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yvonne johnson | May 6, 2001 01:18 AM

dinner last night at wallsé (344 w 11, 352 2300). I’m not up on austrian cuisine but here goes

A’s ($12): I was pleased with my trout and eel with watercress, apple and a little crème freche. two who had the rabbit salad with corn were pleased.

Ms’(mid-high $20’s): beautifully steamed halibut but I found the bed of dill and cucumber overwhelming. I tasted the venison-nice slightly crispy outside. My husband had the lamb—he said it was not that flavorful. I didn’t care for the sides of potato puree. I love pots, but imv this didn’t taste of pot, more like plain cream. That said I was in the minority—the other two loved it.

after both my app and main were placed in front of me I had a funny feeling. Not only were both dishes predominately green, but they looked like concepts, not food. Not in the fancy way that architectural dishes puzzle, they looked almost too clean to eat. Funny—never felt this before in my life. But maybe this is what didn’t work that well, there wasn’t enough contrasting flavors.

D’s ($8): apple strudel. souffle with tart berries at the base. the latter, on the house, was spectacular.

W’s ($50-$60): We took a chance with austrian wines. The grevener vettliner, federspiel (sp?) 1999 was very light. (I regretted having the champagne with elderflower aperitif. It was refreshing, tho a little sweet and overloaded the tastebuds.) red, rosso e nero (?) 97 was spicey and therefore good

Service: Much too fast. Our apps arrived a little too soon after ordering and before our wine arrived. The junior wait staff hovered too much, over-keen to attempt to remove plates before we were finished. this said, our waitress was very kind.

This used to the Black Sheep if I remember right. The place has been completely done over, and is tastefully decorated. White walls, black suede banquettes and chairs. The only color was the pink blossom by the windows. The chef, I guess, kurt guttenbrunner, was by the bar when we arrived and said hello. Very friendly welcome by the other staff too.

but i can't quite get over the monochrome green food on square plates.

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