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October 2006

Gastro Shows

This month, instead of going out for dinner and a movie, Munich residents can combine their entertainment with eating at a handful of dinner theaters now open for the season. The cuisine at these spots, however, is far from concession stand fare: With several Michelin stars and big-name restaurants between them, the chefs connected with these ventures are planning to offer up menus that just might steal the show.

Famed chef Eckart Witzigmann and Bernhard Paul, director of the Euro-renowned Roncalli circus, recently joined forces to create the Witzigmann Roncalli Bajazzo, a dinner theater with four different incarnations running in four German cities. In Munich, guests will join "Rudolf's All-Star Band" on a trip back to the heyday of rock music, by way of witty parodies and appropriate musical selections from the 1950s-70s. While audience members� toes tap to the beat, their taste buds will be occupied with a more refined sensory experience: Witzigmann, named a Chef of the Century by the Gault Millau guide in 1994, displays the full extent of his virtuosity here. His multi-course meal begins with a tuna in vitello creme, followed by Dover sole rosettes and langustinos on spinach leaves in a champagne sauce. The main course will consist of veal medallions on caramelized sweetheart cabbage, and a chocolate parfait with herbed orange and Campari sorbet makes for a light dessert that's rich in flavor. Vegetarians may opt for a special menu that features an eggplant pepper tart, artichoke spinach soup and a coconut vegetable curry. The show will run daily (except Mondays), from October 17--February 25, 2007, in the Spiegelpalast at Schloss Nymphenburg. Performances will begin at 8 pm, and at 7 pm on Sundays. Tickets cost € 99-137 for shows on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and € 109-147 for shows Thursday through Saturday.

With 1,312 mirrors sparkling in the light of 96,000 candles, the Spiegelpalast in Riem--home to Schuhbeck's Palazzo--is the glittering star of the Munich dinner theater scene. The show's combination of nouveau Bavarian cuisine by Alfons Schuhbeck and hilarious artistry by international performers has already dazzled 350,000 diners during its three seasons, and it will delight Munich residents once more until January 24, 2007. This year marks the premiere of a new program called "The Count's Ball." Acrobats, jugglers, magicians, singers and musicians will introduce audiences to the fictional Count Voronin and his eccentric compatriots. Chef Schuhbeck has also created a new menu for the new season. Given the fact that Schuhbeck received international fame and his Michelin star, for modern interpretations of Bavarian dishes, it is no surprise that his new offerings reflect that perspective. The menu begins with an appetizer trilogy of prosciutto on a winter salad, brown trout and cucumber mousse with shrimp, and a mint couscous salad. Truffled noodles with Parmesan sauce and mixed vegetables constitute a light second course, followed by a heartier main dish of herb-stuffed guinea fowl with creamed spinach and roasted potatoes. Schuhbeck's dessert symphony--dark chocolate creme brulee, molten chocolate cake with a citrus fruit salad and a blood orange sorbet--will ensure that no audience member will go home with a bad taste in his or her mouth. Vegetarian substitutions are available. Performances begin daily at 8 pm except for Mondays, and Wednesdays are smoke-free. Tickets, which cost € 89-139, are available by calling 018 05 38 88 83, Monday-Friday, 10 am-6 pm.

Celebrity chef Sarah Wiener has crafted a more informal culinary accompaniment to performances of the opera Haensel and Gretel at Tollwood Winter Festival. From November 30 until December 30, the opera tent on Theresienwiese will host a "Forest Banquet" buffet in conjunction with the show, featuring fresh fish, deer, gingerbread mousse, home-made Kaiserschmarrn and more. All dishes will be prepared with organic ingredients. The opera, written by Engelbert Humperdinck in 1893, has been reworked for Tollwood audiences by contemporary composer Helga Pogatschar. The buffet will open nightly at 5:45 pm and the show will begin at 7:45 pm. Tickets cost € 34-78, or € 17.50-35 for entrance to the show only. There will be no performances on Mondays, or on December 13, 23 and 24. On Sundays and on Christmas, 2 pm matinees will be offered, but no food will be served. Call (0700) 38 38 50 for more information.

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