The weather has been so nice these last couple of days, that I only want to sit outside and soak up the warm air. Café Natural Winebar Espresso, or for short Café Espresso, has its terrace on the very busy Burggasse. But sitting outside under a shady tree, the street feels quite far away. Until an ambulance passes by. But thankfully that doesn’t happen often and the aperitivo platters definitely distracted me.
An aperitif is a drink before a meal. In Tuscany though you get small snacks with your drink, little sandwiches and sometimes even warm bites. I haven’t seen that anywhere else so far, usually it’s just chips and nuts. But in Florence I once even saw an aperitivo buffet. So Vienna has taken that to new heights and now there are a couple of places which offer lovely snacks with your drink. It’s just not for free. But never mind, one can have its dinner with these snacks.
Café Natural Winebar Espresso has a reason why the natural wine bar is in its name. All the wines are natural wines, so organic wines, and some of the white ones are orange wines. To be honest, we had two bottles of wine. And while it was fine, I am just not a big fan of natural wine. I find them way heavier than the regular ones. So apparently I like the pesticides and additives. Café Espresso does a mean Americano though, plus it has a rhubarb lemonade on the menu. That already made me very happy.
The four of us shared basically everything Café Espresso has on its snack list. We started with a big platter of antipasti and an extra cheese plate.
We got clockwise from the top salami piccante, twice pickled radish with lemon ricotta, sandwiches with sardines and pickled lemon zest, roasted pork belly sandwich coriander and red onion salsa, sun-dried tomatoes with fermented radish on top which tasted like olives, kimchi, olives, and melon with prosciutto. Four different kind of cheeses, butter, some sweet jam, and a large bread basket rounded out the first platter. We gorged ourselves on everything, everything was super delicious.
I loved the lemon ricotta combination with the tartness of the pickled radish. The pickled radish on top of the tomatoes surprised me with its intense taste of Kalamata olives. And the sardine sandwich with the pickled lemon zest was such a hit that we asked for seconds, even after the second platter.
The second platter was a colorful experience. Little sandwiches with mint cream cheese with sugar snap peas in vibrant green next to purple eggs almost created a sensory overload. It also had some pickled red beets, pickled asparagus, more rolled roasted pork belly, salami, and Caprese on it.
The sandwiches with the sugar snap peas were good, but lacked a tad of salt maybe. Or I don’t know. It’s just that their color promised a great experience and it didn’t materialize. The same goes for the eggs by the way. I was the only one who enjoyed the pork belly. In my opinion it was fantastic. Crispy on top and juicy underneath. The salami was good, but the two pickled dishes got mixed reviews.
I am not sure if pickled asparagus makes sense while they are still in season. And red beet looses a lot of it’s distinct taste when pickled. I rather like the earthy taste of it. The Caprese was really nice, with the tomatoes coming from outside. I feel this makes a great difference if they are cold or not.
Overall Café Espresso was a lovely experience. The food was interesting and some dishes outstanding. I can’t really say the same for the orange wines, but that’s just me. In the end we sat there for hours, snacking on our antipasti and sipping cool drinks. Underneath the tree it’s the perfect summer spot. Many others think the same, the place was booming. Yours, Pollybert
Café Natural Winebar Espresso
1070 Wien, Burggasse 57
Tel: +43 1 52210570
Mon-Fri: 07:30-24:00, Sat: 11:00-17:00