I’m always thumbs-up when a young crew revamps a restaurant in a way that's rooted in traditions but stands solidly in the present day. Welcome to Reznicek, located on a sleepy Vienna street near the Liechtenstein Garden Palais in District 9. The short menu of Central European classics – Cordon bleu, Paprikash, Palatschinken – aren’t so much reimagined as they are elevated to near fine dining level (the owners come from the Michelin world). Add to these a few choice meats, flatfish, and an exhaustive list of wines served from delicate Zalto glasses.
I love Beuschel, a traditional plate of sour lungs, and Reznicek tops the city's Beuschel chart: julienned bits of lamb sit in a rich and bright sauce while a soft brioche waits on the side for its turn to mop up the leftovers. Comparable praise is due for the pure-tasting monkfish (again, that sauce!) and everything else I've tried. Sadly, the steep price points – mains are €30-38! – render Reznicek a special-occasion restaurant for most of us.
(If you’ve also wondered about the name, the answer is prosaic: the restaurant is located on Reznicekgasse, named after the Austrian composer, Emil von Reznicek.)