To plan a day trip in Austria around a restaurant is a superb idea. Even more so when the restaurant is the Wirtshaus im Steirereck. I can recommend a visit of the Oberkarpfenberg Castle and afterwards a short bicycle tour to work up some appetite. The area around Aflenz Kurort and Pogusch is positively inviting for a bit of exercise. Especially with a culinary treat waiting for you.
The Steirereck is one of the best restaurants in Vienna. The branch in Styria is a bit more relaxed while still upholding the same kitchen standard. As usual you start your meal with bread and bacon. The bacon is so good that you have to be careful not to ruin your appetite by eating too much of it.
I opted for the three course meal which I shared with a colleague so I could actually taste a couple of more courses. We started with a chanterelle tartare with buckwheat and turnips. Served at room temperature the texture of the tartare was fantastic and nicely seasoned.
Another vegetarian starter was the red beet and radicchio combination which was served with home-made sour cream. The earthy flavours of the beets together with the better salad and a slightly sour tang from the cream was startling. Excellent dish!
We shared an intermediate course of warm pickled and fried mustard vegetables in tomato sauce. I loved that the third vegetarian dish tasted completely different as well. This kitchen knows what it is doing and astonishes with every course.
My main dish was roasted roe buck with wild berries, creamy mushrooms and dumplings infused with mountain pine. The pine was maybe a bit on the strong side but worked well when combined with creamy mushrooms. The meat was just right, very tender and juicy with the perfect color.
The second main dish I tried was a whole tench which came with parsley potatoes, a small salad and a condiment. The fish had only been dipped in flour and then fried. The skin was crunchy and the meat underneath juicy. Together with the buttery potatoes and the condiment it was heavenly.
Other dishes on my table included this colorful tomato salad which tasted exactly like it looked!
The lamb which was still pink inside came in tomato vinaigrette and with polenta and feta noodles (more like a filled strudel). The portion was more than generous which must have been an error because the second serving of lamb on our table was decidedly smaller. That didn’t change the fact though that the lamb was amazing.
Of course once you had such a meal you don’t want to stop. And of course there is always room for dessert. First up was coffee which comes with a slice of chocolate. The chocolate flavor is up to you and chosen from this huge box.
The nougat dumplings with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream are so good that you finish the portion even though you are already full.
Overall the service was attentive and friendly. We were lucky enough to had more than one staff attending us and one of them was really lovely and helpful. The wine we chose ourselves in the cellar, a highlight to go there. The food was outstanding and I loved everything I ate. Definitely a place I will come back to. Yours, Pollybert
8625 Turnau, Pogusch 21
Tel: +43 (3863) 2000-0 or +43 (3863) 5151-0