Indulgence. A wonderful word. Indulging, meaning “yielding oneself to ones desires”, can take many forms. One of them is going out for a fancy dinner, which is my favourite way of truly treating myself. Being a teen, I still have to rely on the financial aid of parents or other relatives for the most part but fortunately I was born into a family of food-lovers (figuring out how I became the way I became is thus practically a no-brainer), which is why I get to be part of the luxury of going out to fancy dinners from time to time. Last Sunday turned out to be one of these occasions since my granny had a long-time “debt” to repay to my mom and I got to accompany the both of them to a renowned Austrian restaurant: “Gut Oberstockstall”.
This “Gut” (I think “manor” would be the correct English translation) has had a long tradition of producing wine and, since 1987, of serving organic and seasonal food. The owners aim to provide a unique experience of wining and dining on the countryside, with a homely yet cultivated ambience for their guests. The menu is constantly changing and features mostly seasonal ingredients, which are prepared in a rather simple but elegant way.
And on a fine Sunday evening last week, three generations of women dressed up above their usual habits and indulged in a fantastic dinner in this very location. Upon entering, we were lead to a nice little table in the interiors of the house and before we even got to consider the menu, we were kindly invited to help ourselves at the – I kid you not – bread buffet. A bread buffet. My, my. Unfortunately, a lot of the good bread was already gone and had not been replaced – a fact, which my mother did not fail to address (no, mom, I didn’t mind terribly) – but I was still content with the miniature rolls, which I enjoyed with fresh butter, salami and Australian olive oil. Sparkling wine in hand, we then took a look at the menu and after long consideration found out that we couldn’t really deny our kinship, since we were all equally resolved on ordering the same starter and the same main course. Before we got to enjoy our duck liver pâté with three kinds of jelly, which was my favourite dish of the evening, no doubt, an amuse-gueule in the form of a little raviolo with tomato cubes arrived. The main course was a pink roast saddle of lamb with artichokes and polenta triangles. At this point I was almost too full for dessert, which seldom happens, but out of principle I ordered three little chocolates and sampled a little of the Panna Cotta and the divine green apple ice cream, which my granny and my mom had. We also enjoyed some dessert wine, which I never seem able to pass up when offered.
Not only did we indulge and enjoy during the course of that evening but we also had a fantastic time, there was lots of laughter and good talking. And isn’t the cozy community spirit also a wonderful side effect of a nice dinner? That is not to say that this can’t be achieved in any other place than the fancy “Gut Oberstockstall”. But, you know… there is a certain charm to it.