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More German Restaurant Reviews

Weinhaus Neuner
Herzogspitalstrasse 8, Munich

Munich's oldest wine restaurant resides in a building that dates from the late 15th century. Here you find the structure's original Tirolean vaults, a plethora of dark carved wood, and charm aplenty. But there is infinitely more to Weinhaus Neuner than the irresistibly rustic ambiance, as the kitchen offers patrons a seamless blend of innovative cuisine and traditional regional specialties.

You may begin, for example, with smoked salmon with dill sauce (10,50€), or the beautifully presented carpaccio of beef (10,50€). The latter presentation is positively sumptuous and embellished with Parmesan, a salad bouquet, and splash of pesto-truffle vinaigrette.

The house-made blood sausage (10,50€) is also a fabulous starter. Extravagantly rich, the links luxuriate on a bed of creamed sauerkraut and are crowned with a tiara of crispy onions. The beef broth with mini-dumplings and shredded vegetables (7,00€) was also quite good, though it would have benefited from a touch more pizzazz in the seasoning department.

If greenery is more to your liking, the "Blattsalate," assorted lettuces garnished with fried mushrooms, touch of pesto, and splash of tomato vinaigrette (10,50€) is a first-rate choice... ditto a luncheon starter of seasonal greens enhanced with pine nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, and consummating balsamic dressing (6,50€).

When it comes to entrées, the herb-crusted rack of lamb (23,00€) is without peer. The meat is moist and flavorful, set on a pillow of ratatouille, and surrounded by a savory thyme jus. The accompanying potato gratin is marvelously rich and incredibly addictive. The filet of venison (21,00€) is also a superlative effort. The stew-like presentation features tender chunks of venison in the company of sautéed mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, all in the loving embrace of a provocative juniper berry sauce. A side of spaetzle proves to be the perfect complement.

Duck (18,50€), of course, is yet another enticing option. Both the leg and breast are rich and meaty and arrive at table adorned with diced apples. In this case, the companions are red cabbage and extraordinarily delicious potato dumplings.

Many people think of German cuisine as majoring in hefty portions of meat and potatoes... but it also exhibits decidedly delicate inclinations as well. The treasures of the sea, for example, have always held a prominent place in Germanic cookery. At the Weinhaus you certainly can't go wrong with offerings like the moist and flaky loup de mare, Mediterranean sea bass, surrounded by an armada of ethereal gnocci (23,00€) or, at lunch, waller filet, catfish, presented on a seabed of parsley root purée and finished with a wonderful Riesling sauce (15,00€).

Even more modest German restaurants tend to imbue desserts with a good deal more pizzazz than do their American counterparts. And the presentation of stuffed dates (8,00€) is an excellent example. Chocolate mousse and amaretto sauce add immeasurably to the proceedings, as does a dollop of cinnamon ice cream. A feast for the eye as well as the palate.

In a Weinhaus, you expect a fine catalog of German vintages... and you will not be disappointed. The two sampled were an outstanding 2006 Würzburger Pfaffenberg (27,00€) and a supple and elegant 2002 Evolution Spätburgunder, German Pinot Noir, ($29,00€).

We were quite fortunate that the Weinhaus Neuner was a scant block from our hotel, so we were easily able to enjoy two dinners and a lunch at this charming establishment. When in Munich, this restaurant is definitely worth seeking out.

The Artful Diner
November 2007

The Artful Diner is an independent, freelance food writer.  His latest review and an archive of past reviews for restaurants around the country and the world can be found on this site on the REVIEWS page.

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