Steinthal’s stripped-back dishes showcase the best of local produce
Daniel Steiner and Benjamin Wieselthaler are inseparable – “there hasn’t been more than a day or two in the last five years that we haven’t seen each other,” laughed Daniel, whose impulsive eagerness is complemented by Ben’s quiet, thoughtful demeanor. The two travelled, ate and cooked together before deciding to open Steinthal – the name a fusion of their surnames.
Taking center stage is another partnership, with dishes focusing on two main components, fish and vegetables. The watchwords here are local, seasonal and sustainable. On the former point they are almost fanatical. Their fish – currently carp, wels (a local catfish), rainbow and salmon trout – comes from Gut Dornau, 40 km south of Vienna; their vegetables are organic and sourced from just outside the city. Even the furniture, I’m assured, is from Vienna.
It’s unlikely anyone ever wrote a paean to a parsnip, much less an ode to bream, but the way the pair talk about their ingredients borders on the poetic. Their concept is simplicity: plates put together with broad brushstrokes and dishes seasoned mildly. Nothing complicated; the food does the talking. “We’re not afraid to reduce the palette,” says Ben. “We have absolute trust in our produce and want to bring their flavors to the fore.” If their food were a poem, it would probably be a haiku.
6., Aegidigasse 15
(01) 595 26 16
Mon-Sat 16:00-23:00 Kitchen: 18:00-22:30
With celeriac and parsnip purée and beetroot
Pear vinegar and Olive oil to taste
Parsley, salt, pepper
Finely chop the onion, parsley and catfish filet. Melt butter and mix everything with breadcrumbs and salt. With damp hands, form the mixture into 60 gram balls. Brown the rissoles in butter. Serve with the purée and marinated beetroot, garnished with a little parsley.
Sauté the chopped celeriac and parsnip in butter, add water and cream and cook until soft. Use hand blender to mash. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Cook beetroot until soft, rinse with cold water and peel. Cut into slices, and add vinegar, oil and seasoning to taste.
Ingredients (Serves four):
Wels filet 330g
Half an onion
A little butter
Half a bunch of parsley
Peeled parsnip 350g
Peeled celeriac 650g
Salt, pepper, nutmeg