Horváth – Sebastian Frank's Never-Ending High Art of Cooking
At first sight, nothing about Horváth, Austrian chef Sebastian Frank's Michelin star-awarded Berlin restaurant, has changed since we first came here last year. Except this time around, we get to sit outside at one of the tables in the garden. Surrounded by a heavy wrought iron fence, covered by a large beige sunshade on one of this year's endless summer's nights, we get to fully indulge in a fresh deluxe menu.
New restaurant manager and sommelier Jakob Petritsch hails from Styria and is now head of a young, ambitious team that will show us an ineffably great night. We start of with a glass of the recommended Josef Jamek Grüner Veltliner bubbly that'll find equal successors in all of the following wines throughout the evening. I personally opt for the non-alcoholic drink pairing that adds an exquisite note with flavors of corn juice, the light pungency of cress and a hint of elderflower oil.
A basket filled with home-baked mini rolls that is served even before the amuse-gueule – a kohlrabi carpaccio with sautéed garlic chives, Serbian butter and mustard seeds – leaves us ecstatic, just the way it did last year. Especially when combined with tiny cubes of black pudding! While we wait for the first course, I look around me realizing how exceptionally different this clientele looks and how good it feels to take the Kreuzberg detour from time to time. Only here, you get to witness a man in his singlet devouring an haute-cuisine menu! And I can't help a little grin.
The service, above all lovely Martin Wolf, starts to serve consecutively. Our eight-course menu takes off with rounds of appetizers, each one better than the next. As we're unable to take our eyes of the plates while being explained what we are about to eat, we're glad there are little quiz cards handed out additionally to tell us what it is that is so beautifully plated in front of us, just in case we couldn't fully pay attention.
From a „Foam of Corn, topped with Roasted Cabbage and Camelina-Honey-Vinaigrette“, to „Grüner Veltliner-braised Mushrooms on Cherry Cream with Lingonberry Mustard and Petite Peas“ and „Grilled Sturgeon with Poached Back Bacon, Curdled Onion Juice, Wild Berry Sauce, Purée of Apples and Currant Schnaps“ - the perfection of the entire event doesn't give us one second to stop swooning.
The surrounding tables seem to feel the same way. We continue our ecstatic night with „Roasted Radicchio“, „Peach juice-cooked Peaches“ and a course of freshness „Apple Blossom Sage Ice Cream with Camelina Oil Cream Cheese“. All this culminates in the eagerly anticipated main course „Farmer's Cock with a Cream of Spinach and Chicken Grease“ that includes endlessly more flavour components. Exhilarating!
The grand finale comes in form of „Yogurt and Spruce Needle Oil Sorbet“, accompanied by a soft Italian meringue, brown bread-caraway-paste and woodruff whey. What a flavour! Amazing! „This ice cream concoction alone could keep an entire ice cream parlour in business. We dare you, Chef Frank! And we promise to be your faithful frequent customers!
Find the text of 2014 about Horváth here >>>