Had an enjoyable dinner at Kurt Gutenbrunner's new Austian bistro in Tribeca, Blaue Gans, last night. The manager said they had been officially open since Monday. True to the advance buzz, there is no printed menu or wine list (or telephone, from what I could tell). They also don't take reservations. The menu and wines are printed on movable chalkboards they bring to your table, as well as on a large mirror on the wall (although we were told it was out of date already - funny after three days). The walls are covered in old German posters and the room is dominated by a large communal table in the center (although nobody was eating there - maybe 10-12 people were there total). Several of the staff apologized in advance for any hiccups in the service, yet we found everyone pleasant and got our food and drinks very quickly. Anyway, on to the food.
The aforementioned chalkboard lists about 5 starters, 8 entrees and 5 desserts, along with 5 bottles each of white and red wine (one of each listed by the glass, mostly from Austria). Some of the dishes we didn't order: Blood sausage, goose salad, fried chicken, pork schnitzel, pork belly, sacher torte, salzburger nockerl (this is wonderful at Wallse, btw), quark dumplings.
Bread: The bread was typical whole wheat but came with a quark cheese spread that was great. We had it with the bread and with the pretzels that came with one of the dishes.
Entrees: White sausage (weisswurst), which came with house fries (kind of like hash browns) and two pretzels. Made with veal and very light and flavorful. One of the few sausages I would prefer to eat with white wine. The potatoes and pretzels were good accompaniments. Dark sausage, which came with sauerkraut. This one was made with pork and heavier and a bit spicier. Also tasty, and both were great with the spicy mustard that came with them.
Dessert: Apple Strudel. Excellent dessert - best part of the meal. Perfectly crispy on the outside with warm apples in the middle and not too sweet. Could have eaten several of them.
Overall, the meal cost $62 for two people, including $32 for the bottle of wine (Cabernet blend). Not bad at all considering we were stuffed afterwards (each sausage plate comes with two large sausages). Some of the pricier entrees cost maximum $20. Since I live in Tribeca I will definitely be going back for a nice, filling meal throughout the winter.
NOTE: We had to pay in cash, although I'm not sure if that is temporary until they get their systems up or permanent. I would bring some along just in case.
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