Neue World Cuisine
by Julie Besonen
(From left) Der Kommissar, photo by Kate Glicksberg • Cafe Steinhof, photo by Joe Buglewicz
Who would have thought that staid, traditional Austria has blazed a trail for one of the world's coolest cuisines? The Wiener schnitzel originated there, but the country's progressive chefs have turned toward fresh, seasonal ingredients, creating lighter versions of old classics. Austrian wines are winning top prizes around the world, contributing to curiosity about food from the region. Many people assume that German and Austrian fares are the same, since the countries share a common language. Not so. Just as Austrians have a different dialect, the nation's time-honored dishes and sausages diverge from those of its northwestern neighbor. Several restaurants have emerged recently in Manhattan and Brooklyn that deftly re-create the experience you'd find now in Vienna. To see what we mean, take a look at our slideshow. And while you're at it, consider a supplemental visit to Neue Galerie, showcasing classic and contemporary Austrian artists.