Hey everyone and first, a big SORRY for being so blog-lazy the last few weeks. As those of you who also live in the South might confirm, summer is always a bit crazy, full of visitors and travels and if you ever have some time off you rather spend it on the beach than in front of a computer. Anyways, I hope you all had a great summer, too – it’s good to be back!
Today I have to, yes I say HAVE TO on purpose, share my incredible culinary highlight of this week, if not the month with you. My work for SOS Children’s Villages sometimes brings me to my hometown Innsbruck in Austria. Every time I go, my stay is packed with work, meeting family and friends and also one regular date with my old friend A, a food lover himself. A and me have a pact. We promised each other some months ago to, first, always meet when I come to Innsbruck and, second, spoil ourselves with a gorgeous dinner in one of the best restaurants in town. Our choice for the second time in a row was Chez Nico, a restaurant which used to be French but changed it’s direction a while ago to strictly vegetarian due to the beliefs of the owner and chef, Nico himself.
What can I say?? Places like Chez Nico are the reason why I call myself a food lover. I definitely don’t mind to spend some money on food if it’s worth it. Often it’s sadly not the case… but not at Chez Nico. The food offers all which makes a foodie’s heart beat faster… it’s creative, totally unusual, sometimes crazy and is always made with ingredients coming from sustainable sources of best quality. The different dishes have a twist, combine the normal with the abnormal and offer the wildest experiences through different textures, colors and temperatures. The restaurant itself is small and cosy, yet cool and simple at the same time. The last key to success of winning my heart is the staff. Nico himself is not only an artist in the kitchen, he’s truly inspiring and ahead of his time (changing from a typical French restaurant to a purely vegetarian restaurant in a city like Innsbruck speaks for itself!). Often he joins you for a chat after finishing in the kitchen and you end up having the most amazing conversations with him and the super friendly main waiter Manni. Also their wines are excellent, served with a carafe of Tyrolean water, what else can you wish for?
There is always one set menu of 7 courses, all light and yummy so better don’t skip courses – it’s definitely worth the price of 60 euros. Chez Nico also offers a lunch menu with two courses at 13 ,50 eur which are a great way to start the experience or if you work nearby (which I unfortunately don’t).
But enough talk, check out last time’s creations to get a picture yourself….
Pics from left to right, top to bottom:
Japanese Aubergine with Kombu, Miso, Kuzu and Yuzu
Roasted Beetroots with blackberries, soy sauce, lavendar and horse radish
Ash & Coal with truffles, porcino mushrooms, almonds and hazelnuts
Forest refreshment espuma of Swiss pine, swiss pine & cranberry powder and cranberry granita
Plum & Cabbage with elderberries and tarragon
Tagliatelle of black salsify with lapsang souchong tea, blueberries, nettles and tasmanian pepper
Tobinambour & Honey with beer, bergamot and toffee
To the whole team of Chez Nico: keep up the great work! I hope enough food lovers will find you to show you the appreciation you deserve <3
Love from Malta,
Some lovely photos and more info on their website http://www.chez-nico.at/fotogalerie/