The “Imperial Riding School Hotel”? Funny, it’s more than a mile away from the downtown tourist attraction in Vienna. And it’s not imperial either, but a Renaissance Hotel in an unassuming part of the third district, a branch of the Marriott chain. So we didn’t really have any expectations when we chose the hotel’s restaurant for our evening meal. With stereotypes of tedious hotel food in the forefront of our minds, we figured this would just be more of the same. But from the moment we were greeted, our expectations disappeared.
The wait staff was a big part of the reason. Despite the fact that Borromäus is a restaurant in a hotel (and therefore really only there for the guests), these men and women were enthusiastic and gracious; they knew their food was good, and they wanted us to know it too.
We were handed our menus – we deemed them “heavy-metal menus” cased in pewter and almost too heavy to hold – and before we could even read them, we were offered a glass of Prosecco each… which we gladly accepted.
Our mission was to eat the Saiblingsdinner, the recommendation from both our waitress and the manager of the restaurant. Since there were two of us, we decided to order another dish as well; a test to determine whether the entire menu was worthy of its best. We placed our orders, three courses each, and settled in.