With autumn in the air and Oktoberfest celebrations in full swing, now is the time to dip into the wonderful world of German-Austrian food. It’s a diverse cuisine that is being interpreted brilliantly by local chefs, yet is woefully underrepresented in NYC. The dishes have something for everyone—they are light and rich, sophisticated and soulful—and super creative (details are worshipped). By Anna Van Lenten.
139 Duane St., New York, NY 10013
Keeping it simple and elegant, Blaue manages also to love you back soulfully. A pate-peppercorn app is piquant and rich. Fried chicken’s savory goodness collides beautifully with a tangy potato salad and lingonberry jam. Pork schnitzel is light, not oily, and the suckling pig with its White Beer crust will not disappoint. For dessert, try the gorgeous, warm Salzburger Nockerl , a cloud-like souffle over berries.
1048 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
Known for serving the best coffee in NYC (it has to be someplace!), Sabarsky also turns out enchanting salads, sausages (bratwurst with Riesling sauerkraut and potatoes is sensational), goulash, and cakes: Rehruecken made with marzipan, and classic Sachertorte, a dark chocolate cake with apricot marmalade are divine. The utter charm of it all is undeniable.
79 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
Run, don’t walk, to this health-defying mecca of richness. No small thing is the pretzel – heavenly — with amazing mustard, and the awesome beet salad and herring appetizer. Magnificent are the Emmentaler sausage (made in-house), and the cured meat plate (comes with horseradish, cream sauce and toasts). The cheese spatzle will swear you off mac ‘n cheese, and the tender, juicy meatballs with sweet carrots and crispy onions rock.
465 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Go native and order the WeissWurst (white sausage) with mustard and a pretzel bun — deeelicious. Also rave-inducing is the Beef Sauerbraten, either as a sandwich on a pretzel or with pretzel dumplings. House-smoked trout salad is fishtastic, mingled with pickled red onion and horseradish. And the burger will knock your socks off.
Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar
132 W. 58th St., New York, NY 10019
Dishes here are sophisticated and deep, requiring multiple visits to reach satiation. Spaetzle with wild mushrooms is beyond. A pork belly app with chanterelles and honey vinegar is luscious and crisp, while the Tafelspitz takes beef to its tender limits, pairing it with a gorgeous oxtail consommé. The quark ravioli (with black plum marmelade, walnuts, and vanilla sauce) puts decadence in its proper context.
344 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014
Wallsé turns out innovative dishes whose excellence will delight. Artichokes and root vegetables in a pesto-like broth is incredibly fine. The sweet-spice balance of the parika and caraway in the goulash is perfect. And Salzburger nockerl is a wild excursion from a crackly crust to a light, creamy, fruity center.
Wechsler’s Currywurst & Bratwurst
120 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009
The currywurst here is the best in the west, period. A plump, pork and veal sausage comes with spicy, flavorful curry sauce and excellent, thinly cut fries. Also fantastic are other freshly grilled sausages: wild boar, lamb, merguez, and chicken & apricot. Key to these are the sides, of wonderful kale (stewed with bacon and onions), or outstanding sauerkraut.