My experience with fine dining in Venice and Vienna

a review by @AnthonyTravelPhotos

by Guest Writer
a table with a white tablecloth and chairs

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Michelin Star restaurants may not be on everyone’s to-do list when they travel, but I make it a point to save up and indulge in one of these restaurants if my travels take me to a city where one exists. Considering there are no 3 Star Michelin restaurants in all of Canada (at the time of writing this article) it is safe to say they are a niche dining experience. In 2022 there were only 137 restaurants that achieved this distinct dining honour globally. After my time at the Carnival in Venice I indulged in fine dining in Venice, and also in Vienna.

Fine Dining in Venice – Le Calandre

Le Calandre, a 3 Michelin Star restaurant and #10 on 2022’s list of the 50 Best restaurants in the world was on my radar as a destination around the Carnival festivities.

There are three menus to choose from at Le Calandre, the “classic menu”, the “max menu” and the “raf menu” the latter two that are more focused on the current season’s freshest produce. I went with the classic menu for my lunch. I was surprised that there was only one other table other than mine seated for lunch as these restaurants get booked up months in advance. The 8 course classic tasting menu , which is actually more like 16 courses once all the amuse bouches and other courses are added in , will set you back  €260. Set aside 3 hours minimum for the gastronomic experience. There is also wine pairing for an additional cost.

The scorched bone marrow with sea urchin, caviar and squid bruschetta and Murrina Cappuccino were two of my favourites and the presentation of these dishes were very unique and artistic compared to other dishes I have had before at Michelin rated restaurants. Here are some pictures from my meal;

a bone on a wooden board

Scorched bone marrow with sea urchin

a bowl of colorful liquid

Murrina Cappuccino

Fine dining in Venice

Beef tartare with caviar

a bowl of food on a table


a plate of food on a table

Venison with black truffle

There were also 4 amuse bouches to start with as well as freshly baked bread and butter. And the meal ended with three petite fours the last one which you literally lick off a light bulb, a unique way to end a fabulous meal.

Fine dining in Venice

Amuse bouche

a sand bulb on a table

Petite fours

By chance if you were still hungry after all the courses, or just wanted to try another dish, you had an option to get more courses for an additional fee.

Fine Dining in Vienna

After the Carnival in Venice, I went to Vienna for a few days to visit friends. Having already visited Vienna before and done all the major tourist sites, this visit was more to reconnect with friends and try a few restaurants , listen to an opera at the World famous Vienna Opera House and check out the Vienna bar scene.

Though if it is your first visit don’t forget to check out the Schönbrunn Palace, the Belvedere museum, visit Mozart’s memorial (given his face is EVERYWHERE in the city) and do a day trip to Salzburg for the Sound of Music tour, where you are taken to all the famous sites where the Oscar Winning movie was filmed.

To kick off my fine dining jaunt in Vienna, I visited Restaurant Amador (the country’s only 3 Michelin Star restaurant) whose tasting menu will set you back €315 and Steirereck (this year’s lucky #13 on the 50 Best list) whose 7 course menu costs €205.

Restaurant Amador, a 3-Stars Michelin restaurant

Amador offers a 17 course set menu broken into 5 parts – amuse bouche, tapas and snacks, Breads and butter, the mains consisting of lobster, scallops, pigeon and wagyu beef, and desert which was Chef Amador’s deconstructed Apple Strudel and Petite Fours to finish.

All four main courses were all delicious and I could not put one above another. The presentation a work of art. Here are some pictures from this epic meal;

Fine dining in Vienna

Iced Buerre Blanc-Caviar, and Oyster

a plate of food with chopsticks

Tuna and Wasabi

a plate of food on a table

Scallop and Artichoke

Fine dining in Vienna

Saurekraut – Pork Belly, and Walk in the forest

Fine dining in Vienna

Pigeon with Mango, in purple curry

a group of small desserts on a table

Petite four



Steirereck, while not a 3-Stars Michelin restaurant, has made it onto the 50 Best Restaurants in the World List for more than a dozen years now. It is currently a 2-Stars Michelin restaurant, and hopefully one day will join the rare club of achieving 3 stars. My 7 course lunch meal was more like 15 courses after the amuse bouches , petite fours and breads were included. I went with their lunch tasting menu where guests had to choose from two dishes from each of the 7 courses.

