How Steirereck Restaurant Keeps Its Menu One Of A Kind

Each holiday season, trays of vanillekipferl (sugary Austrian biscuits) are served on trolleys at the Steirereck restaurant. The treats are nutty, with light hints of vanilla, and while the baked goods look cheerfully simple, they require true baker's finesse to mold into crescent shapes (via Biscuit People). Similar to the rest of the menu at Steirereck, these delicacies are traditionally Austrian. And it isn't only the sweet biscuits that fill trolleys at the restaurant — over two dozen bread types, aperitifs, digestifs, and tea are also presented in this way.

"I would describe my cuisine as a contemporary reinterpretation of Austrian cuisine, which is very much shaped by products and seasons," Chef Heinz Reitbauer told Four Magazine; with a wine list of over 30,000 varieties and a milk bar with over 120 cheeses, the options for interpretation are endless. Surprisingly, Reitbauer's menu isn't the only aspect that has garnered acclaim. 

Fine dining made approachable

Steirereck is known for infallible service led by Birgit Reitbauer, who is in charge of the front of house and is also the chef's wife. Reitbauer is an inviting presence in the dining room, curating an atmosphere that won the 2021 Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award. It is this relaxed setting, according to Reibauer herself, that makes the experience at Steirereck memorable –- so much, in fact, that those unfamiliar with fine dining can feel comfortable enjoying their meals.

"With each course, we give the guest a card explaining more about the ingredients and the story behind the dish. In a complex and diverse cuisine like ours, with many forgotten or heirloom ingredients, the cards not only show the different steps in the preparation but also explain the not-so-known ingredients, where they are from and by which producer," Reitbauer explained to World's 50 Best.

Beautifully plated dishes mirror the  bright setting. Nestled in the heart of Vienna, Steirereck overlooks Stadtpark, one of the city's oldest parks, and large windows peer across the green space (via Introducing Vienna). On the roof of the restaurant, vegetables are grown and beehives are kept, the honeycomb used for one of the restaurant's signature dishes, a char presented table side (via 50 Best). 

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