We heard about Blaue Gans, an Austrian restaurant located in TriBeCa, thanks to our friend Tessa and decided to have dinner there one night, as we were in that area. the place was packed for sure and it had a nice atmosphere, a bit artsy, the posters of various exhibits surely playing a role there.
I decided to accompany my meal with a glass of Riesling, "Terrassen" Federspiel, Tegenseerhof, Wachau 2014 that was deliciously sweet.
We started off our meal with the bratwurst, that was served with potatoes, sauerkraut and some horseradish that was delightfully spicy. It was a perfect way to start the meal, the sausage being delicious.
Then, Jodi went for the roasted cod, served with carrots and asparagus, and a Riesling sauce. It was a nice presentation, with beautiful colors. The fish was flakey and perfectly cooked.
On my side, I went for...Read more at: http://www.ijustwanttoeat.com/post/restaurant-review/austrian-dinner-at-blaue-gans-in-tribeca-nyc-new-york
This time last year, it looked like super-chef Kurt Gutenbrunner was veering dangerously close to over-exposure. Within three months, his two-restaurant empire (Wallsé, Cafe Sabarsky) doubled, opening THOR on the Lower East Side in September 2005 and Blaue Gans in TriBeCa in December.
Perhaps Gutenbrunner realized that he’d stretched himself too far. He pulled out of THOR—the restaurant least like the others—leaving himself with three unique but strongly related restaurants. At all of them, the focus is on Austrian food, a niche that Gutenbrunner has nearly to himself.
Blaue Gans (pronounced BLAU-uh gahnz), which means “Blue Goose,” is the most casual of Gutenbrunner’s trio of restaurants. It occupies a space that was once the restaurant Le Zinc, and Gutenbrunner made only minimal changes on taking it over. The walls are covered with vintage posters, most of which are unrelated to the Austrian theme. There are no table cloths, butter knives, or even bread plates to go with the excellent bread service. Servers, many of whom seem to be Austrian imports, tend to get stretched when the restaurant fills up—as it does, at least on a Friday night.
The surroundings at Blaue Gans may scream “casual,” but Gutenbrunner still takes his Austrian cuisine seriously. The chef himself was in the house on Friday night, which suggests he didn’t open Blaue Gans merely to make a quick buck. I suspect the restaurant may be his laboratory, with the more successful dishes graduating to his West Village flagship, Wallsé. (A short list of handwritten specials accompanied the main menu.) As far as I can tell, the Wiener Schnitzel you get at Blaue Gans is the same Wiener Schnitzel you get at Wallsé, except it costs $8 less.
Appetizers at Blaue Gans are $8–12, but there’s a separate menu category for sausages, which are $7–8. My friend and I tried the pork and beef sausage and the smoked pork sausage (both $8), served with sauerkraut and horseradish mustard. We thought the smoked pork sausage was a tad more interesting, but I would happily try either one again.
For the main course, my friend ordered the pork belly ($21), which must have been one of the largest helpings I have ever seen. I ordered the pork schnitzel ($22), which was wonderful—as Frank Bruni described it, “The meat had been dusted with flour and cooked with veal stock, cream, button mushrooms and bacon.”
Like everything else at Blaue Gans, the wine list has many reasonably-priced entries. We settled on a bottle of gewürztraminer at $36 that was more than satisfactory for our hearty, casual meal. The bill came to $103 with tax, before tip.
One positive development is that, as of January, Blaue Gans now takes reservations, a convenience much more helpful to those of us who want to make definite plans. And I am reasonably certain my future plans will include Blaue Gans again. As my friend put it, “I could eat like this every day.” Well, maybe not: the food here isn’t exactly lo-cal. But when you’re in the mood for a calorie splurge, it doesn’t get much more decadent than this.
Blaue Gans-We’re Fans
Weiner Shnitzel just sounds funny, I don’t care how sophisticated you are. However, once you get past that and embrace the weiner, you are in for a meaty treat. Shnitzel, for the unfamiliar, is an amazing invention consisting of meat (pork, veal) pounded very thinly, breaded and fried, similar to an Italian veal or chicken Milanese. There is really nothing not to like about Shnitzel, especially at Blaue Gans.
