Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Our Austria trip is coming to an end ... (Part 4)

Vienna was a stark contrast to the countrysides we'd been spoiled by throughout the week. It was great to be there of course, but the people, as in any big city were so much more pushy and rude. Claudia in particular was quite irked by the indifference people showed as they pushed past us on the street and in lines and doorways.

There were one or two redeeming experiences in Vienna, the most memorable of which was dining at Tian, a brand new totally chic vegetarian restaurant that elevates the senses and take the entire dining experience to a completely new level. As a part of the three course tasting menu that Claudia ordered, she was asked to smell spices and vegetables steamed on a cedar plank to activate her appetite and stimulate her senses. She was given balsamic crystals in an envelope to taste and understand them before being served the "Golden Eye," dish that they were used to season. The Golden Eye involved an egg yolk wrapped in gold leaf over a creamy white truffle-infused polenta with balsamic vinegar and I don't remember the rest. I ordered an avocado croque monsieur and exotic Cesar salad with grapefruit, hazelnuts, goat cheese and mustard perfume. We both ordered the spinach ravioli with a truffle butter sauce. And I ended up getting a cheese plate for dessert where they brought a selection of cheeses and chutneys a la carte to the table for me to select. The bottle of 2010 (a great vintage in Austria!) Riesling that we shared was so good we contemplated ordering another, and would have if it hadn't been so close to closing. Working in the industry, you never want to be one of the last tables. But seriously, I think that was the BEST dining experience of my life, no joke. And I now want to sprinkle shaved truffle on EVERYTHING. Just think..."Not Your Mama's Mac n'Cheese" with shaved black truffle!! Hmm. Ok, that might get a little expensive. Maybe we'll just stick with the gold leaf?

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