Looking for a place for your next date? For your next dinner to impress? Well, we’ve found you Philigrano in Vienna’s first district.
Have you noticed how when you’re walking a city, some street side restaurants stop you right in your tracks in think – ‘I want to sit there’? Nuzzled in one of the quieter streets of Vienna’s first district is one of those restaurants – Philigrano.
It lures you right in to check out the menu or maybe just to stop and stare at the pretty little details outside – simple whitewashed walls lined with spring blooms and old fashioned wall lamps; colourful, handwritten blackboards displaying the chef’s recommendations; and most importantly, the lovely schanigarten.
If not anything else, step right in for that basket of bread that comes with an orange oil that makes you want to dunk your face in it…
Philigrano is run by a chef who’s past professional life was lived as a chef at the famed and fancy Italian restaurant, Fabios.
Stepping in, we’re welcomed by Andrea and Philipp Meindl, the friendly, Bavarian-Viennese duo that runs the show.
Something else that welcomes us is the aroma of fresh homemade bread wafting out of the kitchen.
A quick look around showed off decor that was warm and homey with a hint of modern and understated. Fuss-free yet comfortable furniture, wooden and mirror accents, candles giving the whole scene a beautiful, golden hue.
We’re seated in the Schanigarten (just as we had secretly hoped). Ding, ding! Time for drinks!
When here, do yourself a favour and order their Bellini Prosecco – a special homemade peach mousse topped with a dash of lime and topped with chilled Prosecco. Yum-o!
They also have a nice, long curated wine list. After you’re done with your Bellini Prosecco, ask for it.
And while you’re at it, ask for the amuse-bouche. It’s a shot of truffle and cauliflower soup, spiced with wild herbs and topped with quinoa pops.
While you’re cleaning up that perfect mouthful of amuse-bouche (guaranteed to disappear faster than a shot of tequila at 2AM on a Friday night) your basket of homemade bread will arrive. If you ask us, Philigrano warrants a visit even if it’s just for the sidekicks that accompany the bread – Orange oil, barbecue pesto butter and a little glass jar of garlic salt – a combination that is not only served in generous portions, but also something you’re going find inordinately difficult to keep from violating one of the first rules of dining out – ‘don’t fill up on the bread.’
Did you know fancy looking food can taste incredibly hearty too? We didn’t.
When Philipp and Andrea set out on the journey that is Philigrano in October 2017, they were a two member army with nothing but a passion for great cuisine.
We ask how they gained the focus and courage that running a restaurant demands.
“It was the training Philipp received during the years spent in Fabios coupled with the discipline he learnt during the time he spent in the Austrian military”, Andrea gushes over her husband (if our partner could cook like him, we’d gush too!).
Together, they take you through a culinary experience that is not only innovative (think veal slices in a gorgeous tuna sauce and topped with some crispy fried caper flowers to give texture and that extra crunch with every bite) but is also served up in generous and hearty serves.
Local, seasonal produce is what makes the menu
Ah, the mains! We go for the chef’s seasonal recommendation for the day (and we would recommend you do this, too).
At the table arrives a portion of beautifully plated Austrian snail and ricotta ravioli, topped with a light foam made of Riesling from their family’s wine produced at their vineyard near Baden. This comes with a portion of pan-fried Austrian Char fillet, served with a delicious wild garlic risotto.
The fact that we polished both plates off in less than ten minutes flat – not even the greens were left behind and psst..we’re not even fans of greens – must count for something, right?
The menu has a list of food and drink, handcrafted with love. Some good options in there for vegetarians and vegans too.
It’s not your everyday Mediterranean affair
Philigrano is perfect for a date night, or an outing with old friends you’re looking to impress with your insider knowledge of the stellar restaurants around town.