Just got back from a spectacular five-day trip in Vienna. Visited 11 Christmas Markets and six outstanding restaurants.
Umar in the Naschmarkt is called the best fish restaurant in Vienna and it lived up to its billing. Plachutta by the Opera House has excellent schnitzel as well as some outstanding apps. Bought their cookbook.
Walter Bauer was incredible old world ambiance meets new world techniques.
Dom Biesl was upscale Viennese with top flight venison and a great local wine list.
Palais Coburg is Per Se done right. Outstanding, polished and fun, it's food is a cross between WD-50 and Stone Barns. Best wine list outside of Bern's I've ever seen. It was the only time we didn't have Austrian wine. We ordered a 1985 Fair Hill Cabernet from Sonoma, which was purchased at auction by the owner, for 51 euro. The wine steward didn't know anything about the wine, so I told him what a steal it was and the winery hasn't been in existence for 12 years. We picked up two women at the next table and they sat with us to finish the second (and last) bottle. Spectacular experience.
Mraz and Sohn. If there is a better restaurant in world, I would be shocked. Incredible wine list and incredible prices. The food has no rival that I've ever tasted. It's certainly modernistic in its approach and service, but with old world elegance. I'll leave you with this - you are presented with a cheese course prior to dessert. The cart is rolled over to you, by that time six accompaniments on six different dishes have been placed in front of each diner. Now you are presented with a choice of 50 cheeses - they suggest you start with five. You are then offered a selection of 25 restaurant-baked breads. The only negative is location. We stayed across the street from the Opera House and it was a 20-minute cab drive. However it would have been worth a 200-minute cab ride. Nothing else can match this experience. If you have one meal in Vienna - this is it. Dinner was about 400 euro all in, but we had two bottles of wine and added the truffles. Six course tasting menu was 83 euro per person - a complete bargain. It's worth the airfare just to eat.
Finally we stayed at The Guest House - a very new 39-room hotel in the First District. Spacious room and bathroom. Attentive service, nice restaurant and so clean, I made sure to wipe my feet before entering the lobby.