Mesa was a medium sized one star Michelin restaurant in a fairly residential neighborhood that has been open since 2003. It is conveniently located right across from a tram stop and looks like an old house inside. At lunch they offer 2 or 3 course menu where you pick your courses or a Surprise menu of 3, 4 or 5 courses where they pick the courses, many of which are also offered on the dinner menu. We chose the 5 course surprise menu. Tables are nicely spaced and covered set with white clothes and napkins. Windows were on 3 sides, which let in lots of natural light during the daytime. There was some outdoor seating, while inside there was a lowered ceiling, wood floor, black and white photos on the walls, purse stools and books in the windowsills. Service was efficient but not overly friendly and they told me that all the food is made in house except the bread. Courses were well spaced and portioned.
Sliced bread was brought that was doughy and dense with lots of air holes. Instead of butter they served a cottage cheese mixed with herbs. It was good and a nice change from butter.
The tasting started with a ravioli stuffed with braised veal cheek and covered with truffle and served with wild asparagus. It was very savory, filled with well seasoned veal bits. The pasta was slightly thicker than optimal but it was still tender and well cooked. The asparagus had a grassy flavor with a good bite to the stalk.
Beef Tartar was marinated with herbs, mixed with sardines and topped with sunchokes chips and baby rocket leaves. The beef was diced not ground and very tender. It was well seasoned and the sardines were not too forward but rather added a nice zing.
Turbot was plated with a chorizo sauce, bean cassoulet and saffron arancini (risotto balls). The fish was perfectly cooked and the chorizo added a lot of flavor. The balls looked like corn inside and were tasty but best when eaten together with the fish and sauce. A very nice dish.
Styrian summer deer were from Austria and served with chanterelles, cauliflower cream, elderflower cherries and schupfnudeln (finger noodles). There was also a bowl of braised venison on the side topped with more pan fried noodles. The venison was all very tender as were the schupfnudeln – which were especially good – and accented well by the tasty sauce under the rare meat. Some cauliflower purée, in addition to the pieces, also made a nice addition to the sauce.
The dessert was called Chessmate and composed with rhubarb, Centenario chocolate and sour cream. The “chess piece” was made of chocolate ganache and the rhubarb was sliced and rolled as well as in a jam. The sour cream was the basis of the ice cream. The rhubarb was not too tart and I liked the sour cream ice cream. It was a good dessert.
Final treats, in Michelin style, were chocolate macaron with tonka beans, a coffee mousse topped with a coffee sesame cracker and a meringue with basil and thyme. The tonka beans made the chocolate a little aromatic in the chewy macaroon. The sesame crisp was crisp and sweet while the mousse was light. The meringue was filled with lime foam with the basil carrying its own in the flavor department. They were all okay, but none outstanding.