Hans Stefan Steinheuer, who is known for his balanced flavour-centric cuisine, has placed his Restaurant Zur Alten Post in Bad Neuenahr-Heppingen right at the top in Germany.
A man of strong convictions and very influential in the Ahr valley, he worked at Hotel Erbprinz in Ettlingen and the legendary Schweizer Stuben in Wertheim before taking over his parents' inn in Bad Neuenahr-Heppingen, which he and his wife have now transformed into one of Germany's most desirable food destinations. Steinheuer's finely nuanced, flavour-centric cuisine has a classic foundation, although he is always open to the meticulous use of new techniques. Time and again, he creates astonishing, unusual taste combinations with harmonising spice elements that bring together seemingly contradictory notes into a poised and balanced whole. Wine lovers will be eager to discover the interaction between wine and Steinheuer's food, and some real treasures can be brought from the wine cellar, which of course includes some very fine vintages from the local Ahr vineyards.
One example of his modern interpretation of classic cuisine is the veal sweetbread with crayfish, sugar snap peas and coriander cotta – arranged lavishly and transparently on the plate, the elements seem to share a mutual attraction, with the crayfish/sweetbread pairing wonderfully accentuated and held together by the pea structures. Steinheuer adds a wow factor with a delicately herbal, beautifully melting coriander cotta, which is taken up and elaborated by a 2009 Schieferterrassen from the Heymann-Löwenstein vineyard. He also has an amazing talent for meat creations, for example his unforgettable goose liver on baked apple and celeriac with duck beef tea, in which the intense harmony between the beef tea and the caramelised goose liver is surely unsurpassable – simply magnificent.
© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann