Alpenraum, Munich restaurant

We had one night in Munich for an extended family meal and it was my mission, which I was happy to accept, to find a restaurant for the group.  Not that easy for 13.

I learned a few things about reservations for 13.  Most places want to create a menu for the group before you come instead of ordering what is on the menu.  First I thought it was ridiculous, then I realized this was standard.  Also, wanted somewhere that was quiet vs a big beer hall.  Alpenraum is what I ended up choosing and it was fantastic.

The restaurant is beautiful.  The eye to detail is evident everywhere from the china to the place mats to the chandeliers to the wine cellar to the votives.  Modern German is the best description.  Clean lines, neutral background with pops of color.  Even a fire place with a deer head over it.  Loved this place.  If they were in NYC, they'd do just fine. 

The two owners are a delight.  They couldn't have been better hosts.  Fred ordered a bottle of Reisling and it kept coming. We went through 4-5 bottles.  For food, first came out small wooden blocks with homemade bread.  A wonderful nutty brown bread and a few others with olive oil and kosher salt on the side for dipping.  Then the taste from the chef which was a crispy slice of bread with a swathe of white fish salad and an eggplant puree to accompany it.  A nice start.

Our next course was a veal terrine with a herb salad.  I actually asked for something a little less gourmet but that is what came out the kitchen.  Jellied consomme, a marscapone, thinly sliced veal and hints of truffle oil.  Really small slice with the lightly dressed herb salad which was really good.  Not sure it was everyones favorite but was impressed that everyone gave it a taste.

Next out was the Tyrolean Whitewinesoup with Croutons.  This was awesome.  Even my nephew who sticks to basically french fries and chicken fingers loved it.  Food is all about presentation.  He thought it was a cream soup so he went with it.  At the same time, they gave him a special place of thinly sliced fried potatoes and roasted Quail legs ( we told him it was chicken ) and he refused to give up the soup.  He also loved the Quail because he thought it was chicken.  We all got a good laugh out of that. 

The soup was a mixture of white wine, cream, thyme, a hint of cinnamon and a swirl of foamy beet root mixture on top sprinkled with small crispy croutons.  Everyone licked their bowl clean.  So good. 

Next out was duck.  A small crispy piece of medium rare duck breast next to a red cabbage mixture that had tiny chopped apples over the top.  There was also a larger piece of duck which seemed to be a leg that had been de-boned and rolled up over a chopped green savoy cole slaw.  Last piece on the plate was a type of long potato dumpling. The right size portion and delicious.  There was also a long thin crispy (like a potato chip) turnip served over the top for design. 

Dessert was also deconstructed.  A small chocolate cake that oozed when you cut into it.  Off to the side were tiny cubes of chopped pears sauteed with butter and sugar next to a small scoop of blood orange sage gelato.  Really delicious.

On the way out, the owner gave me a bottle of homemade raspberry vinegar and orange vinegar.  So nice.  You could tell that him and his partner were perfectionists and foodies.  A wonderful restaurant that would be my first stop for dinner whenever and if ever I return to Munich.  The owners are coming to NYC next year and I do hope they send me an email so I can share with them all the foodie places they must go to. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Yule Heibel

    I enjoyed reading this review – the restaurant sounds wonderful.And while your entry is already a week old, I keep thinking about this place because of its name. I think the owners must have a great sense of humor and of post-modern irony, for the word “Alpenraum” makes anyone familiar with German think of the word “Alptraum,” which means nightmare. The name swings both ways (to good and to bad), which makes it both original and “sticky.”Whoever came up with it was cooking his/her signifiers on all four burners: there are allusions to “mountains” (Alpen), to “Raum”/space (which has a negative association with Lebensraum – so there’s something almost verboten/taboo in the name), to images of Sound-of-Music-alps (referencing pure as pie goodness again), …and of course to the word “Alptraum” (nightmare: back to the uncanny).Well, maybe none of this occurred to whoever thought of the name, and it was all just a stroke of luck – for word-obsessed types like me whose imagination is on overtime! 🙂 But then again I bet the name was deliberately calibrated to resonate with anyone who has ever had to eat their words!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks for that definition. Makes the restaurant even better.

  2. jackson

    Thanks again, Alpenraum was great, the service was fabulous. Great night!