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June 1999

Out of Town: Spending a four-star day in the country

Looking at two excellent restaurants outside of the city's limits

Wirtshaus zu Asbach Dorfstrasse 27, Asbach Tel. (08137) 4619 Hours: Wed.–Fri. 17-close, Sat. 12-close, Sun. 10-close While Munich abounds with exceptional dining possibilities, there is much to be said for heading for the hills. If your “dream restaurant” consists of gourmet entrées made with organic ingredients and a “do drop in” atmosphere enhanced by the quiet of the country, Wirtshaus zu Asbach is for you. Restauranteur and certified chef Christian Höring opened his organic eatery in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse after years of cooking in a handful of Bavaria’s finer kitchens. Höring explains, “It’s one thing to make a delicious and attractive presentation, but if the ingredients are loaded with chemicals, you have to ask yourself ‘what am I feeding these people?’” Today, Höring knows exactly what he is serving, and where it is enjoyed. Upon entering the building, you may think you have come into the mud room of a stranger’s home. Turn left. There, a dining room resembling that of a cozy B&B awaits. Rustic linens cover long pine tables topped with fresh flowers. In winter, a fire crackles in the wood-burning stove. In summer, a warm breeze carries a whiff of blaukraut in the back door from the locale’s ell-shaped beer garden. A smiling waitress greets you, neighbors chat with diners at other tables, and the kitchen window is so close you could holler in to Höring. While Bavarian specialties adorn the standard menu, a daily bill of fare reflects the professional’s background. All meats offered are organic, as are all preserves, which come from Höring’s creativity, not a jar. Prices for the organic fare are “how does he do it?” low. Winners gracing the standard menu are Wiener schnitzel, an ample cutlet of lightly breaded pork, served with fried potatoes, and a burst-of-color salad. (DM 17.50) The omelette with goat cheese, onions and pepperoncini (DM 12.50) is served with fresh whole-grain bread, from a shell-shaped basket. Höring shows his stuff with the daily menu offerings. Polenta with sautéed zucchini (DM 16.50) brings out the saucier in the chef. The Italian corn cake is drizzled with a spicy mushroom gravy. Parsley-dashed new potatoes and glazed carrots flank a tender beef pot roast (DM 18.50), crowned with fresh horseradish bêchamel. Desserts include tasty whole-grain cakes. On June 27 Höring will throw a party in the beer garden. Three pop bands will lend atmosphere to the fête, which will include organic beer at DM 8 a Maß. Wirtshaus zu Asbach is accessible by S-Bahn, (S2 Petershausen), from there it is a lovely fifteen-minute walk. Food 10, Service 10, Atmosphere 10. der weinbeisser Parkstr. 42, Anzing-Obelfing Tel. (08121) 408 88 Hours: Tue.-Sat. 18-close Sipping Tyrolean wines in a cozy converted farmhouse sounds like a pleasure one must travel to Italy or Austria to enjoy, but can in fact be found as close as Anzing. The Weinbeisser is just 25 kilometers east of Munich. Massive, dark wood tables fill the first room of the low-ceilinged farmhouse while smaller tables fill the second. Local artists’ paintings decorate the walls. The ambiance here is as soothing as a glass of Merlot drunk in the Italian sun. Judging from the speed with which outdoor tables fill up when the weather is fine, the Weinbeisser is not much of a secret. The Weinbeisser does not serve complete meals, but instead furnishes a choice of appealing cold appetizers. A selection of Italian salamis and Andechs brie go well with a mellow Chardonnay or the slightly drier Pinot Grigio. A portion of parmesan flatters most any red wine. A mixed appetizer plate for two (DM 25) or four (DM 45) is ideal for the indecisive nibbler. Host and owner Conny Hoffmann’s reputation for affability and culinary finesse means the locale is often booked for private parties, so it’s a good idea to call before making the journey east. In autumn, poetry readings and live music will again enhance the Weinbeisser experience. Food 7, Service 10, Atmosphere 10.

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