Standing outside the front door of Affare on Main St. in the Crossroads District you would never expect what lies within. The restaurant itself is quite large, but part of the massive room is given over to a lounge and bar for those who only want a drink or bite to eat. The latter proposition is an easy one; the menu is comprised of small plates organized by the source of the ingredients–In the Garden, Under Water and In the Barn.
Chef/owner Martin Heuser and his wife Katrin bill their cuisine as “Modern German”. While there is the obligatory schnitzel and spatzle, most of the menu reads more Continental…and no matter what you order, bring your camera. Each dish is a work of art on a plate.
Pretzel roll lovers will be delighted to see that a basket of them (courtesy of Farm To Market) comes to the table along with a bowl of spiced olives to whet your appetite. After that, it’s best to either rely on your server or ask a lot of questions since the menu needs deciphering. Our server was more than happy to assist and did a beautiful job of helping our table construct a balanced meal by choosing from each of the categories.
Pretzelknödel served with chanterelle mushrooms and brandy-cream sauce sounded rich when our server described it, and though that proved to be the case, it was so much better than a savory bread pudding would suggest, especially if you’re a mushroom lover.
Standouts on various visits included mushroom soup, a beautiful elk chop, a bison short rib, and baked quail, wrapped in cabbage with almonds, cranberries, cassis jus, and celeriac puree. The lemon risotto that accompanied the seasonal seafood didn’t have much oomph, but the fish was delightful.
In addition to the main dining room, there’s a private dining space, as well as a long picnic table in the outside courtyard for special events.
My favorite area of town to dine just got a bit sweeter.