Having recently researched the fine dining options in Nuremberg and dismissed the two-starred Essigbrätlein because of too many negative reviews, the lack of website and online booking facilities, I decided I wanted to give Aumer’s La Vie a try as the reviews were good, they had recently received their first Michelin star and their menu looked interesting. One downside was that the restaurant is open for lunch only on Saturdays so I adjusted my travel plans accordingly.
La Vie is conveniently located opposite the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, a few minutes walk from the U-Bahn stop Opernhaus and even walking from the main station won’t take longer than 15 minutes or so.
When I arrived at 1, the restaurant was not busy, there was only one couple sitting at a table by the window and I was shown to another of a total of three window tables. The rest of the tables are in the back of the dining room with space for about 30 covers.
The menu options were a four-course and a six-course menu as well as a la carte. While the longer menu was tempting I wasn’t quite sure of the time it would take so I opted for the four courses which turned out to be an excellent choice.
First was the bread which overall was the only disappointing item as it was neither warm nor particularly fresh. This was served with soft butter, a little bowl of sea salt flakes and a small bottle of peppery olive oil.
The first amuse of marinaded tuna with yuzu and cucumber was served by one of the chefs. This was interesting and fresh and much more exciting than the bread so already breaking the rule that the bread is an indication of the quality of the rest of the meal.
The second amuse, served by another chef (two of them would alternate throughout the meal), was a duo of duck, a superbly cooked piece of liver and a slice of tender ham (cured and smoked breast).
The first proper course was a nice piece of fried veal sweetbread, served with roasted Jerusalem artichokes, braised onion and, a first for me, rose hip (gel and leather). The tangy rose hip contrasted really well with the meat and the artichokes provided earthy crunch.
The fish course was a piece of soft ray wing with celeriac, mustard seed and cabbage in a dashi broth, again with perfectly harmonising flavours and contrasting textures and fun to eat. Of the deeply flavoured broth I could happily have eaten a whole bowl full. Simply excellent.
The previous courses had already been excellent but the main cranked up the quality and enjoyment by another notch. Venison is one of my favourite types of meat anyway and this saddle of roe deer was a superb example. Cooked medium rare with a nice crust, it was a delight to eat. On a side was a forest of sculpted carrots with wild mushrooms and herbs, equally deeply flavoured and a perfect accompaniment.
The dessert was quince in various forms, a sponge similar to rum baba but flavoured with whisky and crushed and pureed hazelnut. After the strong flavours of the main this was almost a bit boring but the quince was tart and the baba not too sweet so it worked well.
After a rather rich meal I fancied a coffee and I am glad I had one as the petit fours that came with it were a delight. On a piece of would were a quenelle of meringue filled with liquid almond, a jelly with chocolate flakes, a candied apple and a ginger snap shard. Brilliant and fun.
With a half litre bottle of water, a glass of wine with the main and the coffee, my bill came to €87.50 so about £73 at the current exchange rate. For Nuremberg, this is quite pricey but adequate for the quality of the offering. I am highly tempted to go again in summer, provided I can plan my holidays accordingly.