Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vienna's tropical secret

Palmenhaus - In keeping with the theme of fine dining I recently revisited a summertime favorite of mine. This resto/bar/café with a view of the Burggarten draws a large crowd when the days get warmer, but I have now discovered its indoor charms too.

Imagine sipping a glass of wine selected from the epic wine list, all the while being surrounded by palm trees. Ok this may seem a bit preposterous in a place like Vienna, where you are more likely to find yourself drinking hot gluhwein against a backdrop of winter wonderland these days. But with a little imagination, you could make yourself believe you have just stepped into a lush tropical locale.
Beckoning with its befitting name, the Palmenhaus offers artfully composed dishes that will leave both an impression on your palate and your other senses.
I tried the seasonally inspired pumpkin ragout, which was as divine as it promised to be, and topped it off with some delicious chestnut mousse.

Portions are generous without being overwhelming and the verdant setting evokes dreams of remote island getaways. The decor is tasteful without distracting from the dining experience.
To round out your tropical escape, you could also explore the Schmetterlingshaus (butterfly house) next door, where colorful butterflies fly around in a balmy indoor environment flanked by lush vegetation.
Burggarten 1, 1010 Vienna,  01 533 10 33

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