2000s Archive

Germany's Secret Garden

continued (page 4 of 4)

The midday menu, a study in elegant conversation between items sharing space on a plate, begins with an amuse-gueule in shades of pink: rabbit ravioli on a tomato cream, crab and artichoke terrine, a band of smoked salmon encircling a watercress mousse and served on a pale coral rouille. A plated primer on rabbit anatomy follows:baby roasted saddle, seared liver, and crisp panfried schnitzel served on a salad a fussy rabbit himself might select—tender creamy peas, tiny green-topped turnips and carrots, and whole diminutive lettuce hearts presented in a warm vinaigrette. A lobster bisque, lightly frothy and tarragon-laced, carries a fleet of crab quenelles. Medallions of aged local beef come with a fan of bear’s garlic crêpes, asparagus in brown butter, and a nicely reduced brown jus. For dessert there is a goat’s-milk crême brûlée served with a lush golden ice cream flecked with basil and warm balsamic-glazed strawberries.

For a moment, at least, I believe in perfect endings.



These country inns, family owned and operated for generations, are all located on or near the Badische Weinstrasse (“Baden Wine Road”), a scenic, meandering route through Baden’s main wine districts. For Germany, first dial 011-49.

" Hotel Talmühle This 30-room inn, which describes its kitchen as the “pulse of the house,” has gardens for outdoor dining. (Talstrasse 36, Sasbachwalden; 7841-10-01; from $90)

" Hotel Restaurant Rebstock Waldulm A small, romantic inn in the foothills of the Black Forest, with a restaurant serving Alsatian and Badisch cuisine. (Kutzendorf 1, Kappelrodeck; 7842-94-80; from $60)

" Hotel Restaurant Rebstock Durbach At this 40-room gem set on lovely grounds, the restaurant features regional fish and game. (Halbgütle 30, Durbach; 781-48-20; from $102)

" Spielweg Hotel and Restaurant An old farmhouse that has been converted to a small luxury inn, with indoor and heated outdoor swimming pools. (Spielweg 61, Münstertal; 7636-70-90; from $105)



In the Baden-Baden area:

" Zum Alde Gott An inventive and beautifully executed menu using local ingredients. (Weinstrasse 10, Baden-Baden/ Neuweier; 07223-55-13; closed Thursday)

" Restaurant Zum Schwan A fine, modest restaurant and inn whose chef makes Pfannkuchen with his great-grandmother’s recipe. (Hauptstrasse 45, Hügelsheim; 07229-22-07; closed Sunday evening and Monday)

In the Freiburg area:

" Gasthof Rebstock-Stube Well-prepared food is served in this charming inn. There is also an excellent wine list. (Hauptstrasse 74, Denzlingen; 07666-90-09-90; closed Sunday and Monday)

" Hotel-Restaurant Hirschen In an antique-filled inn in the center of a little village in the Markgräflerland, a restaurant with two Michelin stars and impeccable service. (Hauptstrasse 69, Sulzburg; 07634-82-08; closed Monday and Tuesday)

For Vesper:

" Benz Mühle Frau Benz makes everything for this traditional meal herself. (Am Bach 17, Ottenhöfen; 07842-25-77; open daily April 1 through November 1)

" Dilgerhof Everything is homemade. (Am Kandelbächle 22, Glottertal; 07684-12-41; closed Sunday and holidays)

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