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Casa del Vino offers a festive menu like in the old days.

Casa del Vino offers a festive menu like in the old days.

It takes a certain amount of culinary expertise to interpret a festive menu from 1908 in a modern, contemporary way. The right man for this seems to be sommelier and caterer Jürgen Steinbrecher and his team at “Casa del Vino”. The restaurant expert from Wiener Neustadt set out on an adventure as part of the Kultur.Sommer.Semmering at Panhans.

The cultural dance with over 70 musical and literary events in the old Grand Hotel and the Culture Wing is a very special event this summer. From July 5 to August 31, the dinner “In the Separee at Clara Panhans” will take place in the historic hotel. The aim of this experience is to combine gastronomy and theatre at the highest level, explains director Florian Krumbock. The menu sequence comes from the original cookbook by hotelier Clara Panhans, from a time when Austria-Hungary was still a world power.

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Jürgen Steinbrecher was tasked with preparing a 5-course experience for the visitors. The cooking text for this was provided by long-time Panhans director and author Eduard Abraham, who, based on the original recipes from Clara Panhans' cookbook, created a menu that is no longer common today: with appetizers from Ruthenia, pike perch in black sauce or “Pom surprise”. For lovers, Steinbrecher explains, there is the old Viennese snail soup to choose from. The menu is served to guests in the private Panhans room, which has been renovated in a feudal style.

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Visitors are treated to a scene fit for the stage. Actress Marie-Therese Müller not only plays Clara Panhans. She also plays a number of other famous women such as actress Lena Loos, Schnitzler's friend Olga Weissnieks and school curator Eugenie Schwarzwald. The play was written by director Beth Thalberg.

During the rehearsal dinner in Steinbrecher's wine workshop in Ternitz, Florian Krumbock and the famous guests were able to enjoy the menu for the first time.