Since we’re down to one dog, and he does pretty well on his own, Bill and I decided to go out to lunch yesterday. We were going to try a place I’ve been curious about since we first moved up to Wiesbaden in late 2018, Ristorante Fischbachtal. That restaurant, which doesn’t take a midday pause, is always busy, though, and though it has its own parking lot, the lot looks a bit like a half maintained field. So it was yesterday, when Bill turned in and was immediately confronted by cars trying to go in and out with no sense of decorum.
I said to Bill, “Let’s find somewhere else to go.” It was getting close to 2:00 pm, though, and that’s when the midday pause starts to happen. I consulted with my phone and got on the OpenTable app, where I discovered that Lucullus in Königstein had plenty of availability and doesn’t take a pause on Sundays. We should have made a reservation, since that would have given us some “points” on OpenTable, but we were really close to the restaurant and it seemed silly to reserve fifteen minutes in advance.
Bill and I last visited Königstein in June 2020, during the height of the COVID pandemic nightmare. In fact, we went to Lucullus for my birthday lunch, because we were staying at a nearby hotel connected to a mineraltherme. Yes, it was only about 20 minutes from our home in Breckenheim, but we wanted to get away for the celebration, and at the time, travel was difficult. I remembered how cute Königstein was when we went there in 2020. Now, I think we should go there a lot more often. Not only do they have the fabulous Lucullus restaurant, which offers wonderful food and wine served with a smile, but is also just a really pleasant little town.
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that we saw a Braille model reconstruction of Wiesbaden on Saturday. It was the first time we’d ever noticed it. Sure enough, there’s one in Königstein, too. My friend, Susanne, says that these bronze city models are spread all over the place, not unlike the Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) that commemorate people who were lost or displaced during the Holocaust. I had never noticed them before spotting them in Breckenheim one day in 2019. Now, I’ve seen them all over, and not just in Germany.
We arrived at Lucullus at about 2:30, and were warmly welcomed by the staff. They asked if we had reservations, but none were needed. There were only a few people there, and they were mostly having drinks near the bar. Lucullus has a big terrace area, which is where we sat in 2020 (mainly because it was required). Yesterday, we got the chance to sit in the dining room, which I really enjoyed. The walls were lined with many bottles of wine and books… two of my favorite things!
We took a seat by the window and the sommelier came over and asked us if we wanted an aperitif. I said that I really wanted some red wine. Bill and the wine steward chose a beautiful bottle of Primitivo, that went very well with our sumptuous lunch. Feast your eyes…. 😉
We decided to go “all out” and each had three courses. I started with a “taco”– made with a fresh salad, topped with crispy duck, and drizzled with a passion fruit dressing and garnished with perfect avocados and tomatoes. I loved the duck. It was probably my favorite part of the meal. I don’t usually get excited over salads, but I loved the dressing, and it went perfectly with the duck.
Bill enjoyed his Parmesan “brulee”, which looked a bit like a dessert creme brulee, only it was savory and topped with winter truffles. I might have enjoyed trying it, except I don’t like fungus at all. I should mention that the restaurant itself smelled a bit like truffles. I guess it’s the season. 😉
As the meal continued at a leisurely pace, we talked and enjoyed each other’s company, not worried about Noyzi, who has proven himself to be very good at home when he’s alone. We miss Arran a lot, but he was not always so good when we needed to go out somewhere. He was a typical hound, who missed his pack very much. Noyzi is a lot more independent.
I chose dorade, which was one of the daily specials, for the main course, mostly because a lot of what was offered had mushrooms or truffles, or was something I could get anywhere. Lucullus doesn’t offer things like pizza or a lot of pasta dishes, but they did have spaghetti carbonara. Bill went with lamb, which is another dish I probably wouldn’t enjoy anywhere. He really enjoyed the lamb, which was topped with zucchini and paired with potatoe pralines filled with candied tomatoes. My dorade came with a perfectly cooked medley of spring vegetables– carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli, and topped with olives and tomatoes.
We couldn’t leave without dessert. Bill had warm baklava topped with yogurt ice cream. I had a “lava cake” with vanilla ice cream and cookie crumbles. I don’t actually like ordering lava cakes. I do enjoy them, but they’re done everywhere now. I would love to go somewhere and have a nice slice of layered cake, instead of the half-baked flourless chocolate creation. Next time we go there, I’ll have to make a point of branching out. 😀
The bill came to about 205 euros, which is a lot of money. But we were done eating for the day, and it’s been so long since we last enjoyed a really beautiful lunch. We got great service from our server, who spoke English and welcomed us back again, next time we’re in town. We truly enjoyed our visit to Lucullus yesterday as much as we did in 2020. We must visit again, if only to look around the town and perhaps visit the imposing castle ruins in the distance.
One other thing. They were playing dance music in the dining room. I don’t usually enjoy dance music much, as I’m not a dancer… but the kind they were playing was tasteful and interesting. And, once again, we were reminded of Arran. I mentioned that on the day we lost him, we heard the song “Shiny, Happy People” by R.E.M. twice. Yesterday, as we were finishing up, we heard “Losing My Religion”, though it was not done by R.E.M., but was a cover version by Mark Coles & Menno. “Losing My Religion” was, of course, from the same album that brought us “Shiny, Happy People”– Out of Time. Crazy, huh? I had no idea so many people had covered that song, either.