I had not the slightest interest in trying Grunauer restaurant in the Freight House, despite hearing good things about it. Though I always enjoyed the ambiance at the City Tavern, its predecessor, and thought it had one of the prettiest bars in town, I just couldn’t get excited about trying Viennese food.
So I was pleasantly surprised to find that, once I finally dragged myself there, I actually enjoyed the experience. Is the food exciting? Not in my book, but it is well-executed and much lighter than I had expected. The service was excellent and the setting has not changed from when it was City Tavern.
I went with two friends for lunch, and we sampled a number of items on the menu. Fried mushrooms to start, including a portobello that was practically the size of the plate. The mushrooms had a nice beer batter and were lightly fried, and not the least bit greasy. The tartar sauce that accompanied them was a bit bland and didn’t add a new dimension. I also sampled the hungarian goulash, which was served in a lovely white soup bowl. The chunks of meat were very tender and the sauce was well-seasoned. Again, a much lighter rendition than the American version would have been.
The spinach and bacon salad was dressed with a very tasty and tangy blue cheese vinaigrette. And it had shreds of cabbage running through it, a surprising addition which provided welcome texture and flavor.
I had a bite of the Wiener Schnitzel, again not my thing, but no complaints. It comes with an assortment of Austrian salads–tomatoes, cucumbers and potato. The cucumber salad had quite a kick to it, elevating what can often be a bit bland to an enjoyable side dish. The large combination salad featured those same salads as well as some greens, and like the spinach salad, was quite substantial.
We didn’t save room for dessert, but the strudel looked like it would be worth a return visit.