the traditional Rittersall before we had lived in Vienna a week, sampling Viennese dishes to live harp music. What a memorable introduction to Vienna!

The Lanner/Lehar Saal, with its garden decor is a perfect place for lunch.

The casual Grinzinger Keller, named for the nearby village of Grinzig, known for its vineyards and wine taverns, is the setting for the summertime "Austrian Dinner Show." The elaborately carved wine barrel at the far end serves as the focal point of this lovely room.

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