Address: Söllheimerstraße 16, Objekt 6, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Phone Number: +43 662 2197
Guide Michelin: 2 stars
Gault & Millau: 17 points
What I paid: 300 € (largest tasting menu, aperitif, wine package, water and coffee)
Visited: March 24, 2017
Salzburg was rather slow in joining the Habsburg Empire. The city, along with the region that surrounds it, was an independent state until 1816, ruled over by a series of saturnine Roman Catholic prince archbishops. These rulers skillfully kept out of the Thirty Years War, which devastated many parts of northern Europe. However, those same rulers lavished the states revenues, mainly accrued from the salt mines that give the city its name, on gilded baroque architecture, courteous music and, more controversially, their mistresses.
A picturesque alpine city, divided in two by the river Salzach, Salzburg has been charming visitors with its natural beauty for centuries. Scenic green hills provide a picture-perfect backdrop to an equally charming city, and it’s due to this combination of nature and architecture that the historic center of Salzburg has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site. Home to a rare mix of architectural styles – including medieval, romantic, renaissance and baroque – Salzburg is noted for the preservation of its historic structures, including the city’s impressive classical buildings, some of which were homes belonging to the royal family.
Salzburg’s history has, of course, shaped its present and if any historical figure can be said to have put the city on the cultural map, it is classical musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The composer was born in Salzburg in 1756 and his birthplace is now a world-famous museum.
Salzburg has always been regarded as the culinary capital of Austria, with higher concentration of Michelin stars than elsewhere. That being said, you can in later years debate that Vienna is having “better” restaurants with establishments like Steirereck im Stadtpark and four 2-stars restaurants (Salzburg is having two 2-stars, but is a much smaller city, i.e. a higher concentration…). However, Salzburg is much more than fine dining (e.g. Senns and Ikarus), for instance cafes like Café Tomaselli (Salzburg’s oldest café that has had both Mozart Haydn among its guests) and Café Konditorei Fürst (home of the original and best Mozartkugel, as well as high-end cakes of all accounts).
We decided to make a stop in Salzburg on our way home from a ski-trip in the Austrian alps. Naturally, to enjoy the city itself, but also to eat at some good restaurants.
Our first “food” stop, was SENNS restaurant, located in a little unusual but stylish industrial location, slightly off the beaten track.
Senns is the second restaurant to boast two Guide Michelin stars in Salzburg and the person giving it its name is chef Andreas Senn. The food is modern.
You have the option to go for either 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 courses. We opted for the largest alternative (i.e. the 8-course menu).
A couple of small nibbles started the dinner together with the “obligatory” aperitif. All very tasty!
Even this second amuse-bouche was good.
The butter had a caramelized taste that I really liked.
Caviar, cucumber, gooseberry
The first “official” dish on the menu was a really good one! Paired with a Grüner Veltliner “Frauengärten” 2016, Pichler-Krutzler, Wachau.
Smoked eel, roots, sea buckthorn
I really like eel and this smoked one, paired with Foie Gras, roots and sea buckthorn was one of the highlights this dinner. Accompanied with a Riesling Spätlese “Wehlener Sonnenuhr” from Dr. Loosen.
Watercress, hazelnut, Jerusalem artichoke
Sepia is a cuttlefish and even this dish was a good one! Paired with a Pinot Blanc “Spiegel” 2015 from Hiedler, Kamptal.
Kohlrabi, mushrooms, leek
No disappointments so far… The King crab was paired with a Pouilly Fumé 2014
from producer Henri Bourgeois (Loire).
Miso, dashi, white asparagus, parsley
I foremost remember the wine, a Convento 2011 from Bellavista (Lombardia), from this serving. I have previously had the Uccellanda from the same producer and this is a wine I really like. The sommelier said that they used these two wines alternating, on the menu. I liked the Convento wine, but that being said, I prefer the Uccellanda.
Grapes, olives, onion
Now the first meat was served and even though I really enjoyed this dish and think it was a notch to dry. But again; still very good! Served with a Pinot Noir (unfiltered) 2015
from Claus Preisinger (Gols).
Silver Hill duck
Blackberry, carrot, shiso
Even the second meat dish was really good. However, I would have preferred to have a little bit less done (i.e. medium rare instead of medium). Paired with a Grimalda Rot 2013 from producer Matosevic (Istrien).
White poppy seeds
Tarragon, soy milk, physalis, peas
A very good dessert! Served with a Wermut from Stift Klosterneuburg, Niederösterreich.
A playful (and tasty) ending of the dinner.
Summary: I was really pleasantly surprised by this dinner! I enjoyed every single serving and that is unfortunately very uncommon. Two Guide Michelin stars is obviously a very high rating, but I still think this restaurants beats several of the 40+ three starred restaurants I have visited. This is of course a matter of personal preferences and SENNS restaurant suited my taste buds well. It was only a couple of people working with the service (at least what I could notice), but the service was excellent in a relaxed atmosphere, with several good conversations with one of the servants. Highly recommended!