What do the award-winning cuisine at the historic Steinbock Manor and the great writer Goethe have in common? They have both created poems, works of art that resonate long after the last verse has finished, and emotions that only art can awake.
The title: Terrace poetry.
Down below, in the cellar, the first verse is recited. A highly effect contrast is staged, with Praeclarus from the St. Pauls Winery tingling in a fragile champagne glass as you carefully sip. Appetisers are served, and you wonder how much artistic creativity can go into such a tiny hors d'oeuvre. And the flavour! Sea bass, raw and thus surprisingly intense. Pâté de foie gras in the form of French macaroons. Garnished - a poem for the palate! And another sip of fine South Tyrolean sparkling wine. Quiet conversation, with occasional laughter in-between. And candlelight: dim lighting may be the spark for the greatest poetry.
Verse II – a panorama of delights.
A change of scenery: we leave the historic cellar and are now sitting on the terrace, enjoying sunlight rather than candlelight, and a mountain panorama. The artist in the kitchen commences the second verse: you want to sink into each line. A melon shot with chilli, accompanied by San Daniele ham, cured for 10 months, lardo and culatello. The heat of the invisible chilli, a surprise for the palate, makes you pause and intensifies the flavour of the rest. This is what award-winning cuisine is all about: harmonious rhymes!
Verse III – a symphony of colour.
A perfectly co-ordinated symbiosis in red of gamberi rossi with a carrot and ginger sorbet and braised mini-beetroots. Earnestly savouring both the food and the views, everyone talks quietly on the terrace in the midst of the little village of Villanders, as if loud noise would spoil the fun. The silence seems to encapsulate the concentration of flavours: you can just hear how it tastes. A refreshing white wine enhances the artistic nature of the food – the name on the label is “Viel Anders”, a pun on the name of the village where we are dining. Then come tagliolini, beautifully formed into a small tower. Wafer-thin truffle slices are the only garnish. And, between mouthfuls, a bite of delicious home-baked bread, served with local butter, oil of chives or cream cheese with rocket. Not because you are hungry, but because you do not wish to let any of these delicacies escape.
Verse IV – the climax.
The poetic climax is imminent as the waiting staff solemnly carry the main course to the dining table. Spanish pork - Iberian pig, to be precise - served with water asparagus, chanterelles and Bolzano sauce. Traditional South Tyrolean cuisine newly interpreted by an award-winning chef: a combination that could not sound better, taste better nor be more appealingly presented. A pause for thought to recollect the poem on the palate, as the emotions - aromatic, visual, sensual - steadily escalate. And we are now ready for the grand finale.
Verse V – the finale.
But first there is a taster for what will follow and conclude this epicurean adventure: a little treat, a pre-dessert. It is the little things, the details that perfect this award-winning menu. It is the nibbles in between that amaze the senses. A piece of beech tree as a golden cushion for a pastel-green mint waffle, rolled up like a waffle ice cream and coated with dark chocolate. It disappears and enchants you in two bites, and you want more! And more you get: the dessert. Really and truly: the grand finale. So the poem closes with an interpretation – this time, of tiramisu.
This is what the cuisine at the historic Steinbock Manor and Goethe have in common: they create poems that remain in the memory, works that you will want to savour again and again.