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“Simply the best”
Review of Schwarzwaldstube

Schwarzwaldstube
Ranked #1 of 36 Restaurants in Baiersbronn
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$71 - US$234
Cuisines: European, French, Contemporary, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: The taste experiences at restaurant Schwarzwaldstube have made Hotel Traube Tonbach one of Europe's best places when it comes to cooking. Head chef Torsten Michel is a master of flavours, his compositions create an incredibly light and perfect cuisine – delicate, intense, full-flavoured and delicious at the same time. Sommelier Stéphane Gass pairs each course with a subtle wine from Traube's outstanding cellar.
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We had the pleasure of having lunch at this restaurant during our stay in Traube Tonbach. It is one of the best dining experience that I've ever had. The food were gorgeous, the champagne and wine selection were excellent, the staff were very attentive yet unobtrusive, the ambience was sophisticated yet cosy, combined with a nice view of the valley, fabulous!
We took the smaller tasting menu, every course was excellent and the rhythm of the meal was perfect. The amuse bouche with four different flavours of mackerel was amazing, the lobster dish was spot on, the goose liver...heaven on a plate.
It is pricey but it is to be expected at this level of skills, quality and attention to detail. Well worth the unforgettable experience. Do not miss it if you can afford it.

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1  Thank sunshine_penguin00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FamilieFinkbeiner, Inhaber at Schwarzwaldstube, responded to this reviewResponded 5 March 2014

Dear guest,
thank you for your visit of the restaurant Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach and your great recommendation on Tripadvisor. As we are dearly hosts, it is always a great pleasure to read such a positive estimation. We are really happy that the whole lunch from the food to the service and wine selection was able to meet your high expectations.
Of course we will share your lovely comments with Harald Wohlfahrt and the whole team of the Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach.
We are looking forward to welcome you again and remain with the best greetings
Your family Finkbeiner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (287)
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36 - 40 of 287 reviews

Reviewed 9 February 2014

We just came back from Traube Tonbach hotel and while staying there we dined in Schwarzwald Stube. We were so happy with the experience, food was really lovely , my oysters with Ponzu dressing is now one of my favourites,they were for me perfection, flavours and texture were just perfect.The angus was also spot on and the dessert was also a lovely tasteful combination as well as pleasing to the eyes. service was perfect and the wine selection was just for us also a hit as well. It was a lovely dinner and hats off ..he really deserves his 3 Michelin stars.

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Thank Mayfair V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FamilieFinkbeiner, Inhaber at Schwarzwaldstube, responded to this reviewResponded 11 February 2014

Dear guest,
thank you very much for your stay at the Hotel Traube Tonbach and the visit of the Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach and the restaurant Köhlerstube and the associated reviews. It is always a pleasure to us when we meet the high expectations of our guests and to exceed them. We feel proud that one of our dishes – the oysters with Ponzu dressing – is now one of your favorites and that they are a memorable experience to you. Of course we will share your wonderful review with Harald Wohlfahrt and the whole team of the Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach.
We look forward to welcome and pamper you again. With the best greetings from the Tonbach valley
Your Family Finkbeiner

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Reviewed 1 February 2014

We came here with great expectations of a culinary experience in the league of Bocuse or Ducasse. Unfortunately, reality failed to live up to expectations. In France, it would have been worth perhaps one Michelin star, never the thee stars listed in the German guide. Perhaps we just had the worst luck. Or perhaps the stature of this restaurant and Mr. Wohlfahrt is such that the critics no longer dare say anything even if the emperor were indeed lightly clad?

To sample the best the kitchen has to offer, we tried the grand menu degustation. To sum up the experience: the ingredients were clearly fresh and top-notch, and technical execution was fine. Three crucial areas fell short, however: (1) composition (affecting taste), (2) appearance, and (3) service.

(1) To start with composition, a number of things went wrong here. First, we felt that many of the dishes lacked a clear message. If great cooking were measured in terms of the number of ingredients that go into a dish, the food would have been world class. However, it is not, so it was not. For instance, one of the desserts combined a yuzu-infused lemon biscuit with grapefruit pieces, grapefruit ice cream, and granite of cassis (and quite possible a few more bits and pieces here and there, it was easy to lose track). What is the point of all this? How does this combination open up any new sensory experiences?

