However, you should get away from the touristy corners around the Frauenkirche and the Semper Opera House a little bit, so my advice: A side trip to the villa district located on the other side of the Elbe is definitely recommended. Not only because it shows another, very beautiful side of Dresden, but also because really great things are being created here.
So I feel, after about 500km journey in the bean&beluga (* Michelin star, 17 points in Gault Millau) with a glass of champagne, an extensive wine list lovingly compiled by sommelier Shahzad Talukder and the two-part menu (optionally with or without meat, each between 5 and 8 courses) arrived exactly at the right spot. And also at the right time, because exactly on this evening the restaurant opened its doors again after the winter break.
Whereby the term restaurant does not really fit what is offered in this wonderful villa. Chef and entrepreneur Stefan Hermann has divided the spacious building into four zones: A small but fine delicatessen, where many homemade products can be found, a cooking school, the wine bar located on the ground floor and the gourmet restaurant on the second floor. But this is only part of Stefan Herrmann’s culinary cosmos. Because beyond that the beer garden white deer, the restaurant William in the Dresden playhouse, the romantic hotel mansion worry-free as well as its own conditions on the Dresden Striezelmarkt belong to the enterprise. The group is also responsible for catering at the Semper Opera House and the Schauspielhaus.
Before dinner, I had the opportunity to talk at length with Marcus Langer. For a few months now, he has been strengthening the culinary team at bean&beluga as head chef. Previously, he cooked together with Nils Henkel at the Schlosshotel Lerbach in Bergisch Gladbach and thus complements the direction Stefan Hermann has taken here wonderfully with his very product-oriented and detail-oriented style. The name here is also concept. From the bean to the caviar, the best products are on the menu, whether “simple” bean or “noble” caviar. Mostly sourced from the immediate vicinity.
Full of confidence, I place myself in the hands of Marcus Langer and Shahzad Talukder and let the gentlemen decide on the direction the evening will take. At least as far as the choice and composition of the menu and drinks are concerned. A wise decision, as it turned out…
The prelude is a few small greetings from the open and directly next to the very cozy dining room located kitchen.
A fabulous start to the menu. The dishes are clearly structured, the components well chosen and combined. The combination of foie gras with the candied, actually still unripe walnut fits amazingly well, some rehydrated grapes still contribute a slight, very delicate acidity. Perfectly chosen to accompany the Vin Doux Naturel from Giocanti.
With the Jaokbs mussel in various textures, Jerusalem artichoke, sunflower seeds and truffle follows directly another very strong course. A wonderful compilation with many small interesting aspects and elements. Only the rather cold liquid parsley filling that was hidden in the topinambur ball under roasted chips of Jerusalem artichoke, distracted me somewhat from the actual straightforwardness of the dish – but that is certainly a matter of taste. The craftsmanship is of course wonderfully solved. Shahzad Talukder served a sensational, extremely powerful and intense 1993 Riesling with it. It can go on like this, please.
One or the other additional course from the vegetarian menu I had wished for. And with the combination of celery, gnocchi and leeks, among others, this wish came true. The dish turns out to be more complex than the list of products would suggest. Because the leeks were combined not only fresh, but also in a fermented version. To accompany classic gnocchi and gnocchi of celery. A very fine and light course – though I could have done without the fried element here, as I did with the cauliflower “Polish” before. It adds another texture, of course, and is a wonderful visual fit, but taste-wise it falls slightly short of the other elements on both plates.
Another highlight followed directly in the form of skrei and crabs. Once again, the complexity in the details was evident on this plate. The fish is of impeccable quality and perfectly cooked. The crab not only tops the cod, but underpins it, not only proverbially, but in the form of a hearty crab blini on which the fish rests encased in an excellent crustacean stock. Paying homage to the light Asian touches of the plate, it was accompanied by a Nanbu Bijin sake. Great!
We continue again with a course from the vegetarian menu. And my lack of understanding grows as to why so many sophisticated restaurants don’t follow this path with similar consistency. A way that allows vegetarian dishes to have depth of flavor and textural variety, conjuring up great excitement on the plate. The pumpkin on unbaked(!) sourdough is wonderful. Many different textures, the kitchen craftsmanship and an intense freshness show what can be teased out of supposedly simple products – because actually this course is even served with beets instead of pumpkin.
It becomes stronger. First in the glass, where a Brewdog Hardcore IPA already announces a supposedly equally intense counterpart. With after all 150 bitter units (classic Pils brings it to a value around 30) and 9.2% alcohol, it needs a strong partner. Together with pork belly and eel and the puffed crust and meringue of beet it makes a good figure. Thanks to the high hop content, it doesn’t make the aisle seem as heavy as one might first assume. This is certainly helped by the light broth with tapioca, which was fortunately combined instead of a heavy and strong sauce.
In the second meat course, Marcus Langer serves a classic of French cuisine: an etouffée pigeon with sauce rouennaise. The breast is excellently cooked and wonderfully juicy. Not without reason, Etouffée is also called the blood pigeon. The latter, in turn, is also an integral part of the elaborate Rouennais sauce. Together with the other products on the plate, a coherent ensemble comes together and at the same time heralds the conceptual final chords, of the rather light and fresh menu up to this point. Of course, the pigeon is clearly the focus here, but again the combination of accompanying vegetables is very well chosen.
After a small pre-dessert, which again quotes the protagonists of the vegetable course with the use of pumpkin seeds, the surprise egg follows. White chocolate filled with a jelly from the tangerine, spongecake and pistachios.
A worthy conclusion to a truly fabulous and extensive menu. Again very well chosen for dessert: a 2012 Gewürztraminer from Hubert Reyser.
The accompanying wines and drinks selected by Shahzad Talukder:
I was thrilled by the evening at bean&beluga. Significantly more than I had previously expected, I must confess. Contributing to this is the pleasantly relaxed atmosphere in the house, the sometimes unusual but always expertly selected drinks, but above all, of course, the cuisine of Stefan Hermann and Marcus Langer. This is great kitchen craftsmanship along the current zeitgeist but with its own signature. Great!
Opening hours restaurant bean&beluga
Tuesday till Saturday