Posts for the 'Germany' Category


la vie, Osnabrück, Germany – Visit #2

la vie

la vie

Last year, I was lucky enough to be invited by Executive Chef Thomas Bühner to his restaurant la vie in Osnabrück, Germany where I had a sublime dining experience. You can read about that meal here. At that point la vie held only two Michelin stars, but last November it went on to win its third Michelin star to become one of the elite few to ever reach this special level of achievement. la vie was also a new entrant in the 2012 San Pellegrino Best Restaurant Awards and is currently ranked number 72.

la vie dining room

la vie dining room

To sample its new three-star Michelin menu, I was again invited to la vie recently where we had a 3-course lunch (four-courses is priced at €89) followed by the gastronomic 7-course Le Grand Chef tasting menu for dinner (€198) with matching wines (€285).

la vie

la vie

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la vie – Osnabrück, Germany

la vie restaurant was awarded its third Michelin star on 8 November 2011, about six months after my visit. Many congratulations!

la vie

la vie

I am almost embarrassed to share with you every detail of my recent dining experience at la vie, a two star Michelin restaurant in Osnabrück, Germany, because to do so would reveal to the world my 36 hours of eating gluttony. I dined at la vie at the generous invitation of Chef Thomas Bühner (and for this I can only thank you Chef). Those 36 hours were truly wondrous – we ate like kings – but eating like kings meant not only eating well, but eating a lot. And as I take a moment now to reflect on those 36 hours, I cannot help but marvel at my amazing ability to pack that much food into my body (did I mention that my blog name is A Girl HAS to Eat?).

We were scheduled to have dinner on a Saturday evening, but our 10pm arrival in Osnabruck on the Friday night before meant that Chef Bühner also delighted in feeding us a light supper (‘light’ meaning a three course meal). There was also a ‘light’ five course lunch the next day, which was followed by mini cooking demonstrations and tastings in the la vie kitchen. And all this took place before we sat down to our glorious tasting menu on the Saturday night. Wow!

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Margaux – Berlin, Germany

Grenoble style sardine & toast Mimosa

Grenoble style sardine & toast Mimosa

On a recent visit to Berlin, I went to Margaux Restaurant, a Michelin one star restaurant which came highly recommended from Victor’s Gourmet Restaurant’s chef, Christian Bau. After having had perhaps the best meal of my life at the latter restaurant, I now rate Bau as one of my favourite chefs of all time. So when Bau recommends a restaurant to try, it’s a suggestion that’s pretty hard to ignore.

Located on Berlin’s main street of Unter de Linden, around the corner from the Brandenburg Gate, the restaurant is imposingly striking. There is sleek walnut panelling interlaced with creative ‘mother-of-pearl’ type lighting as the restaurant’s backdrop. The seating is of a mustard colour which complements the white linen tablecloths nicely, and there are other warm and sophisticated touches throughout.

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Victor’s Gourmet Restaurant – Perl-Nennig, Germany

Schloss Berg

Schloss Berg

I have been looking forward to my meal at Chef Christian Bau’s Victor’s Gourmet Restaurant for many days now – months in fact. Some foodies consider it one of the best, if not the best, restaurant in Europe right now, and the excitement I felt in the lead up to this meal was palpable – “three more sleeps, two more sleeps, one more sleep…”Its the main reason behind why I came to Germany – the pièce de résistance of my short culinary tour of this country.

The restaurant is situated in a town called Perl-Nennig, with the closest major city being Luxembourg City which is about a 30 minute drive away. The restaurant is housed in a quaint white castle called Schloss Berg, but for whatever reason, a casino was added as an extension to it in what looks like a glass monstrosity that is incongruous with the otherwise lovely white stone facade.

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Dieter Müller – Cologne, Germany

Schloss Lerbach

Schloss Lerbach

Dieter Müller is one of the best known chefs in Germany and his namesake restaurant was next on my list during my stay in Cologne. A three star Michelin restaurant, it is housed in a beautiful Relais & Châteaux Hotel called Schloss Lerbach, which like Gut Lärchenhof, is about 16km from the centre of Cologne. Dieter Müller retired as head chef of the restaurant last year and now only acts as its patron. Into his place has stepped Nils Henkel. For better or for worse, I had no illusions that the restaurant would be the same as when Dieter was there. But it was going to be interesting to discover how the restaurant fared given that the chef whose name upon which the fame of the restaurant was founded is no longer in full time service.

Schloss Lerbach is a beautiful, grandiose building housed in lovely lush grounds. The restaurant itself is a statement in formality. It’s classically elegant, if a little old fashioned, and overlooks the gardens which are made all the more visible by the tall glass windows that line the length of its walls. The windows also serve to let in lots of natural light, which on this nice sunny day made me feel as if I was dining in a garden paradise.

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Gut Lärchenhof – Pulheim-Stommeln, Germany

Restaurant Gut Lärchenhof

Restaurant Gut Lärchenhof

After a dry spell in the ‘good food department’ in Croatia and Bosnia, I was desperately in need of a nice meal. My taste buds demanded it. And so I found myself in Cologne, Germany, with the priority being to eat. First on the agenda was Gut Lärchenhof, a one star Michelin restaurant situated in the village of Pulheim-Stommeln which is about 16km from the centre of Cologne. What is most interesting about this restaurant’s location is not where it is, but the fact that it is housed in a golf course, one that was designed by Jack Nicholas.

Some of you might think it odd that I would make the effort to venture to a golf course for a reason other than golf, and even if you didn’t, I will hold my hand up and admit that I did spend a short moment in quiet reflection trying to decide if I was indeed ‘odd’. But I have never been shy about going to extreme lengths in pursuit of a good meal (and indeed I have had some harebrained escapades- but that is a story for another time). Besides, I was intrigued by this place, which after some internal debate, I choose over Zur Traube, a two star Michelin restaurant also situated in the Cologne area. Interestingly, despite having one less star, Gut Lärchenhof holds 18 Gault Millau points, the same as Zur Traube. But Gut Lärchenhof is itself expecting a second star in the upcoming year, and restaurants such as these, hungry for that extra star, often have something to prove. Consequently, I believe they often provide excellent dining experiences.

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