I was dead on my feet on Wednesday night following a fairly hideous few days at work accompanied by crippling back pain, thanks to now being nearly five months pregnant (hence the lack of activity on the blog of late: it’s taken me this long to actually want to eat). All I wanted to do was go home and pass out, but when B suggested stopping for a bite to eat on the way home so that neither of us had to cook, I couldn’t really think of any reason why not. It’s at times like this when a really good local hangout really is the business. We already have one, a very good one indeed, but sometimes it’s good to break a habit. And so on this occasion, we stopped at Amadeus instead.
Although we’ve very rarely done it, once Spring has sprung, it’s hard not to want to sit down in the leafy garden of this perfectly-positioned local bar/restaurant perched on the corner of Walluferplatz in Wiesbaden’s Rheingauviertel, a quiet, friendly residential area a 15 minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof. Though the seating outside is incredibly uncomfortable (at least for a lady in my condition) and you do have to position yourself carefully if you want to avoid the cigarette smoke – there’s an ashtray on every table – there are huge red umbrellas to protect you from any unexpected Spring drizzle and with relaxed, happy folk at just about every table, the clean and tidy outside space has a pretty lively, welcoming atmosphere.
To be honest, I wouldn’t have gone inside Amadeus anyway – I’ve done that once before and seriously regretted it: it’s all Wiesbaden modern chic with lots of tall red leather stools and a tv on the wall with a roaring log fire screensaver on it. Which is basically my idea of interior decor hell. The only time I have sat inside, I spent most of my one large drink mourning the fact that the place would be, in fact, the perfect dimensions – and in the perfect spot – for a the perfect British gastropub. Ah well, a girl can dream.
Anyhow, outside, Amadeus is excellent for people-watching, popular as it is with young, affluent couples; older, affluent chic-hip types (by which I mean chaps with flowing, coiffured grey hair, Converse trainers and jumpers casually flung over their shoulders) and groups of friends enjoying after-work drinks. On this occasion there was also a group of young mums, eyes wide-eyed with excitement, their kids presumably at home with their dads for the first time (possibly ever judging by their expressions) on the eve of Fathers’ Day, as is apparently the thing here, since on Fathers’ day, German dad-folk traditionally equip themselves with lots of beer and a comedy way of transporting it and spend the whole day getting trashed.
The kitchen at Amadeus offers a varied but not particularly inspiring menu, plus a lengthy and much more interesting list of specials on the blackboard outside the front door. On this occasion it suggested variations of a theme of fish, pasta and the first of the season’s Spargel. Service was quick and friendly; the beer was cold and fresh (Licher Pils from tap, 3,40€ for 0.5l) and the Apfelschorle standard (3,40€ for 0.4l); and the food wasn’t bad at all. My generous portion of turkey and vegetable curry (above, 12,80€) had the pleasing earthy hint of a decent curry powder, which led me to believe that the sauce hadn’t come directly out of a bottle; and B’s Wiener Schnitzel (below), though rather strangely served in three small strips, came with a good pile of fried potatoes and was good value for its size at 13,80€. Both dishes were accompanied by an enormous (and in my case totally unnecessary) side salad drenched in that ubiquitous balsamic cream dressing. My favourite part of my plate, however, was the delightful rice boob: you don’t dress up a mound of rice like that and send it out of the kitchen without a knowing giggle, do you?
So, the atmosphere in the beer garden at Amadeus is relaxed and friendly and if my chair hadn’t been as comfortable as perching on a pointed steel rod, we’d probably have stayed a bit longer. The food’s not tremendously exciting but it’s tasty and good value; and though I can’t say I’d recommend going out of your way to go out to eat there, it’s certainly not a bad spot to enjoy some late afternoon sunshine on your way home after a day at the office. Or for that matter, for a late evening nightcap after some food out elsewhere, since it’s open till 1am. But like I said, we’ve already got our favourite local – and I can’t see Amadeus replacing it anytime soon.
Website: Amadeus (German only)
Address: Rauenthalerstraße 24, 65197 Wiesbaden