We love a good Michelin-starred restaurant. We’re starting to tick Michelin-starred restaurants off our list like some do countries, UNESCO sites, and national parks. I promise we’re not complete food snobs who only eat at expensive restaurants, and we enjoyed our fair share of sausages and langos from the European Christmas Markets before eating lunch at Nuremberg’s two Michelin star restaurant Essigbrätlein. But after dining at Michelin-starred restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark and Gothenburg in Sweden, we’ve really developed a taste for being culinarily spoiled by the world’s top chefs, and we were excited to have the opportunity to dine at Essigbrätlein, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Germany and the only restaurant with two Michelin stars in Nuremberg.
Nuremberg was our final port of call on our Romantic Danube European Christmas Markets cruise with Viking River Cruises. We had an entire day in the city, which meant we could eat lunch off-ship.
Essigbrätlein was first opened in 1989 by Andree Köthe, and he was joined by Chef Yves Ollech in 1997. Köthe ensures the ingredients are fresh, purchasing them directly from the producers, and develops menu items with Ollech. Ollech guarantees that what is served to guests is perfection. Essigbrätlein earned its first Michelin star in 1999 and a second Michelin star in 2007. Andree Köthe was also given the title of Chef of the Year 2012 in Germany by Gault & Millau. Ivan Jakir has been Essigbrätlein’s Sommelier since 1999 and makes sure the wine pairs perfectly with each course.
Even the bread and butter provided with the meal was special and fun. There was bread served with tarragon butter, one of my favorite flavors, and a whimsical play on peas and carrots with carrot bread served with pea butter. It took us a few seconds to realize what this very familiar childhood taste combination was as it isn’t something you would expect at a Michelin-starred restaurant, yet completely worked.
Our second course was green beans with onions and pea tendrils with a peanut sauce, an unusual sounding but delightfully tasting combination. Our main course was a thick steak of lamb served with shaved broccoli, a mint sauce, and a finish of salt.
The most unusual course was dessert. A bowl arrived with red cabbage ice cream, blackberries, black currants, and chervil. The red cabbage ice cream was definitely an acquired taste. At first, we weren’t sure how we felt about this odd treat, but then we figured out that when the individual components were mixed together, all of a sudden it became a well-balanced and tasty treat.
Dessert didn’t stop with red cabbage ice cream. We also were served hard chocolate studded with fresh fruit.