Last Friday evening , my friends and I reserved for Wallsé in Manhattan’s West Village. Wallsé is a chic corner restaurant that could very easily be cliche but defines itself by being unique in the highly competitive Manhattan market. It is understated, elegant and approachable. What distinguishes Wallsé on the list of Michelin restaurants is that it is a contemporary Austrian. The walls display beautiful original artwork including a portrait of Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner. It’s well laid out and had romantic touches such as crystal chandeliers and soft colors. It wasn’t cramped and I couldn’t hear other tables’ conversations.
We reserved an outdoor table. Since it was 96 degrees, we asked to be moved to an indoor table and the hostess was able to accommodate our request quickly and pleasantly. We were quickly met by our waiter, Oliver and ordered specialty drinks from their menu. There were some interesting and new ingredients such as pine liqueur in the Alpiner. It is a woodsy liqueur that adds a nice backdrop to the Steigel Beer. My friend, Susan, had the Neue 75 and Camille had the Neue Gurke. The other ingredient we asked about was the Green Chartreuse which has a grassy flavor. All three choices were lovely starts to dinner.
Next we ordered appetizers and dinner. They prefer to have us order all at once to help the food come out at the appropriate times. I love a good Riesling and there were five pages to choose from. We questioned Oliver as to what would be best and he suggested the sommelier. Our sommelier was amazing. He was knowledgeable, affable and listened to our preferences. He suggested a Steininger, Steinhaus, 2016. It was reasonably priced and a good accompaniment to the whole meal. It was on the dryer side and bright with flavors of apple and lemon.
We ordered smoked salmon, wild marinated scallops and the krainerwurst as appetizers The smoked salmon was incredible. It melted in our mouths with the creme fraische. The potato rosti lacked flavor and I felt that their homemade rye would have been a better accompaniment. My companions did not care for the scallops because of the citrus vinaigrette. I enjoyed it since I grew with that type of flavor profile. The scallops were sliced thin and once again melted in my mouth. The krainerwurst were 2 peppery sausage with a potato rosti, sauerkraut and mustard. The mustard was sweet and balanced the peppery sausages and the sauerkraut was excellent.
Our main courses were the Duck (Camille), Salmon (me) and Wiener Schnitzel (Susan) as a main course. Each was cooked beautifully and we properly honored each bite. The salmon was wrapped in seaweed and the puff pastry and it was cooked just over rare (just the way I like it) and the fiddle head ferns were seasoned and the carrot puree added a nice sweetness to the dish. Susan’s Weiner Schnitzel was fork tender and she said it was better than what she had in Germany. The lingonberries added a tart spin on the dish. The side dish was quark spatzle. Quark was something I hadn’t know about and I found that it is a saltless curdled milk cheese and it made a lovely sauce on the spatzte.
Just when I thought we were done, Oliver presented the dessert menu and suggested the Salburger nockerl with huckleberries. Oliver told us that it is a flourless interpretation of the traditional recipe. I am so glad we listened. The dessert was an egg custard on a bed of huckleberries and topped with a thin layer of meringue. This was a delicious way of ending a wonderful meal.
All menus are from http://www.wallse.com site.