Celebrate the crustacean at Konrad’s

By Christine Harrison

Special to the Eagle

Oktoberfest brings thoughts of beer and pretzels to mind. But, German food, like German beer and wine, is in a class by itself.

Indulge in the pleasures of a festive table, and the delights of traditional Bavarian cuisine at Konrad’s, where the pound-and-a-half Maine lobster summer special highlights the menu.

It is said that culinary Germany starts with the eyes, and Konrad’s Maine lobster presentation is truly a work of art. A ready laid table welcomes you, to present this elegant meal with luxurious china, sparkling glasses and fine silverware.

The lobster itself is split alive, boiled for 15 minutes and served with drawn butter, baked potato and fresh vegetables. Order it boiled, baked and stuffed, or Thermidor, starting at 27.99.

When cooking lobster, owner Konrad Mayerhoffer creates a court bouillon to add flavor, using carrots, celery and parsley. Then, the lobster is baked whole, and stuffed with crab meat.

For lobster Thermidor, as Mayerhoffer explains, the meat is cut into chunks, sautéed with karmi mushrooms, onions, shallots and green onions in a dijon mustard sauce, and then stuffed and grantineed with Romano cheese.

When you order fish in Germany, you often get trout, snapper or salmon that was swimming in a stream earlier that day. It’s not surprising to learn that Konrad’s lobsters come directly from Maine at 10 a.m. the day before they are served, and arrive wrapped in seaweed and newspaper, alive.

Konrad’s also offers an abundance of fish: mahi mahi, snapper, grouper or sea bass, as well.

Chef Mayerhoffer studied cooking in Stuttgart, Germany for two years and then worked in the finest hotels and resorts in Switzerland for five years. “At the Hotel Lorraine, we had 35 chefs for 100 diners; Not like now, where you have five guys in the kitchen. You had to work hard, believe me,” says Konrad. “At the Grande Schweizer Hof, we cooked for Egyptian King Farouk. He knew how to party. In Stuttgart, we had prime ministers, presidents, diplomats,” he goes on, sometimes in English, mostly in German.

Mayerhoffer’s continental cooking style was also influenced by seven years spent cooking for Royal Viking Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines, where he added to his knowledge and training in the largest ports of the world, such as Rio, Sydney and Hong Kong. While he was executive chef at the Essex House in New York City, he was discovered by Marriott hotels, which owned the Essex House, and sent him to Marco Island.

When you dine at Konrad’s, enjoy a trip to the gourmet salad bar, which features Waldorf salad, cucumber salad, tomato with mozzarella and homemade dressings. For $8.50, add a half-bottle of Forest Glen cabernet sauvignon, merlot or chardonnay.

Oktoberfest, and Konrad’s summer Maine Lobster special, are only available until Nov. 1. Traditional Bavarian dishes like Beef Rouladen, wienerschnitzel, jaegerschnitzel and goulash, homemade from real family recipes from Konrad’s childhood are served year-round. For reservations, private dining rooms or courtyard seating, call 642-3332.

If you go

Konrad’s

599 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Walk

Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday

642-3332

www.konradsrestaurant.com

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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