Landhaus Bacher is a restaurant with annual growth rings such as you may find on a tree, a place of history, which also reflects the gastronomic history of Austria. Lisl Wagner’s father was the famous “blind landlord of Mautern,” a gastronomic magnet for many guests from the wider area. At that time, however, the range of dishes was not as colourful or high quality as it was when the very youthful Lisl took over the management of the kitchen. Fried chicken and roast pork were on the menu before, in the early 1980s, Lisl caused a sensation with raw goose liver with raspberry vinegar, nut oil and oak leaf salad or lobster soup, and attracted Viennese gourmets from the city to Mautern. It was only to be a few years before the Bacher, at that time still without "Landhaus", became one of the top addresses in the country.
Lisl Wagner-Bacher, also called "LWB" by her fans, was awarded the title "Chef of the Year" by Gault Millau. Thanks to Klaus Wagner’s passion for fine wines from Bordeaux and the Wachau, the wine cellar became one of the most famous in the country. The wine tastings at the Bachers were and still are legendary. They were meetings of affluent connoisseurs from home and abroad. The house has always been a family business, even the closest associates are now part of the family: Sommelier Andreas Rottensteiner and Maître Johanna Stiefelbauer. When it was time for the next generation, everything remained in the family as well. Daughter Susanne married Thomas Dorfer, who was already a great chef at the time and in 2005 achieved what was then the highest position for an Austrian at the Bocuse d’Or in France. Today, the Landhaus is a family business with a long tradition, a co-founder of the Austrian culinary phenomenon and at the same time one of the leading restaurants in the country.
Thomas Dorfer loves the classics. In his dishes, he discreetly mentions names such as Albufeira, Sauce Choron, Royale or Beurre Blanc; indeed they sometimes play a leading role. This chef knows all about sauces, and his work in this area goes into rich detail.
But does he represent the classics at the stove, always the same? Anyone who stops for a bite to eat at Landhaus Bacher will answer this question in the negative. Here you will find new ideas on the plate, with influences from Japan and South America. Yet they are not an end in themselves. Rather, they complement a cuisine whose style can be described as timeless. It is the seasonal product that takes centre stage. All ingredients that are used in the kitchen at Landhaus Bacher, whether fish, vegetables, poultry or meat, have one thing in common: they are always first class. Dorfer buys from the best suppliers, some have been associated with the business since the beginning, others have been added over time. The master chef can do nothing if regionalism is his guiding principle. While the deer may come from the Waldviertel and the pike from the Salzkammergut, sole and Norway lobster may also be brought in from the Atlantic. What counts is not the origin, but the quality and taste. It is cosmopolitan cuisine in the best sense of the word, which wants only the best.
Long before it became fashionable, one of the strengths of Landhaus Bacher was its vegetarian cuisine. A separate menu is devoted to vegetables. The fact is that a piece of cabbage can be prepared with the same meticulousness as duck liver terrine. Dorfer’s signature dishes are a new interpretation of the Austrian classics. His ravioli with boiled fillet, for example, is a classic in its own right. It has a permanent place on the menu next to Lisl Wagner-Bacher’s evergreen, baked egg with caviar. Both are creations with no expiry date.
Thomas Dorfer’s cuisine is not one of purism, but rather of a taste that one could describe as explosive. Every dish is an invitation to engage with the aromas and textures of the ingredients that together make up the flavour. It is not cuisine that provokes, there is nothing that separates, but rather much that blends together. If the guest at Landhaus Bacher is shocked, it is only because everything tastes so shockingly good!