Joachim Wissler – Up to New Heights?

Vendome (thanks to Food Snob)

Vendôme (thanks to Food Snob)

A new menu concept? Interesting. Exactly when I dined at Aqua I received a mail about a new menu concept at Vendôme – 8 courses (plus desserts) at €150, 12 courses (plus desserts) at €190, and finally 16 courses (+ 8 desserts) in the grand “explorative voyage” at €245 – full stop.

Well beyond the price point of any other German three star restaurant (Amador is second with €209 for his 20+ course menu including micro menu and dessert tapas). In the midst of a quite substantial crisis which has hit the high-end gastronomy worldwide. Brave?

On the other hand, the old menu consisted of 7 courses together with some amuse, pre-dessert and petit four priced at €185. So, more value for money in the end?

Or does it only mean that all “extras” ar listed including amuse etc.?

Besides the numbers, what’s the philosophy behind? Surely, this can’t be about simply serving more courses. When introducing the menu concept on the website Joachim Wissler talks about “development” and that his menu is more than just serving small successive courses combing nature’s best products. He stresses that “the “how” and “what” are the aspects that truly characterize this new step. In it more attention is also placed on some of the treasures of our own neglected cuisine, which is generally referred to as “New German Cuisine”.

Enough questions, time for answers. Booked a table for four, but unfortunately Steve P and Mrs P could not accompany us. So, only the two of us went end of May.

Our menu:

Our Grand Voyage

Our Grand Voyage

Somehow, the layout immediately struck me as something quite familiar having dined at Alinea… And I could not figure out the meaning of the bubbles here, but never mind.

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Hidden Gems (II): Landgasthof zur Linde*

In a kind of re-booting after some serious sensoral overflow (due to massive high-end dining) I step-by-step acquainted myself to fine dining again by simple but nevertheless very good meals. By chance I recently ended around Tübingen and Reutlingen about 30 minutes south of Stuttgart. Wondering where to get some decent meals I stumbled over the Linde in Pliezhausen-Dörnach which I had been trying to eat before but never managed to. Still wondering why it too me that long to discover this little jewel.

The Restaurant

Inmidst of a residential area but good to reach from a solid motorway the Linde is one example of a most traditional Gasthaus – rather unspectacular from the outside:

From the Outside - a normal Gasthaus

From the Outside - a normal Gasthaus

… but the inside has been carefully renovated and reminded me a bit of the Adler in Rosenberg:


“We just took over the Linde and began to do what we had in mind – awards just came over time.” Irene Goldbach who had taken over the Linde together with her husband Andreas

The Menu

I opted for a “simple” four course fair which 


World’s Best Restaurants 2009

The new list is out (thanks to Trine and Laurent for sniffing it out that early) – and, noma has climbed to no. 3 – a big congrats to the whole team. Moreover, it has been awarded the chef’s choice award. Clearly remarkable and in line with my recent report from an overall “experience” perspective. Geranium as a new entry at 77 confirms the excellent meal I had there in March (review to come)

Interestingly, Can Roca climbed to no 6 (up from 37). Maybe a little remedy for not getting the third star. My meal there was amongst the finest I ever had, and, from an innovativeness point of view amazing. It showed contemporary modern cusine without the big luxury ingredients in a truly amazing atmosphere.

Alinea has moved up to number 10 – rightly so. This is so special, and Grant continues to wow us with his new take on old classics…

I am very happy that the German restaurants get more and more attention and are climbing up: Schwarzwaldstube (now at 23), Vendome (now at 25), Tantris (at 44, I simply don’t understand that), Aqua (new at 57), Dieter Müller (at 76) and finally Amador (new at 80). Only Bau is missing in my opinion given my latest excellent meal there. In my humble opinion he deserves a place in the Top50.

Next up: Bau, Margaux, Tantris, Aqua… Stay tuned…