Ha, this is not a Frankfurt restaurant strictly speaking, you might say and you are right. Großfeld’s Gastraum der Sinne is located in Dorheim, a part of Friedberg about 20 minutes from Frankfurt. But, my files files intend to give you some orientation on your journey to culinary delights when you are in and around Frankfurt. Maybe the “around” enlargement is due to the fact that in Frankfurt itself good fine dining is rather rare.
So, after King Kamehameha Suite I will this time report a very good experience especially as it is a new and relaxed concept for a Michelin starred restaurant in Germany. Not a bistro in the strictest sense but the atmosphere is close. Clearly, it is more upscale than the Bistronomias but in a way it tries to transport the same vibes…
Finding this place is not as difficult as getting to Mugaritz or Extebarri but it is not too easy. Unlike for the former two a solid navigation will do. Be sure to bring a rather small car as parking space is limited.
Interior of a German Michelin Starred Place? YES!
From the outside it reminds me a bit of Amador as it seems to be a normal residential buiding, yet not as old and timbered as in Langen. The interior is much different then: you have basically one large room painted red equipped with bistro-like furniture. The service brigade is young and not as polished as usual making it overall a very pleasurable atmosphere. As I frequently hear it really takes away the fear of the unknown for people new to starred restaurants. A look around on a normal day affirms this as the average age is much lower and people are dressed up more casually. I stress that as it is important to attract new and younger people to our beloved restaurants which is accomplished here.
The pittoresque village of Baiersbronn is a gourmet treasure – in-midst of the Black Forest you can find seven Michelin stars – three for Harald Wohlfahrt at Schwarzwaldstube in the Hotel Traube Tonbach, three for Claus-Peter Lumpp at the Bareiss (promoted in November 2007) and one for Jörg Sackmann in the Restaurant Schlossberg in the family-owned Hotel Sackmann. More than in Bergisch-Gladbach which hosts two three star chefs (Nils Henkel and Joachim Wissler) and, well, I haven’t done the math, maybe with nearly the same stars per capita ratio as in San Sebastian. Quite remarkable.
Interestingly, before Lumpp was promoted it seemed that he was “stuck in the middle” between the perfectionist Wohlfahrt who was regarded the best German chef until this year (now he is tied or shortly behind Wissler) and the progressive, immensely talented, creative and sometimes ingenious Sackmann. After the third star Lumpp seems to be freed from the pressure of being espoir for two years and offers solid three star cooking. Sackmann, however, is meant to be worth two stars and was praised by Jürgen Dollase, the premier German food critique, in a October version of his column in the Frankfurter Allgemeine. The report made it very clear that the diner would be served “exciting taste experiences”. Moreover, Sackmann was part of the “delegation” which presented “the new German cuisine” at the very important congress of Lo Mejor as part of the German Panorama.
Enough for me to plan a little trip to Baiersbronn and reserve a table at Schlossberg to refresh my knowledge of Jörg Sackmann’s cuisine and to examine whether the cuisine is really underrated.
Shortly after my visit to the Vendôme I had the possibility to get an update of how Juan Amador’s cuisine has developed since my last visit in May. And, I must say that all but two dishes in the main menu were new to me. After the meal I am still stunned how much progress he has made in refining and elaborating his distinct style. So, another prime example of the significant and positive developments in Germany.
Located in Langen about 20 minutes south of Frankfurt the Restaurant Amador is not easy to find as it is not inside a prestigious castle or hotel like most of the other German top restaurants. Instead it is situated in a typical timbered house in the centre of Langen (for some pictures I owe special thanks to Julot and to Sternefresser where indicated).
The Restaurant (thanks to Julot)
Is any press good press? Hard to say…
In the yesterday’s NYT travel section Gisela Williams has written about “A Wellspring of the New German Cuisine“. Wow, I thought, after the article on Amador, the recent developments in the German restaurant scene are getting more attention. Given the mission of my blog I can only welcome that;-)
Gisela starts out with my favorite theme – on the one hand Germany is only second to France when it comes to three star restaurants (nine as of this year’s Guide Rouge) and on the other hand “the land of sauerkraut and spätzle, it seems, is finally getting little culinary respect”. Well said, quite true, but needs to be changed… She then continues by describing that old and young chefs are creating a new German cuisine ( “parsing their Teutonic heritage for new flavours, rather than reciting French or Spanish techniques for haute effect”). D’accord…