I finally made it to Blaue Gans tonight, and I can't wait to go back. My boyfriend and I arrived at about 9 and were seated right away. The dining room was about half full, and a few more people trickled in as we were eating. I really liked the decor--old posters cover the walls, including a Yoko Ono album cover above my boyfriend's head and a male artist model's sketch hovering over me. There are two large mirrors across from each other towards the back of the room. On one mirror is a list of the night's specials and on the other a list of cheeses. The mirrors look nice in the room, but it was very hard to read the menu over the reflections. Most of the seating in the room is on the red banquettes along the walls of the long room. There is also a line of free-standing tables down the middle of the restaurant. Our server Heather added to the pleasant atmospherics. She was incredibly friendly and always seemed to be there when we were ready to order.
We skipped starters and moved straight to main courses. While we waited, we got a few slices of whole grain bread with a pimento-type spread. I ordered the Schweinsbraten, Rotkraut, Serviettenknödel: roasted pork belly with red cabbage and brioche dumplings. This dish was three generous slices of pork belly over a pile of red cabbage and three inch-wide disks of "dumpling." The pork belly was very good, but I thought it was a little dry (my boyfriend agreed but loved it nonetheless). I loved the cabbage, which had a sweet yet tangy taste. And the "brioche dumplings" were nothing like what the name suggested to me but delicious nonetheless. My boyfriend ordered the special, a braised lamb shank served over a few green vegetables and potato. Lamb isn't a meat that I tend to eat or order a lot of, but this was really wonderful--incredibly tender and flavorful, yet not too gamey. I couldn't stop "helping" him finish his dish (and he did the same for me with my pork).
I was trying to decide between the strudel and the salzburg nockerl for dessert, but our server told me to order the nockerl, hands down. I followed her advice. The nockerl was served in a large-ish oval-shaped ramikin, with a thin layer of huckleberries on the bottom and then pillows of warm meringue on top. Wow! This was one of the best desserts I've ever had. Lucious clouds of meringue, great berry tang. Just perfect. My boyfriend ordered the hazelnut and chocolate cake. I liked the texture of the hazelnut in this cake, and it was very good, but nowhere near as great as the nockerl.
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