Second, attempts at bringing "Asian" flavors to the table fell short. Worst of the whole menu was the fried scallops and prawn course, which basically presented itself as a watery Thai green curry.

Third, we were surprised at the virtual omnipresence of fairly plain gravies--lots of them to boot. Scallops and prawn? Add gravy (said watery green curry). Salmon? Add a basil butter gravy. Hare? Add gravy with junipers and cranberries. These did not always complement the dish (see above), and it seemed rather old-fashioned (I am not suggesting to go molecular, but maybe a bit of inspiration/innovation? try a foam etc.?).

(2) Which brings me to the second area of concern: appearance. Except for the two starters, which were beautifully presented, none of the courses looked particularly artistic. The whole issue was made worse by the fact that the gravy was rather unceremoniously dumped on the plates at the table, by inexperienced staff. Given the interest in Asia, perhaps the kitchen could take a queue from Japan on how to make food look like art?

(3) The greatest minus of our experience, however, was the service. Symptomatic was that the staff poured guests at another table wine from our bottle, which was being kept, all by itself, on a console close to our table. I have never seen a lapse like this anywhere. At least the restaurant waived the charge for the bottle when we complained.

Getting the attention of the staff was surprisingly hard and might have been easier if some of them had not been busy chatting with their friends at other tables (seriously). Even getting the menus to us in the beginning took quite some time.

Staff also needed constant reminding to provide service in English, and language skills were rather rudimentary. The menus for the degustation menu were provided in German only.

Food was not served to guests in the proper order. There were three of us, and the proper order would have been to serve the ladies in order of descending age (which was obvious) and then me. With one exception, the younger lady was served first.

Part of the issue was that some of the waiters seemed new at the job. It seemed to us that they could have used some more training up front.

Compare this with the best of France: Our experience in starred restaurants has throughout been that the staff there are highly professional, the logistics run like clockwork, and the staff are not only proud of what they do, but also eager to help their guests share in the great tradition that is haute cuisine in France (usually in flawless English, no less).

We paid about 220 euros per person, plus all the time and effort needed to come to this somewhat remote part of Germany. We would not return.

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5  Thank mugwump888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FamilieFinkbeiner, Inhaber at Schwarzwaldstube, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2014

Dear guest,

thank you for your visit of the gourmet restaurant Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach and the associated estimation on Tripadvisor. At first we really like to apologize for the big mistake with your wine which we regret. We know that this must not happen in a three Michelin star restaurant, but nevertheless all members of our staff are human beings and so mistakes can happen. We really hope for your understanding.

We have talked to our Maitre d’hotel and he ensures us that the responsible waitress had been living in London for two years and so language skills of her are excellent. This leads us to our menus. We do not offer them in English or French because we translate them at the table to our guests to give an individual recommendation and advice for their choice. We feel sorry that you didn’t like this special service.

Harald Wohlfahrt is awarded with the three Michelin stars since 1992, in other words for over 22 years. This honor does not only mean that he is an outstanding chef de cuisine, it also esteems him for his permanent innovation and development.

But nevertheless tastes are different and so we feel really sorry that Harald Wohlfahrt and his team hadn’t be able to meet yours. We would be pleased to create an individual menu, which is adapted to your preferences prior to your next visit. Please do not hesitate to contact us for this menu arrangement.

We would be pleased to convince and to pamper you by your next visit in the Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach.

With the best greetings from the Tonbach valley

Your Family Finkbeiner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2013

If Trip Advisor would let me write two words, they'd be "simply divine"! This restaurant was just amazing. The service was exemplary with a very focussed team, many of whom spoke great English and were able to translate sometimes complicated food and wine descriptions from German for us. We chose the 7 course degustation but it ends up around 11 courses with the additional amuse bouche and little desserts etc. Sometimes there is one weak course in a menu like this but not this time! Every course was consistently excellent, with combinations of flavours that were to die for. We savoured each mouthful. Each course was quite generous too, so while the homemade bread is yummy, don't eat too much of it as it will otherwise fill you up too quickly!

