Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

wirtschaft-ing

On Monday, great guy took me out for dinner at a historic wine wirtschaft (restaurant/pub) in Oberwesel, a picturesque town lying on the Rhein. The wirtschaft is the oldest fachwerkhaus (built with large beam/trusses) in the area and each dining room is named for the original room in the house. We had dinner in the living room, but the other options were the kitchen, the bedroom, and the dining room. In the stone-walled root cellar, aka the smoking salon, local art exhibitions rotate throughout the year, providing cozy ambience next to the high-backed, plush chairs, coffee tables, and standing lamps.

The wirtschaft is run by Iris, a tall, dark-haired woman, who is quick and witty, warm but business-like. I could feel that the atmosphere and d├ęcor were her creation. She brought us menus, which were inside large coffee-table art books (the coolest menu I’ve seen), served us wine in a terracotta jug, and brought us food which was the best I’ve had in a long time.

The whole ambience felt like being in a very cool, old villa in the countryside. There was a guitar on a shelf, books everywhere, candlesticks and jugs of wine on all the heavy, wooden tables.

For starters, we shared an appetizer of prawns nestled ontop of a bean puree, with a heavenly sauce we used freshly baked, rye bread to soak up. Then, for my main course I ordered zander, which I kept pronouncing like a Canadian would, zander, because it sounds like the coolest fish out there. Every single time, great guy corrected me by saying, “tsander”, very short and quickly. Whatever. Zander. And, he ordered the rumpsteak, which I don’t think is an English term – I can’t imagine. But, it was excellent beef none-the-less.

Since I thought this was a special occasion, I had to order dessert. Out came the most incredibly, moist, dark chocolate slice of cake, filled with nuts. It was not as heavy as a brownie, but more elegant and darker. It was served with a small kugle (ball) of chocolate gelato, slivers of kiwi and a variety of berries. Heavenly.

At the end of the evening, Iris brought us the bill, which was lying inside a heavy, wooden jewelry box. Great guy opened the box and music started to play. It was all just so beautiful. Valentino would have loved it.
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