Friday, June 24, 2016

Talblick Gourmetrestaurant-- A lovely date night possibility in Wildberg...

I don't remember who suggested it to me, but last year, somehow I got wind of the presence of a really great restaurant in Wildberg.  Bill and I happen to live about 7 kilometers from Wildberg and we love good food.  I went searching and finally found it, surprised to find out Talblick Gourmetrestaurant is part of a gasthof.  On further exploration, I discovered that besides being a small hotel, Talblick has two restaurants.  There is a traditional restaurant offering typical local cuisine and a "gourmetrestaurant", where diners get a very special tasting menu.  Naturally, Bill and I were interested in the gourmet menu.  So, sometime last fall, I asked him to get reservations.  I thought it would be an easy task.

"Sorry, no can do." they said.  It was October, and party season was cranking up for the holidays. Both restaurants were booked solid.

Bill tried again in November and got the same answer.  And again in December, they were booked and advised Bill to try again in January, because apparently, they book out two or three months in advance.  Finally, June comes around and it's time for my birthday.  Bill tried again and was told they were booked on my birthday (Monday of this week).  However, they did have room in the gourmet restaurant last night.  Bill took the reservation and we finally got to try Talblick's Gourmetrestaurant.  Now I get to dish!

It's such a pretty drive from Jettingen to Wildberg.  I was reminded that we really need to get up that way more often.  In fact, the town of Wildberg itself is really cute and begs to be explored.  Gasthof Talblick is situated at the top of a rather steep hill that overlooks the picturesque surroundings.  Any of my local readers who have ever driven their dogs to the Hunde Hotel Haase might understand when I write that I was reminded of the town where that doggie hotel is located, although Wildberg is a less rural area.

Bill pulled into a parking lot that looked like it was part of an apartment complex.  He was afraid he couldn't park there legally, so he dropped me off and parked at the bottom of the hill in a spot designated for hotel guests.  He didn't have to do that.  We saw other patrons parking near the apartment building with no problem.  It was no big deal, though, because we had a pleasant stroll back down the hill after dinner.  


Here's a shot of the hotel and restaurant from the parking lot across the street.  They also have some parking on the property itself and we also saw a few folks drive to the top of the hill and park.


The view of the hill going down.

It was rather warm last night.  Bill and I had dressed nicely.  I noticed quite a few other patrons who had dressed up, though many people were wearing casual clothes.  I wondered what we were in for as we walked into the hotel.  We were greeted by a friendly and quirky looking waitress with ink.  She was very pleasant, but busy!  When we told her who we were, she led us to a beautiful dining room.  A very large table was set up, clearly for a family or maybe a business dinner (though I did see a couple of kid seats).  We were seated at a table intended for six people.  I noticed our table was the only one that had been fully prepared with menus and wine glasses.  I wondered if we were destined to be the only guests in the gourmet restaurant.  It soon became clear that we were.


Bill looks at the wine list.  We would both be having the same menu... 7 courses of bliss!


I was seated right next to a very impressive dry bar full of exotic libations.

When dinner started, it was 7:00 and the sun was still shining bright.  The dining room was a bit warm, but I was excited about what we were about to experience.  I also looked nervously at the menu, hoping I wouldn't run into something that I couldn't eat.  I tend to be a lot less adventurous when it comes to really exotic stuff, though Bill loves to try everything put before him.  Must be those many years of Army life at work!


Seven courses!  The tasting menu is priced at 85 euros a person and everybody gets the same thing.  We paired it with two splits of wine and two bottles of mineral water with gas, which added to the bill.  The splits of wine were great because we got a red and a white which complemented the courses beautifully.  We were under the impression that the tasting menu changes monthly.  Be sure to mention any allergies or extreme food aversions before dinner gets started.


Bill started with a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail aperitif.  It tasted very strongly of tangerines to me, though it was probably something else.  It was very good and beautifully presented.


I had sekt.


The waitress brought out bread and we had the luxury of slathering it with plain butter, olive oil, or a flavored butter.  The bread was outstanding.  I ate two pieces, which I later regretted.  Let's just say, I may look like I can eat seven courses in one sitting, but it was a challenge last night.

Our waitress did not speak English at all.  Fortunately, Bill is somewhat proficient in German (for an American, anyway).  I have gotten to the point at which I understand a lot of what is said to me and can sometimes respond, especially if I'm in a restaurant "speaking food".  Anyway, our waitress brought out the amuse... and how amusing it was!


This was not on the menu.  It was our amuse, and it was absolutely delicious!  It was quail with lentils, foam, a small fried quail egg, beautifully presented, and what tasted like a really interesting pepper flavor that made my tastebuds explode.  The little dots on either side of the bowl are red and green beets turned into a gel.  They were a little like candy!


Next came the very artistically presented first course.  Cobia fish with fruits of the sea-- a scallop, langostine, shrimp, and a nest of phyllo with wasabi creme and algae salad.  Again, so creatively conceived and presented!  I really enjoyed this course.

I was nervous about the second course.  The menu mentioned "Pfifferlingvariation", which I thought might mean there were mushrooms in it.  I was once unpleasantly surprised back in 2008 when I ordered something at a restaurant in Tuebingen that included Pfifferlingen (a type of mushroom).  Fortunately, the next course was devoid of fungus.     