The chef, Harald Wohlfahrt, came out after most of the meals had been served and personally greeted each table (only 35 people in total capacity). Unfortunately we don't speak enough German to say any more than "sehr, sehr, sehr gut", but it was truly one of the best meals we have ever had. A previous TA member described him as arrogant as he didn't stop to talk to them much but one of the waiters said he didn't speak much English. From what we saw, he was taking time with all the other tables, speaking in German. We didn't think he was arrogant at all - just a simple language barrier issue.

If you are in the region, then I would thoroughly recommend a meal. It's not cheap, but worth every Euro. You should book as far in advance as possible as it is only a small restaurant. We would definitely love to come here again, if only home weren't so far away...

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Thank Feeber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FamilieFinkbeiner, Inhaber at Schwarzwaldstube, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2014

Dear guest,
Thank you for visit of the Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach and your great review on Tripsadvisor. We like to thank you that you not only recommend your stay at our hotel but also take time to write a specific estimation to our gourmet restaurant.
For over 22 years Harald Wohlfahrt is able to keep the three Michelin stars and the high standard of his cuisine. We are really proud that every single course of the menu was able to meet your taste and expectations. Of course we will share your positive comments with Harald Wohlfahrt and the whole team of the Schwarzwaldstube – Hotel Traube Tonbach.
To pamper his guests in the best way that is possible Harald Wohlfahrt has the habit to personally talk to every guest and to ask them about their opinions. We are happy that you enjoyed this little talk even if it just was not so long because of language barriers.
With the best greetings from the Tonbach valley
Your family Finkbeiner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2013

My husband and I went to the Schwarzwald Stübe in the Traube Hotel for lunch. It was a wonderful three Michelin-star experience. We tried the smaller tasting menu, which was quite long anyway when counting the amuse-bouches, pre-desserts, after-desserts and other bits accompanying it. Three hours went quickly!
The food was amazing; there wasn’t a single ingredient I didn’t like. Quite a few bald choices, but they worked very well together. Presentation was worth all its stars, portions were appropriate, taste was delicious. It was a culinary delight that the hotel and restaurant website definitely didn’t remotely suggest. A good surprise, but I’d still change the website!
The maître d’ was very enthusiastic and polite, made suggestions and was open to changes in the menu. He did forget to change our desserts, but the ones we did get looked so good that we decided to keep them (although my husband was not a fan of Mirabelles); also, we were the last ones in the room - not our fault, though! - and felt it was not right to delay the whole kitchen. The sommelier assigned to us was very pleasant and knowledgeable, and suggested very good wines; however, his English was quite limited and he had a tentative approach that didn’t give us confidence, although his choices proved excellent; we felt that he was far too young to be put in charge of customers of a Michelin-star restaurant and his service could have benefited from a little more experience dealing with people. We were also under the impression that a more experienced sommelier had been assigned to patrons and hotel guests instead. Having said that, he did his best, and stayed with us (and even smiled!) until we were shown to the adjacent sitting room to try some chocolates at the end of the meal - whereas all other members of staff shockingly disappeared before we left the dining room. The chef did come out to say hello at some point, but whether because of the language barrier or because of an attitude that could easily have been taken for arrogance, he was very offish and cold and retreated immediately, whereas he stopped and chatted with other customers and even took the time to have pictures taken with them.
Overall, a restaurant worth trying. Fabulous food, service not as sharp as it should have been. No comparison whatsoever with the much better Park Restaurant at Brenner’s Park Hotel, I’m afraid..! There they had really made us feel at home and extra-special. Some room for improvement.

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1  Thank crispypina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FamilieFinkbeiner, Inhaber at Schwarzwaldstube, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2013

Dear guest,
thank you very much for your visit at restaurant Schwarzwaldstube and for your evaluation here at tripadvisor. We are really happy, you could enjoy the dinner and we are sorry for the topics you where unsatisfied with. I hope you don't mind when we answer to some of your impressions.
We are really happy to also have young employers with less experiences to learn from our experts and hope for your understanding. We are sure, that every recommendation is agreed with the maitre. Also Mr. Wohlfahrt would never be arrogant to a guest without a reason. We are sure, that it was a language issue. If it's your wish for the next time to speak longer to him, of cours one of our servants will support with translation.
We would be very happy to welcome you again in Tonbach valley and wish you all the best.
Family Finkbeiner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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