A legendary restaurant

The Schwarzwald Stube is without doubt Germany's most popular fine dining restaurant. Getting a table here is no mean feat, as it is booked out months in advance.

Unlike the somewhat peculiar policies of some American and British restaurants, you can book more than two months in advance, which makes it possible to visit the restaurant.

If you do visit it, you will have a beautiful view over the valley and the Black Forest in which the Traube Tonbach lies. The interior is on the very classical side, but since you are in the Black Forest, this kind of rustic charm with lots of wood makes sense. What is exemplary here is the service. Each member of the brigade knows exactly what they’re doing, is efficient and friendly.

When looking at the cooking of Harald Wohlfahrt, who is a bit of a celebrity in Germany, you will notice that it is classical. It’s food that features elements you haven’t seen in a long time in three-star restaurants, as Wohlfahrt’s style brings back to life traditional French haute cuisine. 

One thing he does quite frequently is serving a variation of a product. One of them features three oyster preparations, one being poached with yuzu and the two others served with truffles and caviar respectively. It are tasty dishes that are subtle and yet flavourful.

More regional is a venison from the Black Forest, served both roasted and braised. It is accompanied by a hearty cardamon jus, which features earthy flavours that go extremely well with the meat and traditional garnishes. This is refined game cooking that has a sense of place, and therefore is a pure delight.

One thing that has to be mentioned is the pastry section here, headed by Pierre Lingelser. He is without doubt one of the country’s best pastry chefs and does a terrific job. His arguably most famous creation is a cherry dessert, in which the pits of the fruits are taken out and replaced by a caramelised hazelnut. The cherries are then simply placed atop layers of pistachio, chocolate and cinnamon preparations, which give the dessert a more complex characteristic.

The Scharzwaldstube is a restaurant that belongs to another time. It’s décor, service and food seem to encapsulate the essence of what fine French cooking was a while back. Everything here is pretty much perfect, which as we all know, does not always leave a lasting impression on people. What you miss here is a little bit more excitement, or a truly phenomenal moment that you will never forget. Admittedly this restaurant does not want to change the world of cooking and caters for a public that is well over 50, so certain elements of the food here are understandable. That being said, if certain German publications see this as Germany’s finest restaurant, it is hard to see why. It is a very solid and good one, but not the country’s best.


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