Travel Destinations

Monday, April 18, 2016

Essigbrätlein: Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

Second Course Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

We love a good Michelin-starred restaurant.  We’re starting to tick Michelin-starred restaurants off our list like some do countries, UNESCO sites, and national parks.  I promise we’re not complete food snobs who only eat at expensive restaurants, and we enjoyed our fair share of sausages and langos from the European Christmas Markets before eating lunch at Nuremberg’s two Michelin star restaurant Essigbrätlein.  But after dining at Michelin-starred restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark and Gothenburg in Sweden, we’ve really developed a taste for being culinarily spoiled by the world’s top chefs, and we were excited to have the opportunity to dine at Essigbrätlein, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Germany and the only restaurant with two Michelin stars in Nuremberg.

Menu Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

Nuremberg was our final port of call on our Romantic Danube European Christmas Markets cruise with Viking River Cruises.  We had an entire day in the city, which meant we could eat lunch off-ship.

Essigbrätlein is located in a cozy, narrow, multi-story townhouse in the middle of Nuremberg’s old town, right around the corner from St. Sebaldus Church.  You have to ring the bell at the front door to be admitted.  Essigbrätlein is open for both lunch and dinner.  Lunch is a set four courses and dinner is six courses, and you can also choose to have the wine pairing.  Reservations are highly recommended.

First Course Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

Essigbrätlein was first opened in 1989 by Andree Köthe, and he was joined by Chef Yves Ollech in 1997.  Köthe ensures the ingredients are fresh, purchasing them directly from the producers, and develops menu items with Ollech.  Ollech guarantees that what is served to guests is perfection.  Essigbrätlein earned its first Michelin star in 1999 and a second Michelin star in 2007.  Andree Köthe was also given the title of Chef of the Year 2012 in Germany by Gault & Millau.  Ivan Jakir has been Essigbrätlein’s Sommelier since 1999 and makes sure the wine pairs perfectly with each course.

Brussels Sprout First Course Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

A meal at Essigbrätlein is adventurous with fun little twists on how food is served and plays on ingredients.  The menu is always changing, but our meal gives an indication of the caliber of dishes you can expect at Essigbrätlein.

We were introduced to our meal with a cup of juice made from roasted peppers that tasted sweet.  Next came a sweet bite of green with radish and horseradish served on a silver spoon.  This was followed by cream wrapped in a warm sautéed Brussels sprout leaf, which kind of smelled like popcorn, skewered on a tiny Trident.

Bread and Butter Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

Even the bread and butter provided with the meal was special and fun.  There was bread served with tarragon butter, one of my favorite flavors, and a whimsical play on peas and carrots with carrot bread served with pea butter.  It took us a few seconds to realize what this very familiar childhood taste combination was as it isn’t something you would expect at a Michelin-starred restaurant, yet completely worked.

Lamb with Broccoli Main Course Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

Our second course was green beans with onions and pea tendrils with a peanut sauce, an unusual sounding but delightfully tasting combination.  Our main course was a thick steak of lamb served with shaved broccoli, a mint sauce, and a finish of salt.    

Red Cabbage Ice Cream Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant

The most unusual course was dessert.  A bowl arrived with red cabbage ice cream, blackberries, black currants, and chervil.  The red cabbage ice cream was definitely an acquired taste.  At first, we weren’t sure how we felt about this odd treat, but then we figured out that when the individual components were mixed together, all of a sudden it became a well-balanced and tasty treat.

Chocolate Dessert Essigbrätlein Nuremberg’s Two Michelin Star Restaurant
Dessert didn’t stop with red cabbage ice cream.  We also were served hard chocolate studded with fresh fruit.

A meal at Essigbrätlein is fun, unusual, and comfortable.  Dining at lunch was filling, but it wasn’t too much food, so we were still able to explore Nuremberg afterwards without feeling like we needed to take a nap.  While in Nuremberg, whether on a Viking River Cruise or on your own, dine at Essigbrätlein if you enjoy food that’s fun.

Thank you to Viking River Cruises for hosting our lunch at Essigbrätlein and making this post possible.  As always, all opinions are our own.

Travel the World: Review of Essigbrätlein, Nuremberg Germany’s only two Michelin-starred restaurant.

Katherine Belarmino and Romeo Belarmino are the authors of Travel the World, a travel blog for the everyday working stiff. They work full-time in non-travel related jobs, but take every opportunity they can to travel the world during their limited vacation time.