For some reason, last night I got a bee in my bonnet and decided I wanted to try a bunch of fine dining restaurants in the coming week. I went on OpenTable.de and reserved tables at three different restaurants in the Stuttgart area. Tonight's pick was Gasthof Krone in lovely Waldenbuch.
Although we have heard a lot about Waldenbuch and even visited there last fall when we had breakfast at the Ritter Sport Cafe, this was only our second ever visit to the town. We never went to Waldenbuch at all when we were here the first time (07-09), though we did know a family that moved there after we'd all spent several weeks living at the Vaihinger Hof. I remember hearing about how much they liked Waldenbuch and that definitely made me want to visit.
To be honest, I picked Gasthof Krone because it got good ratings on OpenTable and it had plenty of availability for tonight. I did not know when I booked that the restaurant has a Michelin Star, though I did notice that the menu is a bit pricey. Nevertheless, Bill was game, so we enjoyed the scenic drive on an unfamiliar route from Jettingen through Herrenberg to Waldenbuch.
Parking was easy tonight. We just parked outside a closed business. I also noticed a bank across the street from the restaurant. That was a significant observation.
The outside of the Gasthof Krone, close to the front door.
I actually wanted to get a shot of the unusual sculpture. My German friend says it's called "Der Geldscheisser". Some people may be more interested in the bank location...
A very pleasant lady greeted us when we arrived at the already bustling restaurant just before our 7:00pm reservation. I could see the place is very popular with locals. I highly recommend reservations, which are easy to arrange through OpenTable.de. Every table was taken tonight and, though it was an expensive meal, it was worth every euro. Our server started speaking German to us, but graciously switched to English after asking if we preferred it. Her English was impeccable and she patiently told us what everything was as she served each course.
Bill checks out the menu while I try not to be too conspicuous with my camera.
The same waitress who greeted us offered an aperitif. Though they had several sparkling wines and Champagnes by the glass, I decided to have a locally made sekt that turned out to be very good. Bill had a refreshing sparkling apple cider.
The three kinds of bread were delicious. It was served with a small dish of olive oil and a quark and horseradish spread that was surprisingly good, even for me. I usually look sideways at stuff like quark. I especially loved the bread, though. I could tell it was going to be a good night by how good the bread was.
Bill ordered a delicious red wine from southern France, his favorite wine region. It was the 2014 Petit Taurau. I will have to look for it locally, because it was really lovely and would be the perfect antidote for a bad day. It had a marvelous bouquet and bold, jammy, spicy flavors.
The amuse. We had a small shot of a hot soup made with curry and seasonal fruits. That was surprisingly tasty. Then we had a sliver of salmon on a dollop of mayonnaise and topped with something pickled that reminded me a little of ginger, but wasn't. Finally, there was a cauliflower mousse with a mild soft cheese and plum jelly... My favorite of the three, by far, was the soup. I could have eaten a whole bowl and walked out happy.
My starter was fabulous! It was very fresh tuna topped with a huge phyllo wrapped shrimp. Little bits of sashimi surrounded it with dots of avocado and mango and bright green roe, which gave the dish a festive appeal. This was very pricey at 18 euros, but it was definitely not an insubstantial dish.
Bill's consomme, which was made with chicken stock, chicken, and bits of enoki mushrooms. I didn't try it because I think mushrooms suck. Bill loved it, though. The chicken stock was served in a tea kettle and poured over the chicken and mushrooms.
My main course was monkfish with risotto, green and white asparagus, and white garlic. It was delicious and very fresh, but quite filling. I especially loved the asparagus, which is in season now. The risotto was absolutely perfect.
Bill had lambchops with a carrot, dumplings, and carrot puree. I tried his lamb, which I don't usually enjoy. It was extremely tender and had a lovely flavor. Not too gamey!
As we were eating, the last available table, which was right next to ours, was occupied. I wouldn't normally mention it, but the two guys who sat next to us appeared to be deaf. They were using sign language throughout the meal. I noticed that the wait staff seemed to know them and spoke slowly so they could read lips.
Naturally, all the water, wine and bubbly I had made me need to use the ladies room more than once. I mention this for those who might want to book a table at Gasthof Krone. There is a flight of stairs to climb in order to get to the bathrooms. The stairs appear to be very old and may present a challenge for those who have mobility issues. Also, the ladies room had a couple of unexpected steps that could trip up someone not paying attention.
For dessert, Bill enjoyed what I deemed the perfect sweet fix for a woman with PMS. It was chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream. Curiously, the dish also included two small red beet discs. Bill isn't a beet fan and said they didn't do anything for the dish other than add to the color. Other than that, his dessert was a real winner.
I had cheesecake with red currant sorbet, vanilla cream, and rhubarb. I enjoyed my dessert very much, but I must admit I liked Bill's better. There were two other tempting desserts available, either of which I am sure I would have loved. They also had sorbet.
Those who want to get really fancy can enjoy a tasting menu of up to six courses for 70+ euros a person. I think that would have put me over the edge of comfort! But we did notice several large groups enjoying a tasting menu. There were also a couple of very young kids in the restaurant, though the menu is definitely NOT kid friendly. They do have selections for vegetarians, though to be honest, I didn't pay much attention to the vegetarian menu. ;-)
The service at Gasthof Krone was outstanding. Never once did we have to pour our own wine or water and every piece of silverware was meticulously replaced with each course. The servers worked hard, but were not stressed or rushed. They seemed to take a lot of pride in making sure everything was just right. I also noticed the waitress tasting wines before she served them, which is a very smart thing to do, if only because it helps avoid embarrassment and probably gets her through the more difficult evenings...
Candies that came with the bill... On the bill, it said they only take EC debit cards or cash. When Bill mentioned it to the waitress, she admitted they could handle credit cards, but clearly preferred not to. Our bill was 182 euros before the tip. Had we needed to, we probably could have found an ATM at the bank across the street. Next time we go, we will bring plenty of cash. And there probably WILL be a next time. This was one very nice meal and while it was expensive, we've spent more money elsewhere in the Stuttgart area.
Gasthof Krone's chef, Patrick Giboin, is leaving on June 30th. His post will be assumed by Erik Metzger on July 1st. The restaurant has a terrace that is open when the weather is nice.
All in all, we had a wonderful dinner at Gasthof Krone. The food is sophisticated and very creatively prepared and presented. I would recommend it for a date night or a special occasion, but be sure to make reservations and carry plenty of cash if you don't have an EC card. You can use a credit card there, but I could see that they'd rather you didn't.
Gasthof Krone looks like before it was a fancy eatery, there were probably many schnitzels served there. The interior has the look of a small town gasthaus. Though some people were wearing smart casual clothes, others were dressed in jeans. However, the food and service are definitely many notches above what I'd expect at my neighborhood gasthaus. It really is a first class place to have a meal. Highly recommended!