23 September 2016
After an exhausing two days that took me to Frankfurt via New York, where in both cities my plans went up in smoke for different reasons, I was knackered, fed up and annoyed by the time I headed out to dinner through Frankfurt’s ever-slowing S-Bahn system. The scheduling of the trains is just brain-dead outside of the centre…
Anyway, I made it out to dinner at the well-regarded Gustav as it opened for this Friday evening service. A charming little place that graces fun pieces of art all over the place, including a whimsical orphaned water faucet on one wall. This is one of Frankfurt’s 1-Michelin places and I’ve read good things. But I was running on fumes here in every sense of the term, barely awake and trying to keep my frustrations from boiling over.
But I relaxed at this relaxing eatery and hoped for an excellent evening. I went with a 5-course version of their menu, alongside pairing. I chilled and hoped this trip gets off to a good start. Had such a crappy birthday over the weekend the last thing I needed was more crap on this extremely busy and hectic trip that will take me to 5 other countries after this.
Soon I was poured a nice white and the bread came in a bag…
Cute, but the sourdough was way too sour for my taste. The amuse was a two-parter.
There was a celery-based wrap on top which was pretty tasty, then a mushroom soup within. Strong flavours, but way, way overseasoned. Was almost too salty to finish to be honest. Then after a wine top-up, the courses commenced with the trout.
Quite good, I really enjoyed the roe too. The skin was done very well, and the turnips were extremely tasty. The “ice” used, however, was a bit too salty again and actually ate a little too much into the fish. But a good start, and the wine worked very well.
Soon a pour of some nice Italian white and we were off onto the second dish, and I was actually a bit puzzled by this item.
It’s called “green bacon” for some reason and I’m not sure if the green is for the colour or some nonsensical vegetarianism here, because I can’t say it’s describing the meat. But this was a complete mess, and I cannot tell what I am eating — aside from an array of good cabbage. The overall sauce on this was a gross, weird thing that I cannot describe, and what was beneath all this was something brown coloured that I cannot identify. If there ever was a dish called WTF this may be it…
If I wasn’t so hungry from having not eaten all day I would have abandoned this dish.
Sigh, I was getting disappointed here. Aside from the wine selection, things are falling far beneath a meh level here. Service is good though. Then an excellent rose was poured, and next was the lamb shoulder.
Ah, now this brought things back a bit. The lamb was nice, although now a bit under seasoned (or perhaps the early over-seasoning has messed my taste buds up). Cooked well, good texture. However, I really wish there was a bit more greens here. This dish had no balance. In a tasting menu sure, but the lamb feels abandoned here. It really needed some roots or more greens, not just the decorative tiny bits here.
The place was getting a bit busier now, which is good. It’s not really affected service, as the kitchen was the slow agent this evening. Next up was the “cheese” course and it’s come close to being another WTF dish TBH…
I stared at it for a second and wondered if I should have skipped this. It was again a tasting nightmare, termed Handkäs mit Musik. I’m not gonna say more, especially about the completely incongruent flavours, but for me this was nearly another disaster that really did no justice to the curd cheese. Unnecessary, a kitchen trying to be far too clever.
I gotta say the Apfelwein paired with this was excellent. Frankly the wine pairings have been top notch, and if there’s anything I’ll praise tonight it is the excellent pairings.
We then moved to dessert and it was based around the parsley root. Not bad, but my tastebuds have been too messed up to really enjoy anything else at this point, so it’s sadly mediocre to be honest. Sigh. Anyway, this meal is over…
They ran out of my chosen after-dinner drink so I went with a grappa and a double espresso and headed out, somewhat disappointed overall. There were 2 completely WTF dishes but the wines were nice. This however worries me as I have a booking at its sister restaurant in 2 weeks on my way back through Frankfurt. The kitchen did not impress me at all.
I made my way back to my hotel at the airport with my 5am alarm set. I am barely conscious at this point, and this meal really did not help my mood. Sigh…what a crappy start to this trip…
Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland