Fancy Food Time

When The Hotel Attendant…

Recommended that I reserve a table at the Castle Hotel Wernberg’s fine dining restaurant, I jumped right on it. This was going to be a full on Valentine’s day Go big or Go home moment. Of course at the time, I had no idea exactly how ‘Big” we were going. I’ll give you a hint, we went pretty big.

We spent all day Saturday in Weiden and came back around 3 PM, a little tired from our day we decided to give ourselves some relaxation time and head to the hotel’s free of charge Sauna and relaxation room…. My goodness that was one hot sauna. 90 degrees Celsius. We only stayed inside for about 15 minutes before it was too much so we decided to lay around a bit and prepare for our big fancy dinner date.

At around 6:30 we headed down to the Hotel bar and lounge on the first floor of the castle and had ourselves a little pregame drink. It was go time. Our reservation was at 1900 (7 PM for you non-military time types) and we were right on time. The attendant asked for our name and we were immediately whisked off to our own little corner of the restaurant. The whole place had maybe 6 tables, and all of them were full, so it was pretty apparent why they had asked for reservations. What followed for the rest of the evening was nothing short of incredible. This place was insane.

We were immediately brought water and menus and soon figured out that the only dining option here was a several course menu. The choices were from two different menus and you had the option of 5,7, or 9 courses for your meal. We chose 5… GOOD CHOICE. before we had even chosen our menu, the staff was already in high gear. We were brought a complimentary dish from the chef within 5 minutes of our arrival and I was already looking forward to the rest.

Luise and I chose our 5 courses which were essentially the same between us with one exception. After we ordered, the waitress assigned to us brought back custom menus, printed just for us with our course menu, our wine list and a greeting signed by the chef and staff. I had barely even started and this was already above any dining experience I’d ever had.

My 5 courses were as follows:
-Crab Salad (as a starter)
-A soup called Boullabaise with a cut of fresh fish in it.
-A second soup, this time a Blue Cabbage soup. As disgusting as that may sound, it was delicious.
-Game Pigeon. Yes pigeon. Luise and I knew when we saw it that we HAD to try.
-Cheese cake (as desert) but this wasn’t like any cheesecake I had ever had.

Each course was accompanied by a wine which was tailored to fit the tastes of each dish. Before each course was brought out, an attendant came by with our next wine and told us exactly how it fit with the food and what its flavor would bring to the experience. Experience, yeah that is a good word for the whole thing. It was a non-stop incredible culinary experience. Every dish was hand crafted and perfect sized. I never thought I would eat at a place with such small portions per dish but what I found was that it made you eat slower, which made you feel full. By the end of 5 courses I wasn’t feeling like I had eaten too much, I felt pleasantly and completely full. Perfect.

I have to say that my two favorite courses were the Pigeon and the Cheesecake. The pigeon was, incredibly, red meat and glazed to perfection before it was placed on a bed of milk rice and drizzled with a bit of gravy. The meat was so soft you could have gotten the impression that it wasn’t fully cooked, but it was and it fell apart in your mouth. The Cheesecake was called in german “Kaesekuchen Mal Anderes” which means Cheese cake a little different. It was VERY DIFFERENT. Firstly, it wasn’t actually a cake, well, it was cheesecake but it wasn’t in the form of cake. It was almost like batter laid out in a line on your plate and garnished with arugula. I was thinking, “Gosh, arugula with cheesecake?” but the bitterness of the arugula and the sweetness of the cake just mixed so perfectly, it was an explosion in your mouth. Perfect.

The long and short of this is, we will be returning to this hotel in the future. Perhaps not the very near future, (as you can imagine, it was rather expensive) but we will be back. I only wish I had pictures to show for this but it would have been pretty out of place to snap pictures of the food in a place as high class as this was.

I will write again shortly about our next adventure. Till then,

All the Best,

Ryan

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Castles and Cookie Service

 

You know, every once in a while you just have to go somewhere you never pictured yourself at in a million years. This weekend was one of those “Once in a While” deals. The castle above is called Wernberg Castle and was built originally in the late 13th Century. Originally it was owned by the king of Bohemia (Modern day Czech Republic) and passed hands quite a few times over the years until it ended up in the hands of the Bavarian kings. Everything seemed great until…

The Swedes destroyed it in its entirety during the 30 Years war… Ouch

So then a family named Konrad picks up the ashes and builds the new castle that you see today in the late 1600s. Long story short, the family still owns the property but it doesn’t see much battle anymore because today its a one of a kind, Super high class 5 star hotel with a 5 star French restaurant inside one of the castles incredible vaulted rooms.

I knew that I wanted to do something really special this year for Valentine’s day since last year I kind of started a trend with my wife when we went to a super nice Hotel and Restaurant in Ansbach called Buerger Palais. Last year I had tried to get us reservations in a castle closer to where I live called Colmberg but it seems like the day before Valentine’s day is not the day to try and get a room in a sweet castle hotel, go figure. So we ended up in the Buerger Palais and let me tell you, it rocked. Classy furniture all decked out in the style of the 1700s… My wife was in Heaven.

This year I learned my lesson about procrastination and started searching much earlier than the day before. I remembered that the last year I had tried to get us into a castle hotel so I thought I would search for another one and see what I found, maybe even surprise my wife completely. MAN DID I FIND ONE. Wernberg was the first option I came to and when I looked into it, I found out it was only 45 minutes away. PERFECT! So I booked the room and made us dinner reservations at the restaurant too. I figured, go big or go home so we went big (though much bigger than I was planning). I managed to surprise her big time and we had a lot of fun. The grounds were beautiful, the room was wonderful, the food… Oh God the food, the food will be another post I think, I want to go course by course for that one. Also, the first morning, after we came back from breakfast, we found these adorable (and delicious) cookies left for us by the hotel staff on our nightstand. Man what a place.

cookie-service

We even managed to get some wandering in to a neighboring castle ruin which was a pretty good hike. Unfortunately, I only have pictures of the castle, not the way. I will do some more posts about the other activities on that weekend but trust me, if you aren’t strapped for cash and want an incredible hotel to stay in, look up Wernberg. I promise, you wont be disappointed.