Entering Café Sabarsky, inside the Neue Galerie, with its early 20th-century furnishings, is like stepping into Old Vienna, and on certain dates you can enjoy some cabaret with your weiner schnitzel. A truly perfect schnitzel is much like a soufflé, says Chef/Owner Kurt Guttenbrunner. Without giving away any secrets, it has something to do with the way the veal is coated, the amount of oil in the very hot pan, the right time to add a lump of cold butter, and then there’s a way to keep the pan in motion, all of which causes the soufflé effect and results in a crispy yet fluffy crust on the meat. It is served simply with potato cucumber salad and lingonberries.
Weisswurst (white sausage) mit brazen (warm pretzel) and Handelmaier’s mustard is a standout dish, as is bratwurst with Reisling sauerkraut and roasted potatoes. Palatschinken, chilled smoked trout crepes and horseradish crème fraiche, is sublime. Did I mention a top-flight Austrian and German wine list?
Once you’ve tried Viennese coffees, such as Einspanner, or double espresso with whipped cream in a glass, Starbucks will never be the same to you. If you prefer a latte, here it is called milchkaffee. Sachertorte, the classic Viennese dark chocolate cake with housemade apricot confiture, is a must. But there are many temptations, such as linzertorte and apfelstrudel.
Guttenbrunner, who also operates Wallse, Blaue Gans, and Café Kristall, has just published a new cookbook, Neue Cuisine: Elegant Tastes of Vienna. Breakfast and lunch daily except Tuesday when the gallery is closed; dinner Thursday through Sunday. Prix-fixe menu on cabaret nights. -- Marian Betancourt