January 3, 2017
Atelier is the showcase restaurant of the Hotel Bayrischer Hof in Munich. It boasts two Michelin stars. Linda and I went for dinner on December 10, 2016.
The sleek, modern dining room has a dramatic feature I have never seen before: an ice bucket on the corner of each table with a spotlight on it so it glows. This being Germany, there is undoubtedly a higher ratio of white wines being ordered than elsewhere.
We ordered glasses of
2014 Riesling Sekt Brut (Reichsrat von Buhl) Pfalz.
This sparkling Riesling was a very nice apéritif.
The first amuse-gueule was a cigarette of hummus & spiced yoghurt in a crispy springroll dough. Then came a duo of a mushroom tartlette and Don Bocarte Anchovi, Limemeringue, parmesan cheese & bergamote; or, briefly, an anchovy on a lime meringue.
The breads were potato, pretzel and rye. The butters were enhanced with a salt dish and a pot of soft goat cheese sprinkled with herbs.
“Walk on the beach”
cockles, shrimps, avocado, oystercreme, citrus, dill & chive.
This was suberb. The yuzu faux shells and the oyster cream anchored the dish with its variety of shellfish flavors.
The last amuse-gueule was eggshells filled with pearl barley, veal bits, quail egg yolk & chives. This was okay.
We chose the “seven-course” menu. There is also a five-course menu, but no à la carte. We ordered a bottle of 2009 “Schlatter” Spätburgunder SW, Weingut Martin Waßmer, Baden.
This pinot noir was true to its type and very good.
Our first menu course was
Weißkohl-Kimchi, Topinambur & Cevichesud.
Cured mackerel was wrapped on top of white cabbage kimchi. It was garnished with Jerusalem artichoke, other goodies and served on a ceviche stock.
grüner Spitzpaprika, Erdnuss, Jalapeño, Karotte & Combava
A seared scallop was garnished with green pepper, peanut shards, jalapeño, carrot & kaffir lime. Very good.
Reisallerlei, Demeter Ei, Spinat & Kochschinken
This runny risotto included an egg, spinach & ham. It was topped with a generous portion of shaved white truffles and was therefore delicious.
Pastinake, Buchenpilze, Johannisbeerstrauchöl & Vin Jaune
A thick oval of breast and a chunk of thigh meat of a Bavarian farm chicken was served with parsnips, shimeji mushrooms and a Vin Jaune sauce. Subtle, but very good.
We were then served a “surprise”: an “Atelier Radler.” A Radler is a German version of a shandy in which beer is mixed with a soft drink, usually lemonade. I guess that this was supposed to be a version of a trou normand, or palate and digestive freshener, but it did not fit well into the meal for me.
Rehrücken vom Gutshof Polting
Rote Bete, Himbeeren, Sellerie & Pistazien
A chunk of tender saddle of venison was beautifully cooked and garnished with beetroot, raspberries, celeriac & pistachios. Underneath was a beetroot sauce. Excellent and just right for the season.
Pflaume & Vanille Noir
Fourme d‘Ambert cheese chunks were scattered among plum and black vanilla sorbets on a plum sauce, a way to combine the cheese course with the pre-dessert.
This was a pretty gift from the chef. A soft cheese was topped with raspberry sorbet and “Russian bread.”
As good as it was pretty.
Griechischer Joghurt & Honig
Estragon, Pekannuss & Granatapfel
Greek yoghurt and honey. Tarragon, pecan & pomegranate. Other things, also. Too complicated.
Another surprise du chef:
iced piña colada lollipops
rum, pineapple & coconut
mandarine & sesame
Donut “milk & chocolate”
Mango & lychee
We enjoyed the cuisine even though it did not fit into any pattern. The combinations were well thought out and executed, moving from one style to another. The garnishes were usually more complicated than they should have been, but they did not get in the way. As visitors, we were looking for more German elements, but the clientèle seemed to be mostly local and I would guess that they preferred the eclectic styles. The service was very attentive, but the pace was annoyingly slow. The ambiance was quiet.