This post was originally placed on my old Blogspot version of this blog. When I transferred it to this blog, the layout got all screwed up. Consequently, the type is very tiny unless I move it next to type that is normal. Originally, the text was interspersed between the photos. I have moved it in the interest of making it readable. Sorry… I’m still working out the bugs on this new blog!
I know… I know… Every weekend, it seems like I’m raving about yet another Wiesbaden area restaurant. The fact is, there are some mighty fine eats in these parts. Bill and I have been marveling at the quality and quantity of excellent restaurants, as well as the array of choices we have in different cuisines. Lately, we’ve been pretty partial to Italian food, and today was no exception.
Although it would have been nice to have found another fun outing like we did last week, the weather was kind of cold and icky. We actually had snow flurries this morning, which we barely saw up here even during the dead of winter. I had been giving some thought to going to Frankfurt and checking out their spring fair, but based on the chill in the air, decided I’d rather just go out to eat. I asked Bill if he’d like to have lunch somewhere. He agreed, so I booked us a table at Martino Kitchen, which is right next to the Trüffel Hotel and Feinkost (fancy food store). Martino Kitchen is the hotel’s restaurant.
I made us a reservation for 1:45pm and requested “standard” seating, but we were put at the chef’s table at the back. The place was swinging when we arrived, but no one on the staff looked hurried or stressed. We sat down and I immediately noticed that directly to my right was a mirror. I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror, especially when I’m eating. Fortunately, we also had a view of the open kitchen, which offered a fascinating show during a wonderful and imaginatively prepared repast.
We had a brief break while we waited four our third courses. I decided to veer from the suggested free range chicken and have the salmon with wild garlic risotto. Bill had the chicken, although he’d been eyeing the schnitzel.
While we were eating, I couldn’t help but notice all of the people coming back to say “Hi” to the chef. He obviously has a lot of regulars who have become friends. A man with that kind of talent with food is bound to have a lot of admirers. As we were finishing up the meal, I kept raving about how good it was. Every single course was outstanding and some of the flavor combinations were genius. I found myself trying things I ordinarily wouldn’t, like a soup with black truffles in it. Seriously, that’s a big deal for me. I don’t do fungus.
Just as we were finishing the cheesecake, a very friendly man, obviously pals with the chef, came back and started massaging him. As Bill and I observed, the guy started cracking the chef’s back. Obviously, this was his chiropractor, who’d come in for lunch and maybe a quickie adjustment before dinner. We heard him tell him to come in for an office visit, too.
The total bill was probably about 120 euros or so… I didn’t look at the check. When the waiter brought it over, he laughed when I handed it to Bill. Then he asked us where we were from and I explained that we’d just moved to Wiesbaden, but we’d be back to Martino Kitchen. It was a lunch as satisfying as really good sex. I need more of both in my life… although I probably better find a good dogwalking route so I can keep fitting in my fat pants.
After lunch, we stopped by the Feinkost next door. Bill bought himself some cheese and a little chocolate for me. I got a few photos of the beautiful store/delicatessen. We noticed it a couple of weeks ago and I knew we’d soon be visiting.
Every time I visit Wiesbaden, I’m struck by how genteel and pretty it is. There’s a lot of money here, as evidenced in the fancy food stores and fashion outlets. Although there’s also money in Stuttgart, Stuttgart has a different feel. It feels more provincial to me, for some reason. We’ll be back in Stuttgart for the Elton John concert and to visit our awesome dentist. I do miss Stuttgart a little, but Wiesbaden is really growing on me. Of course, if I keep eating all this amazing food, it’ll grow on me in ways I’d rather it didn’t.
Then, on the way back to the car, we stopped in another store– one specializing in exotic fruits and vegetables. They had mint plants for sale and Bill was wanting one. We had one in our backyard at our last German home, but there isn’t one where we are now. I couldn’t resist taking pictures of the gorgeous produce and other treats in Damla, a Turkish word that means “drop”.
We have a date to try Lambertus tomorrow… and maybe we’ll visit the Kaiser Therme for a little spa relaxation. I know I have at least one reader who is eager to get my impressions of it. Stay tuned.
Right out front. No one was sitting outside today. It was too cold!
The lunch menu. You are allowed to mix and match as much as you want and can order 3 to 6 courses for set prices, or you can order less and pay more for each course. Everyone spoke English and was very helpful. We had a round of red wine– primitivo for me and rioja for Bill, along with our usual water with gas and some fresh bread and olive oil.
Side shot of Bill at the chef’s table, which has space for eight people. A couple of ladies were sitting there when we arrived, but they left and we had the table to ourselves until we were halfway through our main courses.
I enjoyed watching the chefs at work, set to music mostly from the mid 1980s.
Bill started with buffalo mozzarella with basil, cherry tomatoes, and strawberries. I don’t usually eat cold cheese, but I did try this and it was absolutely delicious! The strawberries and cherry tomatoes provided a lovely contrast to the mild cheese. I could tell the chef likes “crunch” in his dishes, since both my starter and Bill’s had little crumbles that reminded me a bit of Melba toast.
I had salmon carpacccio with salted almonds and what tasted like raspberry sorbet. The sorbet wasn’t sweet, but had an intense flavor that worked well the very fresh citrus cured salmon. It also had those “crunchies” on it.
Course number two, for Bill, was a wild garlic soup with black truffles. Once again, I wouldn’t normally try this because I don’t like truffles. I did try it, though– a little skimmed off the top (the truffles were on the bottom) and the waitress happened to walk by as I exclaimed, “Oh my God, that is delicious!” She beamed. Seriously, that soup was so good!
I went with a small portion of spaghetti carbonara made only with egg and bacon– no cream. This was also delightful, although I liked Bill’s soup more. I’d order that next time and ask them to hold the truffles.
Bill’s chicken dish was served with barley and yogurt and tasted a lot like Thanksgiving dinner. The chicken was moist and juicy. I would have been happy with it.
But I also loved the perfectly cooked “Lachsforelle” (salmon trout) served on green, garlicky risotto. I paired this with a glass of Sauvignon Malvasia from Italy.
We split a piece of cheesecake for dessert. The texture and flavor was much like New York style cheesecake, which was really a treat. It had a cookie crust and was served with strawberry sauce, strawberry sorbet, and a chocolate garnish. It was a great choice, since it wasn’t too big. There were other tempting choices available. I almost went with tiramisu, but I’ve been watching Golden Girls reruns and have had cheesecake on the brain.
I love European gourmet stores.
We bought a mint plant and a bottle of wine.
The colored eggs are most likely boiled. You can get “Easter eggs” year round in Germany.
The proprietor spoke English, too.
What kind of bird is this? I don’t know…
I need to find some places that look like this so I can walk off all this great eating!