Had our first visit to Blaue Gans last night, dragging ourselves out of Cobble Hill into the city on a dreary cold night and nearly turning back when we couldnt find a cab.
Glad we didn't. This was one of the most enjoyable meals I've had in recent memory. This after being given the choice of the least desireable table (by the door/bar) or having to wait 30 mins for a better one. We opted for the bad table, hungry as we were at the time. Pretty quickly forgot about the location (the bar was only moderately full so wasnt a nuisance really at all...). We opted for a very nice bottle Riesling (the one which is also offered by the glass). For starters, husband had the bratwurst and I had the weisswurst with a soft pretzel and sweet mustard. For entrees, he had the jaeger schnitzel and I had a special, monkfish with sauerkraut.
There was a gentleman touring the dining room, perhaps the manager, wasnt Gutenbrunner, but very knowledgeable. He came up to me as I was cutting into the weisswurst to offer a tip I never picked up in the 3 months I spent in germany as a teenager --- that one should peel the weisswurst, as unseemly as that feels in a restaurant, before eating it. How true it was! The veal sausage was delightfully tender/melt in your mouth, without the casing. I did feel a bit silly peeling it, as he suggested, with my fingers, but what the hell. He did add, as an aside to me later, that the TRUE way to eat weisswurst is to suck the sausage out of the casing, which I've since read online is called Zuzeln.
Anyhow, both sausages were fantastic, esp with the sweet mustard. The bread also came with some sort of spread that was very tasty, couldnt quite decide what was in it.
Husband's schnitzel was great, and served with bacon and a mushroom cream sauce. The spaetzle was out of this world, best I've ever had. Totally melt in your mouth and addictive.
The monkfish was perfectly cooked and went remarkably well with the sauerkraut, I suppose for the same saltiness that bacon adds to monkfish.
Stuffed as we were, still decided to sample the apple strudel which was great. I would have preferred it with warm vanilla sauce as I've had in Austria but here it was served with whipped cream.
I love how Gutenbrunner has managed to create a place with the vibe of a french bistro, serving Austrian food. Just really works beautifully. Total for 2 with wine was $130.
Afterwards, we wandered over to Brandy Library for a first visit. The spirit sommelier introduced me to armagnacs (one was a Gelas 20 yr Folle), which I haven't sampled before, and both that I tried were wonderful....I think I've found a new after dinner drink to explore. Husband had sampled some perfectly chosen whiskies thanks to the sommelier too. Great place....a bit busier than I would have liked, but was a great way to end the night.