Two geese a day keep any hope of losing weight away, as the saying goes. On the other hand, the last Sunday of November is usually one’s last chance to find a “proper” goose (rather than some deep-frozen leftovers) in Vienna, and having had a rather disappointing experience so far, I could not miss the chance of trying my luck just one more time.
The luck smiled on me, finally. The first good sign was finding a card on the table saying “Martinigansl: a leg or a breast” (or something like that anyway). After eight legs this year, I was already starting to question my own notion of what geese look like. Are they really birds or spiders? The second good sign was the color of the sauce the goose arrived in: deep brown and liquid rather than the sticky yellowish stuff of previous dishes.
And finally, the goose itself was all I could hope for (and actually more, considering my initially low expectations). A freshly cooked, Schiefer Giebel-like goose it certainly was not – and could not have been – yet it had all the properties of a sophisticated goose dish, lovingly prepared by a very good cook. The meat was perfectly tender and tasty, and the skin was crunchy in all the right places, but it was the small details that made that goose for me. Like pieces of a sweet chestnut in the red cabbage. Or the slightly smoky (steak-like) taste of the sauce. Or how the dumpling was filled with goose meat and served with a bit more meat on top.
For a tourist-oriented restaurant in the city center, this was a very positive surprise. If only the restaurant itself were a bit cozier: people constantly coming and leaving and tables standing far too close to each other created quite a stressy atmosphere, which even two mugs of strong beer could not dull. Apart from that, this is now the main contender to the goose-of-the-year throne.