Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - If you haven't tried Kaiser Maximilian yet, now is the best time to do so. This month, they are celebrating 16 years of bistro-style dining in Old Town Puerto Vallarta, so in addition to participating in Vallarta Restaurant Week, they'll be serving their special three-course dinner for just $299 peso through June 15th.
Since 1995, chef/owner Andreas Rupprechter and Chef Carlos Palomera have served 5 Star Diamond award European and Austrian cuisine in a lovely air conditioned dining room. Dark wood mirrored columns with black chairs are brightened by white cloths, place settings and tiled floor. The half circle shaped windows allow Olas Altas viewing but retain an intimate feeling to the interior, while sidewalk tables offer a "very European" dining experience.
In conjunction with their anniversary, there is even more to choose from on Kaiser Maximilian's special menu.
After a round of drinks, the special menu was presented to the diners. They have veered away from the norm in that there were nine starter choices, followed by nine main courses and then many desserts options. All told, everyone was given choices from 30 offerings.
From the starters, chosen were:
Red Cabbage Soup: Puréed soup with a roasted duck crust and a soft potato dumpling. Dish was slightly sweet from the cabbage.
Ravioli with Fennel Filling: Housemade raviolis prepared al dente with a wild mushroom tarragon sauce. Delicate and delightful.
Onion Soup Gratinée: Thick, sweet moist slices of onion were cooked in broth with white wine, topped with toast softened by the moisture, not a crusty crouton, then finished with swirls of melted mild cheese, possibly Oaxacan.
Spinach Strudel: Finely chopped cooked spinach was seasoned and encrusted with housemade pastry. The Austrians have this flaky covering to near perfection. A toss of fine greens and tomatoes were alongside.
Entrées covered the landscape, tempting the guests with a myriad of choices:
Grilled Red Snapper (Huachinango) Fillet: The large portion of fish was laid on firm risotto, cauliflower florets, accented with finely puréed cauliflower, cream and smoked chiles, providing a slight kick to the dish.
Mahi Mahi Fillet: Fish was coated in a crisp crust, with sautéed garlic spinach, asparagus with a potato-leek accompaniment. A moist and succulent presentation.
Roast Leg of Veal: Very tender and large slice of meat laid atop glazed vegetables garnished with potato noodles - mashed potato rolled into a long pasta log - all coated with a divine mushroom cream sauce. Hearty yet elegant.
Combination: Sautéed Shrimp, Grilled Fish Fillet and Chicken Breast were served over a smoky Chipotle sauce and accompanied by a sweet red pepper stuffed with green rice. Wonderful combination of flavors and textures.
Rahmschnitzel: Sautéed pork loin scallops, fork tender, with housemade noodles in a creamy mushroom sauce.
A final surprise jumped off the festival menu. The dessert choice was any one from the a la carte menu:
Warm Pecan Chocolate Tart: Wonderfully rich in dense deep chocolate and generous with pecans, bourbon, vanilla ice cream.
Copa de Maximilian: Kahlua infused ice cream and fruit concoction with a peak of Chantilly cream, served in a tall clear glass displaying the layers.
Crêpes: Thin delicate crêpes were stuffed with peaches and served over a thin cream with cherry pieces.
Experienced Austrian chefs know how to prepare the finest pastry crusts and pastas - and at Kaiser Maximilian there is no doubt of the kitchen's expertise. Next door, Kaiser Maximilian also operates an Euro espresso café with outdoor seating from 8 am to 11 pm, featuring Chilaquiles, sandwiches, desserts and 20 specialty coffees employing their espresso machine.
Very important to note that Kaiser Maximilian is closed on Sundays - but they will be running their festival menu through June 15th, which extends this gourmet dining experience another two weeks. That allows time to come back a second time and order from this huge array of dinner items. Many patrons present expressed that desire.
Open Monday-Saturday from 8 am to 11 pm for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant & Cafe is located at Olas Altas #38B in the Zona Romántica of Puerto Vallarta. For reservations call (322) 223-0760 or visit KaiserMaximilian.com.
The author was supplied one choice in each of the 3 courses on the special Restaurant Week menu and this review is in no way connected to his independent restaurant guide, "Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Guide Beck's Best", where write-ups receive no compensation.
Restaurant Week continues through May 31st at some of the most recognized restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. For a list of participating restaurants and Restaurant Week 2011 reviews click HERE.