We arrived at 5:30 because we wanted to beat the crowd. Thankfully, we were seated immediately, but unfortunately, we were finished with dinner by 6:30. We had a huge issue with pacing, as all of our dishes more or less arrived simultaneously. When the last dish to be served had arrived, there was literally no space on our table to accomodate, so the waiter took it back and forth from the kitchen until we had only just finished one dish to immediately replace it. I definitely prefer to dine with a bit more leisure.
|Szigeti, Grüner Veltliner Brut, Burgenland, NV|
Prieler, Blaufränkisch Johanneshöhe, Burgenland, 2009
Anyhow, as one might expect the beer list did indeed look fantastic, and something Bavarian like Paulaner would have been perfect. Alas, my physician has advised me against consuming beer, and I chose a glass of blaufränkisch instead. My friend had a glass of a sparkling grüner veltliner, which our waiter had practically chosen for him, such was the waiter's enthusiasm. Both were decent wines, but admittedly, a beer really would have hit the spot.
|Pierogi with smoked kale and knödel with fiddlehead|
For dinner, we started with the pierogi filled with smoked kale. It was an interesting interpretation of the iconic Eastern European dumplings, the smoked kale pleasantly replacing the usual meat filling without losing any of the usual heft. The knödel came next, which were like sliced bread pudding rather than dense dumplings I was expecting. With the bits of bacon interspersed, it reminded me a bit of dim sum turnip cakes, except with a different texture. The taste of fiddleheads was a bit lost in the dish.
|Jägerschnitzel with walnuts and zungenblutwurst|
The zungenblutwurst had a richly spiced flavor that was quite nice, but it lacked textural contrast as the filling seemed homogenously ground. The "zunge" part was a bit lost as nothing could be easily identifiable with tongue. The jägerschnitzel was excellent: tender veal scallops with sautéed shimeji and maitake mushrooms, honeyed walnuts. I found this version much more delicate and refined than the jägerschnitzel I have come to expect, which is slathered in a rich gravy of button mushrooms. The spätzle consisted of large, irregular blobs of dough, but the emmentaler and onions made it quite reminiscent of käsespätzle. However, the mint and asparagus were nice touches to lighten the dish. We also had a side of sauerkraut that was altogether too acidic and made me wonder if additional acid was added beyond the natural fermentation.
|Käsespäzle with emmentaler, mint, and asparagus|
All in all, I thought the food generally had good flavor and were interesting twists on German classics. Its probably the best German food I can think of in Boston (Jacob Wirth isn't exactly strong competition). I would go back if I were in the area, but its so far out of my way that I can't imagine making the trip specifically to go back just to eat there. To me, its on the level of good neighborhood restaurant, but not destination dining.