All long as I remember Casino Zögernitz has been closed. Built in the 19th century this Biedermeier property saw Johann Strauss organizing concerts in the garden, and balls were held in the richly decorated hall. Casino Zögernitz has a rich history that ended sometime in the ’70s. Happily enough it got revived and will see concerts again. The renovations also included a restaurant.
The interior of said restaurant has an eclectic mix of old and new, so that at first one doesn’t know where to look. The ceiling has neon lights in form of palm trees and guitars, while Johann Strauss’ bust calmly looks on from the bar.
Our large group got an overly large table, which made communication with anyone besides your direct neighbor impossible. The booth looked a lot nicer, but were too small for us. Fortunately for us, the restaurant was not very busy that evening, so the service had time to concentrate on us. We started the evening with bread and butter. The choice of bread was fantastic and tasted amazing. But so did the butter, which was a tomato butter served alongside a pumpkin spread.
If you have been on my site long enough, you might know that I detest nothing more than foamed butter. I don’t know what the kitchen did to this tomato butter, but it was by far the best infused butter I’ve ever eaten. My friend and I collected all the half eaten butter dishes and cleaned them out as best we could.
Next up was an amuse gueule from the kitchen, a small jar of curry hummus and all kinds of beets. The hummus was light and airy, it was a lovely start of the meal.
Unlike my friends I was the only one to order the three course surprise menu. First up was breaded catfish, three large juice pieces, on a bed of ‘fishy’ popcorn. Maybe it was sprinkled with seaweed? The fried fish had some spicy mayonnaise on top. I would not have needed that, it was almost too much. The fish was lovely, tender and juicy, and big on flavor. The popcorn didn’t convince me, but it was an interesting serving style.
My friend was eating celeriac as a starter. I can’t remember the details, but it came in different forms and with a foam on top. She loved it!
The main dishes in my vicinity were a fried chicken, five pieces, with a large leaves salad on the side. Both people, who ordered that, took some home with them. The portion was so big, that it couldn’t be finished. But it was also so tasty, that people didn’t want to send it back to the kitchen.
The chef is from Corinthia and one famous dish from this region is Kasnudeln (or Corinthian noodles). Kind of like ravioli, but bigger and always served with butter.
My friend ordered that and got another huge portion with a salad on the side. I loved the attention to details. The salad came in a small glass jar, with a creamy dressing in an extra bottle. A bigger bowl was provided for you to mix the salad on your own.
My main dish was a sirloin steak with green risotto, fennel and carrots. The meat was perfect, nice and pink. The risotto worked well with, as were the extra veggies and the foam on top. A delicious combination, albeit another large portion.
I know that this must sound downright weird, but the portions are huge here. So you want to be careful what you order, otherwise you might not be able to finish it all. Because as dessert I got a Kaiserschmarren. Two others had ordered that as well, so I got a smaller portion as part of the surprise menu. It had a nice caramel crust, but might have been a tad to short in the pan. I like it better, when it is not too fluffy. But the taste was great, and there were raisins, and it was served with roasted plums on the side and some ice cream. Really, taste wise it was just perfect.
The kitchen at Casino Zögernitz knows it stuff. Everything I have tried was delicious. So I am not sure why the place was not overrun by patrons. Because it can’t be the large portions. We had one problem though with the wine we ordered, which was not available. The waitress then recommended a bottle with a three-digit price tag. A little bit weird if you do not have lower and medium priced wine on hand. Especially since the pricing of the food was more than acceptable.
The visit to Casino Zögernitz was overall a big hit. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dishes, which came out of the kitchen. Service was friendly and motivated. Hopefully it stays around long enough for another visit. Yours, Pollybert
1190 Wien, Döblinger Hauptstrasse 76
Tel: +43 676 7417036
Tue-Sat: 11:00-23:00, Sun: 11:00-17:00