Pundits claim that Plachuttas Gasthaus zur Oper and the infuriatingly hard-to-get-a-rez-at Figlmuller have the best Wiener schnitzels in town, and since we couldn’t get a table at the latter, we had to settle for one in the former. Much maligned recently for a poorly handled labor issue turned social media circus, Plachutta has several outlets, the flagship of which is best known for its tafelspitz (boiled beef in broth, served with horseradish). Judging by the full house that evening, they seem to have bounced back.
The kitchen recasts traditional Austrian dishes, building flavor no less intense with herbs, broths and light batter than with flour, butter and cream. The said tafelspitz is pleasingly tender, the wonderfully raggedy spaetzle soaks up every drop of sauce, and the nearly candied red cabbage draws out the flavor of the meat. The daintily prepared zwiebelrostbraten—a bit of an oxymoron, but Plachutta disproves it—is perfectly cooked, with perfectly judged red wine and onion-based gravy that enhances rather than buries the meat.
But it is my super-thin, faultless Wiener schnitzel that really impresses—every bite is as good as the one before. It is only when they steer away from the Viennese classics that the kitchen falls short, as with the far too creamy linguine with jumbo prawns. Oh, and don’t pass up the superb potato salad.