I went with the Tiger Trout, Puntarella with Hazelnut, Smoked Eel, Piglet’s Tail, Fawn, Iced Sheep & Goat’s Milk yogurt and Bitter Orange & Chocolate. There are also over 20 selections of bread and even of you aren’t a lover of carbs you can’t help but want to try a few different selections, including one aptly named “bacon bread”, which as you can guess, tasted like bacon ( I had a double serving of that one) 🙂

a group of small food on a table

Amouse bouche

a plate of food in a white bowl

Tiger trout

Fine dining in Vienna

Smoked Eel

a plate of food with green leaves


Fine dining in Vienna

Piglets tail with swiss chard

a plate of food on a table


a plate of food on a table

Iced Sheep and Goat milk yogurt

Fine dining in Vienna

Petit fours

Outside of the food the other two standouts were our actual table we dined at, that also had a side table that tucked into our main table and this was where the servers kept the plates and utensils for each course as well as meal cards which they placed on the table with each course which detailed what is in each course.  Having dined at many fine dining establishments this added touch was different from other meals where the main menu is placed on your table to see what each course is. These meal cards at Steirereck, which guests get to take home as a souvenir of their dining experience was an added to this tasting menu experience which I appreciated.

Fine dining in Vienna

Steirereck lunch table

Take Away – Fine dining in Venice and Vienna

The World’s 50 Best restaurant list is very subjective list and I am sure many readers would agree and disagree with many of the selections that make it on the list each year. Case in point, Amador in Vienna despite bring a 3 Michelin Starred restaurant did not even make 2022’s 50 best list but does that mean it’s not a dining experience you should make a reservation for? Definitely not, and as the saying goes “you do you” and decide on where you want to dine based on your personal preference and tastes.

In my travels when I look for a unique dining experience I’ll turn to this list for suggestions and ideas as well as the Michelin Guide to see the newest list of 3 star restaurants, and based on cost, location, menu, and whether I can squeeze it into my plans. And “unique” does not always mean fancy. I have dined at “mom & pop” restaurants and have had just as wonderful an experience as eating at a fine dining location.

What lists do you look to for dining ideas during your travels ? Please share with a comment below, and bon appetite 🙂


HNY March 13, 2023 - 7:57 am Reply
Tony March 13, 2023 - 10:44 pm

Thank you for the comment HNY.
My typo on the Restaurant. I forgot a very important word….
I meant to write: “ST, while not a three Michelin Starred restaurant,…”
Requested an edit to the article to clarify this point. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated : )

jsm March 12, 2023 - 11:59 pm

I’m a little lost in reading the Viennese portion of this review. No one knows where Mozart’s grave is. He was buried in St. Marx’ cemetery but the exact location is unknown. There is a Mozart memorial there as well as in Section 32A of the Central Cemetery but neither mark’s his grave. Also, the Sound of Music was not filmed in Vienna but in Salzburg.

paket wisata raja ampat March 12, 2023 - 11:06 pm

informasi di web ini sangat lah membantu saya dan orang lain jadi semangat terus

Tony March 13, 2023 - 10:38 pm

Thanks for the comments JSM….

Mozart’s “memorial” at the St Marx Cemetery was what I meant.
Yes, the movie was filmed in Salzburg, though there are popular day trips to the city you can take from Vienna. Again my apologies for not clarifying that .
Will request an edit to the article to those two points to clarify that. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated : )

Harrison Carvalho March 12, 2023 - 8:22 pm

Steirereck has two Michelin stars not 0

There is no Mozart grave. There is a Mozart memorial in the Central Cemetery

Tony March 13, 2023 - 10:35 pm

Thanks for the comments HARRISON CARVALHO….

Mozart’s “memorial” at the St Mark’s Cemetery was what I meant.

And my typo on the Restaurant. I forgot a very important word….
I meant to write: “ST, while not a three Michelin Starred restaurant,…”

Will request an edit to the article to clarify these two points. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated !!

I had an interesting conversation with our server about this and how I was surprised the restaurant has still not been awarded a 3rd star rating considering how memorable the dining experience was. May have to wait another year… they still are at 2 stars… though still worthy of 3 in my opinion 🙂
It was definitely my personal favorite of the two restaurants I went to in Vienna… but again happy to disagree with anyone on this point.


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