Tasteful compositions on the plate, heavy metal in the kitchen and a well-tuned ensemble serving in the restaurant frequently draw an adagio “Mmmm” of appreciation from the audience. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the musical harmony in the Bregenzerwald’s kitchens. Here is all the instruction you need: Try a sample of a composition. Close your eyes. Inwardly absorb. Enjoy on many different levels. Applaud. We recommend the following ten venues for a live experience of this kind.
The playlist for the discerning diner
A playlist is a collection of things that you like to play or listen to. Now here is a playlist of all the things you like to eat and drink – in the Bregenzerwald, of course. Naturally, some good music would be an excellent accompaniment, but please take your earphones out in the restaurant. The food alone will make you want to sing and dance.
Berggasthof Niedere, Andelsbuch
In this unique natural arena, everything is ready for an open-air spectacle. Admission is via cable car or by hiking or ski touring. The line-up consists of the mountain inn (with all its homemade specialities), the Vordere Niedere alpine farm (where the cheese, butter, milk, yoghurt and spiced alpine pork products come from) and the impressive alpine chapel designed by architects Cukrowicz and Nachbaur. The stage? The entire upland plateau with its spectacular views. The Feuerstein family is long-established as a headline act: Leo and Johannes make brilliant traditional alpine farmers, while Irene, Jasmin and Tanja charm the public in the dining room. And countless paragliders provide the perfect background entertainment!
T +43 664 4429447
Franz Michl, Schoppernau
Mouth organ, rattles, air horns, bass drum on their back, guitar in their hand – we are all familiar with one-man-band street musicians. We should thank the Franz Michl wine shop for providing an equally talented all-round entertainer. However, the many strings to Martin Strolz’s creative bow include hairstylist, entrepreneur, apprentice trainer, event organiser, moderator and wine retailer. He may be permanently walking the tightrope between genius and madness, but as a guest, you can sense his fascination with fine wine at fair prices and taste as many of these delicacies as you like, along with Mediterranean snacks, all while being perfectly placed at THE source of news and rumour from the region – it’s wonderful!
Berghotel Körbersee, Schröcken
Even the “Sound of Silence” would be too much of a good thing here. But “Once in a Lifetime” you should experience this “House by the Lake” on a “Perfect Day” and enjoy “Every Breath You Take” – it’s no exaggeration to say that the most beautiful place in Austria feels “Just like Heaven”. Thanks to the Schlierenzauers’ brilliant “Family Business”, “The Message” is clear: forget “Hotel California”, “Running up that Hill” is far more fun amongst this great scenery. You’re bound to get “Good Vibrations” from the delicacies that are served in the “Room with a View” of the lake: You can be “Happy Together” with steaks, fish, salads and pasta dishes, and there’s no shortage of “Red Red Wine”.
Berghotel Madlener, Damüls
What distinguishes real stars from run-of-the-mill artists? Their determination not to rest on their laurels, but constantly improve their performance. In fact, the Madlener family could easily sit back and relax in their lifestyle spot: fantastic location, modern rooms, surrounded by hiking and skiing country, sophisticated food. But, along with all kinds of other little extras, they use mainly organic produce in the kitchen. How handy that Lukas Junior runs an organic farm in Alberschwende and is able to supply top-quality veal and beef. Whether his cows listen to classical music or reggae in their stable, unfortunately we do not know…
Landhaus Bad Hopfreben, Schoppernau
Retro is always in fashion! Looking back to the good old days works in every sector – stored memories and emotions rise to the surface as soon as you appeal to them. Nor does it necessarily have to be something new, because quite often the cover version is more successful than the original. And if, as in the case of Mara and Peter, it is the realisation of a dream come true, it’s even more appealing. This idyllic inn stood empty for a long time before the Dutch couple leased it in 2016 and made it shipshape again. With their farmers’ rösti, Käsknöpfle (cheese spaetzle), burgers, schnitzels, all kinds of ploughman’s lunches and homemade cakes, you can’t go wrong: anyone taking a break from hiking or skiing can continue on their way, full and happy, or alternatively stay the night here.
Strong on emotion and expression, aimed at a discerning audience – The Chanson is the musical equivalent of French cuisine. Thanks to Guy Jourdain-Moosbrugger, a little francophile culinary hotspot has established itself at this beautifully renovated family hotel in Au, and it is certainly deserving of songs of praise. Gilt-head sea bream with ratatouille, mashed potato with fresh mushrooms, crisp belly of alpine pork – the menu is short, but everything on it is freshly prepared using the best ingredients from the hotel garden and the local area. www.tannahof.at
You never tire of listening to a classic piece: it reminds you of special times, you know all the best bits inside out, you can always look forward to the next time and you’ll love it just as much with no need for any reinterpretation. The Nöckl family’s wonderful restaurant is just like that, in every way. Brigitte and Otto are the sixth generation to run the hotel, the meat comes from their own farm, and the bread and cakes are fresh and homemade. Save it in your playlist right now!
Ristorante Pizzeria Sandro, Mellau
From soaring operatic arias to the foot-tapping tarantella and sentimental pop songs – no cuisine has a more varied soundtrack than Italian. And the music only heightens the excitement created by the bubbling pots of rich tomato sauce, the dough-swinging pizzaiolos and the “mamas” cutting out ravioli. So the Sandro team is the perfect accompaniment to the culinary ensemble at the Hotel Bären. Their Calabrian specialities offer a welcome Mediterranean alternative when you have had enough of traditional wholesome fare.
T +43 5518 2416
Alpenhotel Bödele, Schwarzenberg
What do Alanis Morissette, Bryan Adams, Moby, Morrissey, Thom Yorke and Thomas D. have in common with the idyllically situated Alpenhotel? They have all opted for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Admittedly, doing full-blown veganism (no alcohol, no caffeine, no smoking) is the exact opposite of sex, drugs & rock’n’roll, but it also takes courage and makes for plenty of creativity and diversity on your plate. And it’s not just people leading an environmentally-conscious lifestyle who will enjoy the curries, salads, Mediterranean classics and wide range of juices.
Bergrestaurant Simma, Mellau
Happiness in the mountains, gentians, yodelling and carefree hiking: the idyll so often described in folk-songs seems to have become reality up here at 1400 metres. Walter and Lisi Simma have turned the historic Rossstelle alpine restaurant into a refreshment stop where stereotypical dishes are served up in a refreshingly honest and straightforward way. Their goat’s cheese, farmers’ röstis, cheese soup, Käsknöpfle (cheese spaetzle) and Kaiserschmarren (shredded pancake) have certainly earned the right to be immortalised in song. A special verse must be reserved for the alpine mountain breakfast that is served every day (!) in summer, while the refrain is dedicated to the magnificent mountain view. www.restaurant-simma.at
Author: Markus Curin
Edition: Reisemagazin Summer 2019