The Top Ten Best New Restaurants: No. 3, January 2013
Austrian culture isn't known for stinting; it's a realm in which gilt-embellished ballrooms are endlessly invoked and matters can quickly go from waltz to schmaltz. Not at BierBeisl. Sporting taps of Steigl beer and bare wood tables, the airy Beverly Hills cubbyhole is where Bernhard Mairinger tosses sentimentality aside and walks the Ringstrasse of Viennese tradition. Sure, there are schnitzels—damn fine ones, with helpings of mustardy fingerlings. But the 28-year-old is more interested in using a modern vocabulary to honor the singularity of his homeland's cuisine. An herb-intensive salad takes on unexpected boldness when sharpened with Grüner Veltliner vinegar. Poached in milk, then dressed with ribbons of onion and a dusting of nutmeg, the weisswurst are as subtle and complex as they are comforting. Even the touristy Sacher torte, with its cloud of preserved apricots, is more about ingredients than any grand heritage.