We all know how many traditional Austrian Gasthaus’s there are in Vorarlberg, at least one in every village, and so what makes one stand out from the rest and make it that little bit special? Well whether you are looking for traditional, or something that little bit different I reccommend Gasthaus Käth’r in Hard.
On an extremely hot Summer’s evening what could be better than sitting outside in a nice “gastgarten” enjoying a good meal and a few drinks? That is exactly what we did recently, especially knowing that such beautiful evenings can be few and far between.
It was a Saturday night and we had reserved a table, which was fortunate as the restaurants garden was packed, but what a beautiful garden it is. Huge white sun umbrellas cover a lot of the tables, meaning you are protected from all of the elements, yet it is still lovely and light. With white table clothes and stylish napkins donning the tables, the place has a casual elegance to it, however the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. A variety of normal dining tables, high bar tables and some more casual sofa seating make this the perfect setting for all occasions.
As we settled in, I did the mandatory sweep of the surrounding tables to spy on what they have ordered to get a feel of what is good. The menu is quite generous and seperated into the different types of dishes, i.e beef, fish, pork, vegetarian etc, making it very easy to read, however making the choice not so easy. They offer seasonal produce as well as on the standard menu the option of dishes such as venison and lamb. They keep your traditionalists happy with schnitzel and zwiebelrostbraten, but also allows those who want to try something a bit different plenty to choose from.
I managed to narrow my choice down to four different dishes, (two fish/seafood, the lamb and the venison) and was still unsure when the waiter came to take our order.
Due to the heat I opted for the salad with prawns and scallops, pine nuts and figs, with Roger choosing the lamb, and so I was secreting hoping I didn’t get food envy when his arrived. Luckily my salad looked and tasted amazing. This was fresh, full of flavour and the mix of salad and vegetables was perfect. I did managed a sneaky taste of Rogers lamb, which was really well cooked in a beautiful sauce, and both mains were just the right size i.e we were not too full that we couldn’t take a quick look at the desserts. Just so I could let you know what they have on offer of course.
Now when at first glance I saw lasagne written down on the dessert menu I did think maybe there was a translation problem, however after further investigation this was a layered white and dark chocolate mousse lasagne (need I say more). This was quite large and so would be perfect to share. Homemade ice cream (especially heisse liebe) was a popular choice that evening for our fellow diners, however when there is a creme brulee on the menu I can’t pass it up, and Roger went for the marillenknödel. So maybe not just browsing then.
As the saying goes we eat with our eyes and I love attention to detail and the presentation of food in restaurants and I loved the stylish dishware that they used here. Most of the mains were served on long thin white rectangle plates, with my dessert served on a slate tile which got me excited before I had even tasted the food (I’m easily pleased I know). Roger did not really share my excitment by pointing out that if I wanted to get some to use at home he would just get the ladder out and go on the roof. However both desserts finished off the meal really well, although the creme brulee did defeat me, but I’m glad I took on the challenge.
Even though the restaurant was completely full and they were all obviously very busy, the service was efficient and friendly and they were more than happy for you to take your time over the meal. Prices are reasonable, especially given the quality of the food, the service and the surroundings.
Just beware that they only have a small car park directly next to the restaurant, however there is a lot of free parking in the vicinity only a short walk away.