ROTTACH-EGERN, GERMANY (ALPS NEAR THE AUSTRIAN BORDER)
PRICE PAID: $282 PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)
FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10
Sitting right next to the near-Caribbean-colored waters of the Tegernsee (a large mountain lake in the German alpine foothills), Christian Jürgens has crafted a beautifully-executed menu that tries to share the riches of his adopted Bavarian home and show off the richness of the Tegernsee region.
The hotel actually has three different restaurants, and from casual observation I could conclude that Überfahrt has the lion's share of marketing talent, interior decoration skill, and general thought put into it. The interior is entirely referential to nature- every drink stand, bread tray, or other mobile object seems to be fashioned from some sort of log. I get that Jürgens is putting together a panorama of the beautifully forested natural setting, but he really hits you over the head with it.
The rock sitting underneath this fern-y cheese dish was served cold and slick with condensation. On top, you can see the "trees" and the watercress "moss." Have you gotten that this is a nature panorama yet? Like I said, a bit over the top.
Texture was not bad and the dish is exceptionally creamy (as to be expected). Though the wet rock makes for an odd experience, the cheese is excellent and goes perfectly with the accompanying bread crisps, which tasted precisely like Wheat Thins. 8/10.
On an elevated pylon of a dish, quail egg, milk bread, and house made butter came next. The butter is highly aromatic; you can smell it across the table. Looming in the center of the plate is an enormous truffle, wet and fresh on top of the egg. Super rich sauce. A nice start but nothing too crazy. 8/10. The house-made butter is heavenly good.
Another cool serving platform- this one almost like a mini-champage bucket. The caviar is served very cold with olive oil, a nice tomato and bell pepper salsa underneath gives vegetable flavors but not much spice. Serving in the caviar dish was a nice touch. Cod on a stick came on the side- it was tasty but tough to eat without spilling fish particles. 8/10.
Next came artichoke with egg and herbs. An almost pastalike texture with bold flavors. The artichoke itself is fresh and perfect. An adventuresome dish with simple ingredients. 9/10.
This deconstructed spring roll dish came with deep fried langoustine. Basically, just imagine chicken McNugget langoustines. 8/10.
Delicious chanterelle mushrooms, pleasingly adhered to the top of the bird. The pigeon is softly cooked, giving it an absolutely supreme tenderness. Beautifully spiced, goes great with salsify. A near-perfect main course. 9/10
A creative, pretty half-moon presentation of sheep and goat cheese. Super thin goat cheese with apricots underneath. Uncomfortably hard bits. Hearty for a cheese dish. Great mix of textures. A Shitload of cheese. 8/10
The next dessert was fantastic- Zuppa Romana made of mascarpone- was both creamy and cakey on the inside. Some super cold bits gave it a fun contrasting experience, with lots of fun crunchy textures. 9/10.
A charming little cabinet with a selection of pick-your-own cake. I chose a small flower pot of Black Forest cherry cake. Good but not great. 7/10.
I thought that this was adorable. You get a little tiny chef's hat, served on a teeny-tiny Le Creuset-style cooking pot. A charming end to the meal that made me laugh.