How much do you enjoy going out for dinner? I love it, especially after another lock down of four weeks. Really, one starts to appreciate the little things more once they aren’t readily available for a while. ‘Gastwirtschaft Der Floh’ is a large inn about an hour from Vienna. The only downside is the drive which entails the necessity of a designated driver. Since I don’t own a car and only drive when absolutely necessary, luckily that was not my role for that evening.
Of the four of us two ate á la carte and the two ordered the six course tasting menu called ’66’. The name derives from the 66km radius from which the products come. A neat idea which I love to support. The restaurant has a couple of dining rooms but despite its size it feels intimate enough.
The á la carte diners started with speck and pickled vegetables, while the others, especially me, looked on.
At least the first course of the six course menu was not far behind and I got a plate of char tartare with pumpkin and arugula, dressed with apricot vinegar and pumpkin seed oil. The tartare was perfectly seasoned and just really tasty. I wouldn’t have thought that pumpkin works with fish, but Der Floh disabused me of this notion. It’s a really lovely combination.
The ‘Graf Alexander Variations’ were braised shallots with marinated pear, and bulbous chervil, marinated with nine year old balsamic vinegar. It looked and smelled enticing and vanished in a flash. Definitely a remarkable vegetable dish.
The other starter was a dish from the daily menu. Pink heart from the Wagyu beef with radicchio and shallots. That sounded really special, heart isn’t something I would order myself, so I had to try it. It tasted superb. The meat was so tender and juicy, thinly sliced and together with the radicchio just right.
Next up was a fish soup, not from the tasting menu, which is slowly cooked overnight with leek, chili, ginger, and garlic, as well as pickled sweet potato, and of course lots of fish. The clear broth had a nice yellow sheen and was full of small tasty morsels. I loved it.
The tasting menu continued with lentils with kohlrabi, fresh goat cream cheese, peppergrass powder, and portulaca leaves. I deemed the seasoning of the lentils as a tad too intense, my friend found it just right. It was overall a great dish, wonderfully presented on this red plate. Really, each dish here is worth seeing, every plate is different and always memorable.
The menu moved on to the fish dish. More char, this time in form of a fried filet with sweet potato mash, pumpkin and bok choy. A really nice composition. Excellent taste, maybe it could have been a little less orange on the plate, but really so good!
Then with the meat course everybody also received another plate. The menu was wild boar with dark cabbage, mushrooms, and polenta cubes. Such an intense taste, it was fabulous. The meat was seared to perfection, the vegetables an welcome addition and the polenta a surprising side dish.
Someone got a very typical Viennese dish, a Backfleisch. This is fried beef, almost like a Schnitzel, but seasoned with mustard and horseradish. It came with the typical potato salad and it tasted heavenly. The portion by the way was really big.
The vegetarian main dish was roasted pumpkin with pearl barley and leek. Again not just excellently plated but taste wise a real winner.
On the plates above you can see that we were there in late fall. All of ingredients fit with the season. I love this approach of the kitchen. For pre-dessert we got roasted apricots (like compote but with less sauce) with cheese curd cream and rosemary ice cream. I was not so much into the ice cream, but of course if you go for dinner in a group, everything finds a taker. The cheese curd was lovely and went great with the apricots.
Dessert turned out to be a dish called Eislaufplatz (skating ring). A polenta cake soaked with an orange rosemary reduction, roasted plums, and cinnamon ice cream. After such a large meal, I loved that the dessert was something simple and not too rich in taste. It was the perfect end for a great meal.
But one more dessert came to our table. Apricot pancakes, a typical Austrian dish, which give a good measure of the kitchen. Not that we had any doubts after all the dishes we had already tried. But the pancakes as well stood the test. Still warm (unlike at other places), as they should be, with a thin layer of jam, soft and pliable the pancake itself.
If you think me raving, you read correctly. Gastwirtschaft Der Floh serves excellent food in great quality and uses local produce. What more can you wish for? Yours, Pollybert
Gastwirtschaft Der Floh
3425 Langenlebarn, Tullnerstrasse 1
Tel: +43 2272 628 09
Fri-Mon: 09:00-23:00; Thu: 17:-23:00