On Sunday, I treated myself to an I Love NYC kind of afternoon: early lunch at Café Sabarsky, a visit to the Cooper-Hewitt, a walk across Central Park, and a cappuccino at Joe. Let's begin at the beginning, shall we?
Café Sabarsky is part of Kurt Gutenbrunner's ever-growing empire of Austrian food. His other outposts include Blaue Gans and Wallsé. While Blaue Gans is a rustic, tavern sort of place, and Wallsé is all refined cool, Café Sabarsky is Gutenbrunner's tribute to fin de siècle Viennese café culture. Located in the Neue Galerie, the café's menu features an impressive assortment of Viennese pastry, delicious coffee and a bowl of spaetzle with tarragon.
For me, Café Sabarsky is typically all about two things: the Einspanner (double espresso with whipped cream) and the decor (reproductions of classic Austrian designs in a Gilded Age mansion's paneled parlor). This time, though, I branched out.
First up, a double espresso; more specifically, a Grosser Brauner, which is served with a teeny bit of milk on the side. As usual, it was delicious. I seriously wish I could stop here every morning for coffee. Rarely have I found more perfect coffee on this side of the Atlantic.
Once I'd caffeinated, I switched to water and ordered the wiener schnitzel. It arrived a few minutes later, piping hot, topped with lemon and accompanied by potato salad and lingonberries. I have to say, I was a bit underwhelmed by the schnitzel itself. The veal was tender and flavorful, but the breading was completely separated from the meat in most spots. The potato salad was tasty and creamy, and the lingonberries were tart and offered a lovely contrast, but all in all, I think I'll stick to the spaetzle from now on.
For dessert, I skipped the pastry (I do recommend the apfelstreudel, though.) and went for a Viennese hot chocolate. While it was a bit thinner than the Pierre Hermé version I make at home, it was deeply chocolatey and came topped with a generous amount of freshly whipped cream - both qualities I can get behind with little trouble.