In this week’s review, Pete Wells of the Times visits Wallsé, a 17-year-old West Village Austrian restaurant that he says has maintained a level of “Old World charm and grown-up civility” that newer restaurants lack.
The upscale restaurant from chef/owner Kurt Gutenbrunner maintains a similar look of white tablecloths and black chairs, and most of the food pleasingly remains on point too, Wells finds — including the veal schnitzel:
I wanted to be able to slice it with the side of a fork and hear it crackle. I wanted it with sweet, cool sliced cucumbers, a fingerling potato salad and lingonberries. And that is what I got.
Another pressing issue: Was quark spaetzle with braised rabbit still on the menu? It was. Would this warm bowl of buttered noodles, in irregular curves and swoops like some secret alphabet, still make me glad I’d walked this far west facing a chilly wind off the river? It did.
The goulash was not the home-style stew I had pictured — it was made from short ribs braised separately before being introduced to a paprika-onion sauce — but it was delicious.
Some dishes needed a little work, like a goulash, apple strudel, and some savory crepes called palatschinken, but Wells found that the longtime West Village restaurant probably wouldn’t require much adjustment to get those flaws back in line. One star.