First appreciate the art, then enjoy an excellent meal – an incredibly popular combination in Vienna! The cafés and restaurants inside the capital’s museums are serving up some interesting surprises this year.
A new museum with its own restaurant opened its doors to visitors at the Baroque Augarten palace in Vienna's second district earlier this summer. Since June 2011 visitors to the headquarters of Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten have been treated to an unprecedented insight into the history of the company and the art of porcelain making. The building also contains a restaurant specializing in classic dishes with a contemporary twist. And it goes without saying that everything is served on Augarten porcelain. Inside, the new eatery successfully incorporates aspects of the Augarten palace, its Baroque formal gardens and porcelain in a concept drawn up by VERY Architects/Gregor Hoffelner in partnership with Sebastian Schmid.
The Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK) in Vienna's MuseumsQuartier (MQ) reopened in early September 2011 following significant building and remodeling work earlier in the year. Now called Hill mumok, the new-look coffee shop is located in a gallery above the shop and is also open outside museum opening hours. The cloakroom area and the lights at Hill mumok were created by Austrian artist Franz West, while the central wall of the café features a tapestry by US artist Cindy Sherman.
The MQ is also home to the Architekturzentrum Wien (AzW), whose restaurant was designed by French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal in 2001. For the interior, the AzW commissioned design talents including Turkish artist Asiye Kolbai-Kafalier, who came up with the stunning oriental tiling on the old vaulted ceiling. A short time ago the AzW café changed hands and is under new management. Now known as Corbaci, it serves fine, yet down-to-earth Austrian cuisine featuring seasonal organic ingredients.
There have also been a number of changes at the House of Music. Huth im Haus der Musik on the top floor of Vienna's leading sound museum offers the finest Austrian cuisine and specialties from the grill. A short time ago Viennese gourmet caterer and confectioner Gerstner launched an exclusive buffet dinner at the Leopold Museum in the MuseumsQuartier every Thursday from 6.30pm to 10 pm - the perfect blend of art and enjoyment as diners combine an evening meal with a visit to the Leopold collection to see works by leading Austrian artists from Schiele to Kokoschka.
Café-Restaurant décor, Obere Augartenstrasse 1, 1020 Vienna, www.decor-augarten.at
Porzellanmuseum im Augarten, Obere Augartenstrasse 1A, 1020 Vienna, www.augarten.at
Hill mumok, MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Museumsplatz 1, MQ, 1070 Vienna, www.mumok.at
Corbaci, AzW, Museumsplatz 1, MQ, 1070 Vienna, www.azw.at
Huth im Haus der Musik, Seilerstätte 30, 1010 Vienna, www.zum-huth.at