A little while ago I was working in Vienna for a couple of months for my day job. One night, on my way back to the hotel from the office, I came across Da Capo restaurant in a quiet side street, about 2mins walk from St Stephen’s. It immediately struck me as a very nicely kept, cosy, but elegant establishment. I hadn’t had dinner yet, so this looked like a great option to fill my empty stomach.
DA CAPO RESTAURANT VIENNA SPORTS A BIG MENU
Under normal circumstances it would have been difficult to find a seat without prior reservation. Because of Covid this was an easy exercise. The friendly waiter greeted me and led me straight to a small table in the beautiful cellar vaults. There is also spacious ground floor seating with large windows and a beautiful terrace. I was so overwhelmed by Da Capo restaurant’s big menu and the wonderful dishes, that I must have easily spent the best of 20mins screening through the pages.
WHAT I ORDERED
Finally, I was able to make up my mind and I waved the waiter to the table. I ordered lobster bisque (€9), casarecce with oil and garlic (a pasta dish, €7.50), and pumpkin mushroom risotto with two slices of fillet steak (€13). While I was at it, I also ordered some lemonade (€3) and bloody mary (€8).
Some more guests arrived at Da Capo restaurant while I was playing around with my mobile phone and visually inspecting the lovely wooden panels, exposed brickwork, and paintings on the walls. About 15mins later my bisque arrived.
It only took a very quick look and a single inhaling to determine that this was going to be a special experience. And I wasn’t wrong. Creamy, lobstery goodness, finely tuned but very flavoursome nonetheless.
The casarecce arrived shortly after I had finished the soup. I know that simple pasta with garlic and oil is not for everyone. Ms B would hate it. To me it is perhaps the best way of enjoying home-made pasta. The absence of overpowering flavours really allows you to get your head around the peculiarities of those thin, curled, doughy strips. Where olive oil and garlic of the highest quality are being used, the taste buds will still get a good tickle.
One of my fondest childhood memories of the annual four-week trips to Italy with my family is of the freshly made, ice-cold lemonade. Da Capo restaurant’s lemonade in front of me brought those memories back. The bloody mary was delightful too.
MY THOUGHTS ON RISOTTO
No more than five minutes had passed since my empty pasta plate had been picked up, and the main dish arrived. Quite the opposite of Ms B, I never grew fond of risottos, never saw the attraction. For some reason I had felt adventurous that night and had ordered one, perhaps out of the same mood that recently made me do a rock-climbing course despite my severe fear of heights. You’ve got to challenge yourself to stay sharp, I guess.
PUMPKIN MUSHROOM RISOTTO WITH FILLET STEAK
However, this beautiful-looking, choppy sea of yellow rice and juices was no challenge at all. Well into my 5th decade on the blue planet I seem to have discovered my passionate affection for risotto. Since my last pumpkin mushroom risotto (at the Michelin-starred Ninth in London), the divine bliss of this mix of ingredients had slowly but successfully exited my mind. The two thin slices of beef fillet were an ideal combination. They were so perfectly prepared that they almost dissolved on your tongue without much chewing, while still having just the right texture.
I’LL BE BACK
To this day I regret not having returned to Da Capo restaurant, Vienna. I blame the Austrian capital. There are so many excellent restaurants on every corner of the city, you just get carried away. I’ll make sure I’ll be back on my next visit, possibly in November, if restrictions allow. 5 out of 5 in my book.
Looking for more restaurant reviews? Why not check out our posts about Mythos, Paul, Weibel’s, or Poeschl in Vienna, Lafleur in Frankfurt, Helene Darroze in London, or Her Name is Han in NYC. We don’t only blog about food, so feel welcome to eyeball our posts about my experience riding a flyboard, a jetlev, a powerboat, and a jetski, about our one day in Dubai, one day in Lisbon, or our week in Porto.