I was originally a little hesitant to suggest an Austrian place for dinner with a pregnant friend, but I figured if you can’t eat fried meat when you are expecting, when can you? I heard good things about Blaue Gans and the location was perfect, and a quick glance at the menu (I’m obsessive about checking menus before I go anywhere) provided proof that there were options for people who, say, might not want Weiner. The vibe at Blaue Gans is charming, and easy, a real gem in Tribeca. We ordered some salads to start, which were fresh and light, the beet salad being a favorite.
Unfortunately we did not try sausages, but we saw some and they looked delicious….
The Schnitzels are the schtars of the show, with several varieties to choose from. The original pork weiner schnitzel is very thin and crispy, with the breading light and airy almost, not thick and dense. A squirt of lemon enhances the flavor, and that big planet of meat disappears quicker than you would think. The cucumber and potato salad is one of the most delicious things that I have had in a while, I would have had a vat of that. The Jager Schnitzel was described to us by our watier as being in a “milk sauce”, which sounds disgusting, and does not properly describe what is presented. The schnitzel is covered with a creamy mushroom and bacon sauce (oh just suck it up do another 15 mins on the treadmill, its worth it). The herbed spaetzle that accompanies the dish is perfect for soaking up the extra rich sauce, making a gooey delicious bite.
On a recommendation, we tried the bread dumplings. I haven’t fully reconciled how I feel about this dish- they sort of were like the bowling balls of dumplings, very heavy and not much variation of texture. The flavor was good enough, and the creamy sauce they came with added a little oomph…worth trying, but they sort of expand in your stomach, so just consider how much real estate you want these babies to take up
pants at a glance
Authentic Austrian/German food in Tribeca
I like coming here sometimes for lunch. They serve some of the most authentic bratwurst and schnitzels around. I have traveled and lived in Germany for 2 years and I can honestly say that the food here in Tribeca tastes as if I was still there.
The price at Blaue Gans is a good value for the money. There is a good amount of seating available and there are usually empty seats available. The beer that is served here is quite good too if you are into alcoholic options. The restaurant is very clean and well kept.
Blaue Gans (Blue Goose)
Last week, I was so pleasantly surprised to receive a note in response to my Cafe Sabarsky blogpost from a longtime employee of the restaurants’ corporation, KGNY. It’s nice to put a name to the number of “web cookies” showing in my site’s analytics, especially when that person is connected to a restaurant I’ve (fondly) reviewed. And the reciprocal marketing works – the email incentivized me to arrange my next date with the ladies who introduced me to Sabarsky at Blaue Gans, another KGNY restaurant in Tribeca.
After rolling home in pain just an hour ago, I think it’s safe to say I’ve eaten more Austrian food in the last two weeks than I have in my entire life. I say that with no regret of stuffing myself. Every bite was rich, heartwarming, and filling. The food at Blaue Gans is cooked with history, tradition and soul, and the waiters express contagious passion when serving it. Detailed explanations and smiles come with every dish that arrives to the table, and curiosity about the food is very much encouraged.
Lauren, Austin, Sara and I sat on one of the long benches outside the spacious restaurant to enjoy the warm evening air – one of New York’s assets that I honestly live for. The outside bench served an even better purpose than letting the breeze touch my face, though: a huge working space to properly lay out the ridiculous amount of food that we ordered and were served compliments of the house, thanks to the incredibly friendly staff. Instead of thinking through our order and how it all fit together, when the waiter came, we called out every item that seemed remotely interesting. This I look back on as the starting point of our demise.
lipataur (definitely the opposite of the heart medicine)
First came the liptauer – a quark cheese spread with butter, paprika, and onions served with thick poilane-esque sourdough bread. I love anything with cheese, but this was brightly colored, flavorful, creamy, and light – unlike any typical cheese spread I’ve tried before. My dad would have loved this.
