Die Burg, Donaueschingen
The few hotels in Donaueschingen, where the stoning Museum ART PLUS is, are, in contrast, often dull, old and uninspiring. Soulless at best. Stay here only if you need a base to travel around the area. There is a clear need for a charming hotel, bed and breakfast or boutique hotel. The same can be said of the restaurants, in all honesty, with the exception of Baader Schützen. However, a few kilometres from the city centre, we discovered a great place: Die Burg, in Aasen. Hotel and restaurant, in a small village with traditional half-timbered houses, a 10-minute drive from the centre of Donaueschingen. The hotel itself is modern, airy and very bright, but not really charming: the decoration is practical and utilitarian. But the rooms are immaculate and quiet. The quality of the bedding and the well-designed bathrooms with enough space that you don’t feel like you’re showering in the closet, which seems to be the norm more than the exception these days, deserve a special mention. Delightful and attentive service. Airy dining room, dominated by blond wood, without character but pleasant and opening onto a pretty patio with a view of the countryside and the surrounding wooded hills. Parking spaces are available and there’s a wine bar on the ground floor where you can taste vintages from southern Germany and elsewhere, chosen with care, expertise and passion, with a clear focus on biodynamic winegrowers. The restaurant is very nice and run by the brothers Grom: Jason, the chef, heads a team as young as talented, and Niklas runs the dining room and is also in charge of the cellar. A family story: the two brothers are proof positive that value does not come with age but that talent is often passed down. Their parents ran a restaurant and the two boys started in the business at a young age: trained first at the famous Hotel Öschberghof, a classic restaurant in Donaueschingen, then in Switzerland and Austria in renowned five-star establishments.
Traditional cuisine and seasonal dishes, brilliantly re-interpreted...... through outstanding products, carefully selected and hand-picked from local producers. When the notions of taste and pleasure mingle into an unforgettable re-invention of cabbage "en chiffonée" on lukewarm traditional smoked ham, topped with a creamy fresh herb sauce...... or re-invent a poached chicken-breast with organically cultivated, ancient vegetables.
Contacted two years ago by an entrepreneur from the region wishing to create a venue that combined comfort and food, they opened Die Burg in September 2017, and were immediately successful. From the outset, Jason was committed to showcasing the culinary heritage and local produce by reinterpreting it with the talent and mastery already the hallmark of a very young chef destined to become one of the greats. A unison of impeccable technique and precision, creativity and a flair for tastes and flavours as well as regional resources and culinary traditions that make your taste buds and plates dance to creations that are both classic and full of creativity. Together with Niklas’s impeccably stocked cellar of wines and liquors. Here too, the focus is on local products and producers. Their motto is everything it promises to be: ‘Flavour, Authenticity, Quality’. The opportunity for real and beautiful discoveries. Jason Grom's rewriting of ‘Bauernküche’, peasant food, and local recipes are worth the detour: traditionally smoked Black Forest ham on a bed of warm cabbage and new potatoes in herb sauce, served with a light and fresh Chardonnay made not far from Freiburg im Breisgau. Fresh pasta with spring mushrooms or trout ravioli. Superb beef tartare with seasonal herb salad. Legendary Sauerteig Brot appetizer served with sour cream and horseradish mousse: a delight of simplicity and flavour. Like some Chinese recipes (or some peasant soups to which new ingredients were added to an often ancient base recipe, cooked, recooked and stewed), which use decades-old ingredients, the sourdough starter can be several years old. That of Die Burg, carefully raised and passed down from generation to generation, is 30 years old, the age of reason... And the bread to which it adds character and flavour is absolutely scrumptious. Cheeses from the Black Forest. Desserts combining seasonal produce and gourmet lightness. With always, the red thread of the kitchen, reception and service: respect for the customer and emphasis on the products and local culinary tradition. A lovely place, really, that would be a shame not to discover during your stay in the region.