Why go? A ravishingly beautiful location, fabulous wines and the terroir-driven cooking of talented young chef Harald Irka are all good reasons in their own right. Put them together and you have a special restaurant.
What's on the menu? Irka has a minimalist style that owes much to the New Nordic movement. Three or four key ingredients are combined on a plate to showcase the flavours of super-fresh, locally sourced produce; think a parcel of pike-perch wrapped in a charred cabbage or a delicate assembly of crayfish with buttermilk and pea purée.
The wines: Named one of the top 100 wineries in the world by Wines & Spirits Magazine, Neumeister is located in the Styria region of south-east Austria. Warm days and cool nights provide the perfect conditions for producing a range of single varietal wines including sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer and muscat, plus interesting indigenous grape varieties.
A little history: The Neumeister family have run the vineyard since 1969, opening the restaurant in its new winery in 2000. Irka joined in 2010, fresh from catering college at the tender age of 19, and was made head chef just two years later.
Images: Lukas Kirchgasser (portrait); Neumeister (exterior)
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