A plate of venison sauerbraten, red cabbage and dumplings tastes as good as it looks – if not better.

A plate of venison sauerbraten, red cabbage and dumplings tastes as good as it looks – if not better. (Matt Millham / S&S)

GROSSSACHSEN, Germany — The line between just enough dumpling and too much dumpling is a blurry one.

One minute you’re savoring a gravy-soaked lump of slightly chewy reformed potato, the next you’re shopping for a gym membership.

But it’s easy to eat too much dumpling when they taste as good as they do at the Krone in Grosssachsen, where a regular portion of dumpling means three fist-sized balls topped with a buttery confection that might as well be candy.

It’s hard for a gastro-simpleton such as your correspondent to understand why a chef might spend so much time on a side dish. Krone Chef Stefan Binz is the kind of epicurean whose artful and adventurous food justifies the cost of eating out in a way that chain restaurants, your local schnitzel house and even a lot of good restaurants just can’t.

The ox steak — a regular feature on the Krone menu — replaces the more pedestrian Argentine rumpsteaks typically proffered on German bills of fare. And that’s about as tame as the Krone gets.

Venturing further from the gastronomic reservation are seasonal specialties such as sea devil medallions (a type of dangerous-looking fish that tastes almost like lobster), pink roasted duck or fawn sauerbraten.

In addition to being cute as a button, baby deer can be tender and tasty and just as appealing to look at roasted and reclining in a puddle of their own gravy as they do lying in a bed of dewy grass.

One might feel guilty chowing down on an innocent, but here, where it’s served alongside crispy red cabbage with apple and the aforementioned dumplings, which truly are as good as I’m making them out to be, it feels rewarding.

Maybe that’s because the care taken with the food extends to the decor, which is bold and elegant, and to the service, which is attentive and quick.

Krone might not be the kind of restaurant to drop in on just because you’re feeling too lazy to cook. What it certainly is, is a pleasure worth indulging in.

To see previous After Hours reviews, go to:

The Krone, Grosssachsen, Germany

Prices: Bottles of wine in the 13-euro to 30-euro range, as well as glasses of wine starting at 3 euros. Soups from 4.50 euros, salads around 7 euros, entrees from about 16 euros. Smaller, less-expensive portions also available.

Specialties: Featuring German cuisine with a twist, including a variety of wild game.

Dress: Semi-formal

Clientele: Mostly well-dressed Germans looking to enjoy a quiet dinner with friends and loved ones.

English menu: No.

Location: Landstraße 9-11, 69493 Hirschberg-Großsachsen. The road is also called the B-3, or Bergstrasse. The restaurant is located about 6 miles north of Heidelberg and 12 miles southeast of Mannheim.


Phone: 06201.505.0

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