Pfifferlingvariation mit Allerei von der Ente...  Basically, this was a duck and asparagus treat.  There was asparagus foam in a little cone shaped glass on a metal platform, a piece of breaded and fried white asparagus, a small glass of heavenly asparagus cream soup, and very creamy cheese that reminded me of butter.  The rest was duck in different forms, including a very fresh duck inspired ravioli.  Again, a very enjoyable course.


I have to admit, by the time we got to the third course, I was starting to slow down.  However, I am always up for fish and we enjoyed Seesaibling (Arctic char) with more asparagus, Hollandaise sauce, and beautifully cut mango, snap peas, and carrots.  The little breaded thing on top of the fish is an egg yolk.  When I broke into it with my fork, a small geyser of yolk spurted up, making me gasp in surprise.  Thankfully, I didn't get any on me!  

The waitress was concerned that I only managed half of the fish course.  I assured her it was only because I was getting full and wanted to make sure I could try everything.  Next came the sorbet palate cleanser, which I figured would be somewhat light.  I was expecting a simple scoop of sorbet.  I should have known it was going to be a lot fancier than that! 


The sorbet course consisted of a small cone shaped glass of aloe vera juice, a scoop of cactus flavored sorbet (don't worry, no thorns), and little tequila flavored gum drops.  The spoon was full of what those of us who came along in the 70s know as Pop Rocks.  ;-)  This was a refreshing course and I did manage to finish it...

And then it was time for the meat course.  I will admit, I wasn't that excited about it because it was lamb and I am not a lamb fan.  Also, there was the issue of less room in my stomach!


But I will admit that this course was very good.  The lamb was beautifully prepared, set atop fava beans, cooked to perfection, and tasted very clean.  There was no gamey flavor to it, which is what usually turns me off when I try to eat lamb.  As you can see, this course came on two plates.  I ate maybe a third of it and they wrapped up the rest for us.  Bill will enjoy his lunch today!  


Some baby corn and what tasted like a garlic inspired fritter...

Finally, after over two hours of dining, it was time for dessert.  You might have expected just one dessert after such a fine meal, but at Talblick, you get two (three if you count the sorbet).  I did manage to make room for most of these two sweet delights...


The first dessert was strawberry inspired, with a scoop of strawberry sorbet, sliced strawberries, strawberry mousse, a piece of strawberry candy, and what tasted like two creams surrounded by strawberry gelatin.  It was a very tasty and refreshing course.  I really enjoyed it.


And then, we had the last course, inspired by lemon and bergamot.  The candle looking thing on the wooden plank tasted like a citrus juice.  Next to it is a cone of chocolate creme topped with a milk and white chocolate twig.  The lollipop was basically straight chocolate ganache formed into a succulent ball.  Then we had a dish of refreshing sorbets and another type of mousse that I couldn't identify but enjoyed.  

It was about 10:30 when we finally finished eating and were presented the bill for 228 euros.  Bill paid by using his brand new USAA Visa card.  We're happy to report that it worked perfectly.  ;-)

We really enjoyed our meal at Talblick's Gourmetrestaurant.  The service was impeccable, except that we were left hanging for a bit while the two hard working servers tended to the many people in the regular restaurant.  If there had been others in the gourmet dining room, I doubt that would have been as much of an issue because they might have had another server working.  Because this was such a large, sumptuous meal, we didn't mind the wait too much, though I can see why we were finally able to snag a table in June.  It gets warm in the dining room in the summer.  

The Talblick restaurant does not have air conditioning.  I watched the butter for the bread soften throughout the evening.  At about halfway through dinner, they opened a window and raised the shades, which gave us some much appreciated air.  I would imagine that the dining room gets very uncomfortable in July and August, though we did see some folks really enjoying the biergarten just outside.  I'm not sure if it's possible for gourmet patrons to eat outside, though it's probably worth asking.    

Each course was universally perfect in its presentation and every item served was absolutely delicious.  In terms of the food, I think the meal we had last night was one of the best I've ever eaten.  It's hard to believe a little gasthaus has such incredible food.  Just be warned that dinner in the gourmet restaurant is a leisurely experience.  Don't go there expecting to get in and out in two hours.  It takes time to enjoy such a grand experience.  We were there for three and a half hours.  Also, make sure you're hungry when you get there and don't load up on the fantastic bread!

We were impressed by how laid back yet professional the service was.  Even though she had to tolerate our halting German skills, the waitress was very friendly, kind, and accommodating.  As Bill and I left, she and her colleague bid us a cheery farewell and I got the sense they appreciated our visit.  On the way home, I realized that it hadn't taken long for us to get to and from the restaurant, which means that if we ever manage to get another reservation there, we'll likely be back again!  I definitely want to go and try their regular menu.  

Overall, I can highly recommend Talblick's exquisite Gourmetrestaurant.  Reservations are a must and you should dress accordingly if you plan to dine inside during the summer months.  The gourmet restaurant is probably not kid friendly (unless your kid is unusually patient and adventurous), though the main restaurant likely is fit for youngsters.  Credit cards are accepted and there's plenty of free parking.  Come on out to Wildberg for a wonderful gourmet meal!

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