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Bill and I didn’t do anything yesterday after we visited the dog hotel.  I decided to work on a book I’ve been reading and Bill was catching up on important paperwork and planning for his next TDY trip, which happens in March and will last for 18 long days.  Today, we had absolutely glorious weather.  I’d never guess it was late February.  The weather feels more like late March.  We had beautiful sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s.

I asked Bill if he would like me to find us a place for lunch.  He agreed, so I booked us a 1:00pm reservation at Villa im Tal, an Austrian restaurant just beyond the outskirts of Wiesbaden.  This restaurant is in a wooded area, very close to a riding school and near nature trails and a spot where people were filling up on natural spring water.

I found Villa im Tal a few weeks ago, but the day I found it, it seemed like it was too far away.  I remember that day was very overcast and chilly.  Today, with the weather so beautiful, we were more game to venture to a different part of the city.  I’m glad we did, since it really wasn’t so far away after all… maybe 25 minutes from where we live now.  One thing I like about our new home is that it doesn’t take long to go places.

Well… we had a truly beautiful lunch.  The service was impeccable and the food was incredible.  The restaurant is in a beautiful old building in the woods.  And for all we had, we didn’t spend as much as I thought we would.  Have a look at the photos!

This is what I like to see when I am in Germany.

 

Nice wooded area.  Watch your step.  The ground can be treacherous.

 

On Sundays, this restaurant is open from 12:00pm until 10:00pm, with no pause.  Other days, it opens for dinner at 5:00pm.  It’s a popular venue for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings, too.  There’s plenty of free parking, too… a huge bonus up here.

 

From the moment we walked through the door, we got excellent and attentive service.  A waitress invited us to choose a table.  We sat down and the ladies who attended to us poured hot water over hand towels, which swelled up as if by magic.  Then we ordered two glasses of Sekt.  They brought us a lovely rose.

Then we had fresh breads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a lovely quark and chive spread.

A better look at the bread, along with the nice Austrian red Bill ordered.  He was also thinking about trying a wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, the source of many of our favorite reds.

Then came the amuse, which really got things off to a great start.  It was smoked salmon over cucumber jelly and cream fraiche.  We both smiled big when we tasted it.

Bill decides on his lunch order.

 

I started with a delightful mango curry soup with lemongrass.  It was absolutely delicious!  Very warm, comforting, and satisfying.  I’d love to have this recipe for the next time I’m sick.  It had just a little heat to it, but what I really got was the amazing lemon and curry flavors that blended with the sweetness of the mango.  It was so good.

 

Bill had a bouillabaisse… hearty with sliced truffle pancake.  I didn’t try it because I don’t like truffles, but Bill said it was very good.

 

Next, came the main courses.  Bill had a saddle of Iberico pork with chorizo sausage, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and potatoes.  I was struck by how aesthetically beautiful his plate was, and the pork was very tender and delicious.  I would have been happy with that dish, but…

 

I decided to have pink grilled Barbarie duck breast on a bed of pears with pureed parsnips, green beans and bacon, and orange-pepper jus.   The duck was cooked medium rare– perfect!  And I can say I honestly enjoyed everything that came with it, even the pureed parsnips surrounded by onion rings.  If I hadn’t known better, I would have sworn the pureed parsnips were especially rich and sinful mashed potatoes.  They were amazing.  Bill made the waitresses smile when he told them it was all “Hammer schmeckt!”

 

Then, we had dessert…  We couldn’t have that awesome lunch without it, even though I wound up ordering a lava cake.  I am not big on lava cakes.  It’s not that they don’t taste good to me.  It’s just that everyone does them.  But I will admit Villa im Tal did beautifully with their version.

A warm lava cake with berry compote and a scoop of walnut ice cream…

Bill kept it simple with scoops of red currant and sour cream and chocolate and Thai chili ice creams.  Both desserts came with light cookies.

This is a happy man who probably thanks God PT tests are now a thing of the past.

 

Our total was about 187 euros.  Bill left 215 euros, which is probably considered a generous tip here in Germany.  It was just such a nice lunch.  The service was so good that we felt it was well-deserved.  Despite being very elegant and offering wonderful food, this restaurant was notated as “kid friendly” on OpenTable.  To be honest, I didn’t see any real indication that that is true, although I’m sure it must be.  As it was, we had no children among us today.  The clientele appeared to consist of well-heeled older folks who love good food at a leisurely pace.  I must admit, this style of dining appeals to me, too.

The only thing I’d change is the piped in music, which was mostly instrumental electric guitar music that sounded inspired by Santana or Mark Knopfler with no actual ties to either audience.  It wasn’t offensive; it just didn’t seem to fit with the classic atmosphere.  But that is a very minor point.  This was a damned fine lunch and we will definitely be back for more.  We paid in cash, but credit cards are accepted.  I’m happy to have found yet another place I’d highly recommend!

Just outside of the parking lot, people gather to get fresh spring water.

One last look.  We’ll definitely be back.

Wiesbaden is nice.

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