Private Dining in Vienna. Whenever a Viennese friend invites me, I get easy private dining. But where can you go private when you travel to Vienna?
Asta is a private dining host. The blond 30 something and her cat Hase (rabbit) live in Vienna’s trendy urban neighbourhood Neubau. I am as hungry for her Viennese cuisine as I am for (re) experiencing my homecity’s private living: generous yet laid back, traditional and a bit quirky, imperfectly perfect. Asta lives in a charming townhouse from 1890. The wooden doors in the stairwell boast delicate decorations of etched glass, similar to those I found at Sigmund Freud’s house.
Private Dining in Vienna. Shunning the elevator I climb up the old spiral staircase to the fourth floor. Asta has invited her friend Bianca along – “the more the merrier”. Over a glass of sparkling wine we sink into Asta’s lounge chairs, surrounded by a cosy collection of vintage finds, a piano, artwork and loads of books.
Asta is an art historian and interior designer, AirBnB host and owner of a chunky wooden dinner table. “When I moved here with that enormous table I thought it needed a proper reason to exist. I’ve always loved hosting people and started to arrange social dinners for my local friends and their friends.” Since then, the table has been well occupied. It helps that Asta is a great cook of Austrian, Czech and Italian cuisine. That day, we get Austrian food at its best.
I follow Asta as she finishes off our Griessnockerlsuppe (bouillon with semolina dumplings). The small vintage kitchen bursts with things that remind me of my Viennese grandma, from the gugelhupf baking tin and the pastel coloured Lilienfeld porcelain to her very Griessnockerl. The tiled floor must be original.
Private Dining in Vienna. We talk about everything, from a really useful health app and neighbourhood living in Neubau to Asta’s amazing vintage collection, old Viennese radio programmes, Austrian food and local and international politics. Viennese are straightforward in sharing their opinions and enjoy if you do the same. Sometimes we are a little headstrong but love to have a good laugh.
Hase keeps meowing while we delve into good old Tafelspitz topped with homemade chive sauce, and grated apple and horseradish. The boiled beef is soft, and the perfect base to taste the aromatic sides. My favourites are the golden brown Erdäpfelpuffer (potato roestis) with their crispy crusts and soft interiors. If I had been Vegetarian the menu would have looked different. The Austrian white wine is excellent. Asta has more supplies in store but I am full, with just enough space for what’s to come.
Bianca has taken care of the dessert: Following a recent patisserie workshop she has materialised her new skills in the shape of Viennese Cremeschnitten: each tart holds a fluffy cream between two crispy millefeuilles. I leaf through Asta’s guest book from her recent local social dinners: Lovely praise and a few photos of a relaxed bunch of people eating and chatting around our dinner table. I add my own two cents, and promise to send a few photos of our evening along.
Private Dining In Vienna: How To Book
If you want to dine at Asta’s place or at another private dining host in Vienna you can book here.
Some hosts, like Asta, are also happy for you to join in the cooking. You can indicate any diet preferences and will receive directions and instructions how to get there. If you have any further questions upfront you can contact Asta through the booking page.
Note: I was invited by the host’s private dining network. All opinions expressed are explicitly my own.