As dashed-off as Blaue Gans may be, it perfectly suits a certain casual mood and a certain basic appetite, proving that a restaurant needn't be tremendously significant to be significantly appealing. - Frank Bruni
I miss Le Zinc!' seems to be the most common pronouncement upon entering Blaue Gans, the prolific restaurateur Kurt Gutenbrunner's latest spot. But operating under the spectre of a dearly departed bistro doesn't seem to bother Gutenbrunner. - Andrea Thompson
Un Du Meilleur Steak Tartare dans NYC!
Although the restaurant's fare is Austrian/German food, who said that Steak Tartare is exclusively French? We had one of the best classic Steak Tartare dishes we have experienced in our years of ordering it in NYC. Admittedly, we requested that the dish come already prepared (some of us are not so skillful in the preparation department), and learned that this was not a normal request for the restaurant. However, the chef gladly complied and the dish was just simply delicious! It was a nice size (for an appetizer) and therefore quite filling. For my main entree, I had the Golden Fried Free Range Chicken And Potato - Me Salad. Honestly, I found the fried chicken of Blaue Gans much better than that of many southern places that claim to have this mouth watering dish. Who said that fried chicken is exclusively southern? The potato salad was quite good and "German-like" and could not be finished due to the wonderful appetizer! My dinner companion had the Venison she thought was quite good except the spaetzle. She, being reared in the southwestern part of Germany, was intrigued by its shape, but found that they were completely overcooked and had become mush. Also, she took it for granted that lingonberry sauce or preserves would come with the venison. It didn't even occur to her to ask for them because they always have accompanied venison, whenever she has ordered it in Germany and Austria. For dessert, we shared the One-Bite Chocolate Lollipops with Vanilla Milk Shake. The lollipops were unique, fun, and very very good! On the other hand, the vanilla shake is something that MUST (not should) be rethought. UGHH!!! Chilled, slightly vanilla-flavored cold milk! Where is the milkshake in that? Gooey, ice-creamy, decadent? I was rather surprised by the decor. I suppose I envisioned something a bit more plush and Austria-related rather than a generic student bar look. The bar is nice but to me was very gloomy. The bathrooms are very clean and well-appointed. At times, it became a bit too noisy, and one can tell that the decibel level is dependent upon whoever is managing the volume knob (which might be more than one person.) As for the service, I think it depends upon who you get. Our waitress seemed to be very busy, but the waiter who stepped in around dessert time managed to dissuade our frustrations somewhat. The hostess was very welcoming and we were thanked by as many as six people as we left. Now, that's a real nice touch!
Blaue Gans provides a consistent and quality meal with Austrian- and German-influenced food. The tap beers are fantastic, but somewhat limited in selection. The schnitzel sandwich is a great and their lingonberry compote tasty. Desert pastries are fresh and light and their soups are generally filling.
The environment is very spacious and a great setting for any lunch meeting or romantic dinner. The walls are papered with old and new posters alike of quality art, jazz and movies. It adds a nice touch, as does the sloped ceiling and simply designed chandeliers.
Overall I really like the place and it's consistency.