smoked trout tart
asparagus beautifully plated
sausage sampler…or the four of us spooning
Then came the pretzel. Then the smoked salmon torte, the cabbage salad, the green asparagus, the blood sausage, the sausage sampler, the spätzl, the pork schnitzel, and the white asparagus special. Yes, there were only four of us, and yes, we ate everything save one inch of the pretzel. And we all had our favorites – mine was the intensely flavorful smoked trout palatschinken torte, which was served as a wedge of thin crepes layered with generous chunks of delicious white fish and horse-radish creme fraiche next to beets and drizzled balsamic. And though I’ll always have a spot in my heart for Blaue Gans sinfully creamy spatzl with bright spring vegetables, I think my next favorite were both the green and white asparagus, which were perfectly cooked. The green asparagus were prepared with marinated chopped tomatoes and microgreens, while the white asparagus was much more decadent with potatoes and a creamy sauce reminiscent of hollandaise.
Blood Sausage – Lauren’s fave
schnitzel with spätzl – say that five times fast.
The “jäger schnitzel,” which came recommended by my blog correspondent, was pretty much my dad’s heaven: thin pan-sauteed pork finished with cream, mushrooms, veal broth and bacon. But not just any bacon – a generous heep of thick, crispy chunks of lean cured meat. Next time I’ll have to try the veal schnitzel.
apple strudel – a non-distant memory
The madness didn’t stop with our entrees. Nope, all of us came knowing we had no choice but to order my favorite – the apple strudel. How could we leave it out after our romantic experience with the pastry at Cafe Sabarsky? And given the overwhelming variety of options, we had no choice but to try something new. After much debate we requested the “eis kaffee” - a sundae with vanilla ice cream, espresso, coffee, and whipped cream. Little did we know that the kitchen would send, along with strawberry cocktails, the other options we were contemplating – a chocolate mousse cake with hazelnut and caramelized bananas, a lemon-basil mousse filled with mixed berries, and the salzburger nockerl, a wonderful dish of warm poached huckleberries and a cloud of meringue inspired fluff. We became the perfect eating partnership as we each gravitated to different dishes. Lauren focused on the marshmellowy white souffle, Sara daintily hacked at the lemon-basil mousse, I aggressively tackled the apple strudel, and Austin gulped down the remains of the coffee sundae. We all partook in the chocolate mousse.
We all knew the coma we were getting into throughout the process, but the knowledge of the consequences of over-eating is sadly never enough to stop me. What kills us makes us stronger, right? Pain is weakness leaving the body.
Given the service, the variety of food, the importance of dessert and the beautiful set up at Blaue Gans, I will no doubt return, hopefully with my father whom I know for sure would go crazy over this place. Definitely recommended for all occasions – heavy brews and dinner with friends, a peaceful night with the family, a business lunch, a date…any and all occasions seem to fit well with Austrian food and a solid operation. It’s not common to find a New York neighborhood restaurant like this one that truly appreciates and welcomes its customers – something you think would go hand in hand with owning a business so dependent on its consumers. So if you need to refreshed of the exclusive, swanky, overly hyped scenes that populate this city, this is the place to get your real-people fix.
Blaue Gans, as the name implies, as an Austrian restaurant. Diners loved the traditional Austrian dishes: bratwurst, schnitzel, and the sauerkraut, as well as the meal pairings. For dessert, diners raved over the apple strudel. The food is authentic and never fussy. A few diners, however, felt that the portions were small and didn't mesh with the homestyle feel of the food.
The atmosphere is European but a little funky. Blaue Gans has a unique arched ceiling from which pendant lights hang. The walls are papered with posters and artworks, and several walls feature large mirrors for covert people watching. However, the pendant lights are a bit dim, and the place can feel dark even in the afternoon.
While the staff was pleasant, the staff were praised most of all for their efficiency. Diners felt that while the service was helpful, it was never clingy; some diners, however, felt that they were a bit neglected by this minimal service, while others appreciated not being bothered by the staff.