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October 2006

International Cuisine

To Pamper Your Tastebuds

Many of us are just beginning to re-cover from loud and crazy nights in the Bierzelten, from sitting on hard benches and from eating meals that make up for a lack of refinement with huge portions. It’s time for something a bit more stylish and refined—a treat for our abused senses.

Rubico (Klenzestr. 62, tel. 20 20 78 28) in Isarvorstadt is an especially delightful contrast to the lederhosen-soaked Oktoberfest. “Crossing the Rubicon,” according to Wikipedia, means to commit oneself “irrevocably to a risky and revolutionary course of action.” One visit to Rubico is enough evidence to suggest that perhaps there is something to the assumption that this restaurant’s name is intentional. Crisp and stylish interior design reflects high aesthetic ambitions, even if it isn’t to everyone’s taste. Mood lighting—almost too dark—highlights white tables and stools in front of warm green walls. The small size of the menu (only four appetizers and four main dishes) suggests that expectations in the kitchen are high. Pickled trout, beef carpaccio with grated parmesan, delicate Charolais entrecote and tender veal backs are just as straightforward and impressive as the décor. The competent and unobtrusive waitstaff here will be glad to help you with a selection, especially when choosing the appropriate wine. Couples and singles alike will enjoy a beautiful evening at Rubico, especially in the non-smoking area. The restaurant is open Tues.–Thurs. and Sun., 6:30 pm–12 am, and Fri. and Sat., 6:30 pm–1 am.

If you’re looking for something a bit livelier and laid back, check out Hey Luigi (Holzstr. 29, Tel. 46 13 47 41). Located in the Glockenbachviertel, this little spot almost feels like a scenester café in Prenzelberg. Hey Luigi’s offerings are great for sating small bouts of hunger. The menu features huge salads, such as the legendary “Master Lee Salad,” delicious bruschetta and noodle dishes. In any case, no entree costs more than € 15, and the prices on the respectable wine list stay well within reasonable boundaries: A fourth of a Grüner Veltiner costs just € 4. Lunch specials (€5.20–6.50) are updated daily at Hey Luigi is open Mon.–Fri., 11:30 am–2 pm, and Sat., 5 pm–2 am.

In Germany, “Die jungen Wilden” doesn’t just refer to the painters who manifested a renaissance of unrestricted creative freedom in the 1980s: In recent years, we’ve found a few of these young wild ones in our restaurant kitchens. Star chef Otto Koch gathered together a group of young, creative, culinary artists to breathe new life into haute cuisine. The venture was a success, and since then a new type of chef has been cavorting through the halls of superior cooking. These chefs have fun with their work and defy old norms with utterly unexpected combinations that titillate the taste buds. Their creations definitely don’t come cheap, since all the jungen Wilden agree that their creations must be executed with the best and freshest ingredients.

Since the beginning of September, one of these young, enterprising wild ones has moved into the former Showroom (Lilienstr. 6, Tel. 444 290 82) in Au—diagonally opposite the Munich Found offices. Baden native Andreas Schweiger and his wife, Franzi—an equally ambitious and creative pastry chef—aim to mix up the Munich gourmet scene and, as far as we’re concerned, they are off to an impressive start. The 7-course dinner Menü (€ 55) begins with yellow tuna on glass noodles and a ginger cream with calamaretti, followed by fazzoletti (pasta shaped like, as the name suggests, “little handkerchiefs”) with shrimp. A sorbet then clears the palate, prepping the taste buds for a tender prime of boiled veal (Tafelspitz) on potato risotto. A perfectly aged Auvergne Roche Baron and a delicious chocolate fondant provide a great finish. Individual courses are available a la carte. The chefs woo diners at lunchtime with delectable salads (€ 6), soups (€ 6–9) and a selection of four varieties of Elsässer Flammkuchen (€ 6–8), a Chef Andi specialty. Straightforward wines from Baden are available from € 3.50 for 0.2 L. The wine menu also features a choice selection from Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, France and the United States. Let Franzi advise you on the best option. Telephone reservations are recommended. The restaurant is open for lunch Mon.–Fri., 11:30 am–2:30 am and for dinner Mon.–Sat., 5 pm–1 am.

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