NYC Restaurants

344 W. 11th St.
New York, NY, 10014
(212) 352-2300

Cuisine: Austrian , European

Menu:   View the Menu

Reader Ratings:

Cititour Review:

If you’re a truly lucky person, the person you love most also really loves food. But if they’re not one and the same and if you’re going to Wallse, the West Village temple to Austrian cuisine, your soulmate should stay home. It’s not that the restaurant can’t be romantic – though it pales in comparison to nearby One If By Land – but chef Kurt Gutenbrunner’s superior cuisine shouldn’t be wasted on the wrong palate. Plus, only a true foodie will delight in one of the best designed tasting menus I’ve ever encountered. Not only do the perfectly proportioned five courses add up to a completely satisfying but not overly filling meal, but the tasting structure has two options for each course and allows a pair of diners (or more) to taste all 10 selections. That’s exactly what my dear friend Charles and I did on Halloween night. (Some of the staff were in costume; none of the patrons were.) No tricks, lots of treats! Since the house changes some of the menu about twice a week, I can’t guarantee that my favorites will be there for your delectation; however, since there wasn’t a single clinker on the menu, it may not matter. Equal among equals were seared slices of the sweetest diver scallop imaginable fanned atop a large ravioli filled with quark – an Austrian yogurt-like cheese – all napped in a gently spicy orange-colored broth. Only its brilliance made its counterpart, a perfectly cooked piece of Arctic char set atop slightly crunchy romanesco (a hybrid broccoli-cauliflower), seem like a runner-up. The seafood course (number two) was preceded by another pair of winners: a gorgeous salad of sliced red beet, beet puree, mache and housemade horseradish, and a divine slab of cured foie gras set atop a piece of caramelized apple and dotted with a dollop of apple sorbet. Courses three and four were considerably heartier, including the ideal version of weiner schnitzel (sans poached egg) and a lovely slice or roasted venison loin (served rare) atop beautifully sautéed Brussels sprouts in a pomegranate jus. The dessert selection sounded a bit disappointing – I would’ve loved to try the apple strudel – but I was ecstatic after one bite of the creamiest panna cotta I’ve ever had, which was topped with chunks of glazed apple and a scoop of intensely flavored Concord Grape sorbet. Charles, never known for his sweet tooth, went for bite after bite of the mouthfilling chocolate tart studded with and topped by salted peanuts, an intriguing and highly successful combination of sweet and salty. At $70 per person, the tasting menu is a relative bargain, and given the cost and complexity of the almost all-Austrian wine list, the $45 wine pairing isn’t a bad deal. Still, we were more than happy with two glasses (each) chosen by the knowledgeable staff at little more than half the cost. By the way, if you can’t take your true love to Wallse, it may be best to lie about how great the meal was. Or bring home a doggie bag.

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton


Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Chef: Kurt Gutenbrunner

Hours: Sunday Brunch: 11:00am - 3:30pm;
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:30pm; Dinner daily: 5:30pm - 12:00am

Entree Price: >$30

Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard

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