In the tranquil cobblestone courtyard of Heiligenkreuzerhof, fabled as the oldest and the most beautiful in Vienna, you don’t expect to find a gem of a designer restaurant. Hollmann Salon is the most enviably located al fresco dining spot in the 1st district and the restaurant itself is styled in detail, right down to the waitresses’ black dresses with unusual white pinafores. The interior is an ensemble of natural, linear and historical elements. Freeform metal chandeliers hang from old vaulted ceilings; the linen table runners and cowhide rug harmonize with the stainless steel Bulthaupt open kitchen.
The assertive use of fresh herbs characterizes the dishes. Try the bell pepper cream soup served with rosemary eggs and salmon caviar followed by thyme panna cotta with strawberry strudel. The food may or may not leave a mark in your culinary memory but the beauty of the Heilgenkreuzerhof is hard to forget.