Thursday, March 30, 2017

Staycationing in Stuttgart #2... the Wald Hotel and Finch Restaurant

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 was a day Bill and I had looked forward to for months.  On the 29th, we would both see Sting perform in concert at the Porsche Arena.  On the 28th, we'd have a lovely meal at a hotel restaurant called Finch.

Early that morning, Bill took our dogs, Zane and Arran, to Max at Dog Holiday.  In the afternoon, Bill came home early from work.  We packed our bags and headed toward Stuttgart.  As it turned out, we had appointments to get our teeth cleaned that day.  We made the appointments last fall, before we even knew Sting was coming to town.  When Bill found the appointment card in his coat pocket, he gave some thought to rescheduling.  But then I reminded him that we'd be in Stuttgart anyway and might as well kill two birds with one stone.  So our staycation began with getting our teeth cleaned.

After we visited Dr. Blair downtown, we headed to the Wald Hotel, which is located in a sports complex very close to the TV tower (Fernsehturm).  We were quickly and professionally checked in and given room 309.  The room was familiar, since it was much like the one we had last summer.


Comfortable bed with duvets rather than sheets and blankets.



A small sofa with a table and complementary beverages in the mini bar (beer, water, and apple schorle).



The view from our balcony.



And the balcony itself.



Fabulous rainfall shower.  Unfortunately, there is a window that faces into the room, so if someone showers early in the morning, the whole room ends up illuminated.

After we dropped off our bags and got cleaned up, we headed to the hotel's bar. Wald Hotel has a very nice bar area manned by an Italian gentleman.  Bill recognized him from our last visit, after he made us excellent martinis.  This time, we asked for gin and tonics, which he made with Hendrick's gin and garnished with cucumbers.  Refreshed by the cocktails, we decided to enjoy some dry red Italian wine while we waited for our reservation.


A very nice gin and tonic.


Bill enjoys a rare cocktail.  He usually drives, so he doesn't often get cocktails in bars.



Yes, we killed this bottle of wine.

At 7:30, we went to Finch and were seated in a beautiful window booth that offered a lot of privacy.  The booth was big enough to seat six people, so we had plenty of room.  Our server was very professional.  When Bill spoke German, she responded in German.  And then she graciously asked if we'd like menus in English.  We took her up on the offer.


Really nice booth at Finch.


And this gorgeous window in our booth... it was all ours.


The amuse.  I think this was chicken with basil pesto.  It was very good.  We also had very fresh bread with salted butter and harissa spread that was supposedly a little spicy... by German standards, anyway.


I ordered the shrimp tempura as a starter.  This was a delightful beginning to the meal.  The shrimp were lightly coated in crispy tempura batter, served with a tiny salad with berries, mangos, and a delicious dressing.  However, I was especially excited with the male waiter who brought my dish used an old fashioned atomizer to spray port on the shrimp.  He beamed at me when I blurted out, "Oh, I love that!"  This dish was pricy at 19,50, but it was still very good.  I actually liked it more than my main course.


Bill had the game consomme, which consisted of oxtail cannelloni and sherry.  I didn't taste it, but Bill said he liked it.  At just 10.50, it wasn't as costly as my starter.


I had the beef tenderloin as my main course.  It came with Savoyarde potatoes, green asparagus, and Madeira.  I think they also sneaked in some mushrooms.  Fortunately, the wine we had before dinner dulled my senses enough that I wasn't totally creeped out.  Bill tasted what I thought were mushrooms and said they tasted like bok choy.  I'll take his word for it.  The beef was extremely tender and the asparagus and potatoes were excellent.  I just wish that other ingredient had been mentioned.


Bill had butter glazed venison loin, which came with hazelnut spaetzle and braised chicory.  I don't usually eat venison, but I tried Bill's dish and I think I think I preferred it to mine.  If we had eaten at Finch a second time, I might have gone for the venison.  It was very good.

We usually order a bottle of wine to go with our fancier meals...  ah hell, who am I kidding?  We order it whether our meals are fancy or not.  This time, we decided to have wines by the glass.  I had a glass of locally produced sekt.  Then Bill and I both had malbec to go with our main courses.


As you can see, Bill *hated* the venison.... NOT!  I always enjoy seeing him eat game.  He's got Arkansan roots and likes things like deer, rabbit, and the wild boar.  My choices are usually more pedestrian.


For dessert, I had the white chocolate and mascarpone cheesecake, which came with cherry Jello and a cherry sorbet.  I'm not really sure what the "juice" was next to the sorbet.  It was good.


Bill loved his dessert, the Wald Hotel Classic baked French brioche, which came with apple compote and vanilla sauce.

Finch offers a fairly good selection of choices on its menu.  If I had wanted to, I could have had fish or a German styled delicacy like schnitzel.  There were also options for vegans and vegetarians, although I did not see a children's menu.  But, to be honest, I don't really think the Wald Hotel is really that suitable for kids, anyway.  It's a very elegant hotel that seems more geared to business people and those who like peace and quiet.

I did think the prices at Finch were somewhat high, but that could be because I've gotten used to eating out here in the hinterlands.  Also, though the prices were high, portions were generous.  My filet was especially big for what it was.

If we stay at the Wald Hotel again, we wouldn't mind another dinner at Finch.  On the other hand, the hotel is close to a few other places I'm still dying to try.  So we'll see...  For now, I'll offer my recommendation of Finch, especially if you're staying in the hotel.  It doesn't disappoint.




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