Indulge in two of Austria’s greatest passions — traditional food and classical music — with this dinner concert featuring Mozart’s music. The evening takes place inside a Benedictine monastery at Saint Peter Stiftskulinarium, a restaurant that claims to be the oldest in Europe. The Mozart family is said to have dined here, among other Austrian luminaries.
Dine by candlelight on snow-white linens in the Barocksaal Banquet Hall, which has high, arched, stained-glass windows and pastel-painted walls and ceiling frescoes. The three-course gala menu is based on traditional Austrian recipes from the Baroque era, updated and refined for sophisticated modern palates.
Between courses, you’ll enjoy an intimate performance of Mozart’s works. A chamber ensemble and a pair of singers, all wearing period costumes, perform arias, duets and other selections from his canon of work. The performer’s repertoire changes regularly, but you might hear pieces from The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni or Così Fan Tutte.
For this evening of food and music, you’ll make your own way to Saint Peter Stiftskulinarium. Founded in 803 and integrated into the Saint Peter Abbey, this is one of the most storied eateries in all of Europe.
Its claim to be the oldest restaurant on the continent comes from a mention in the Carmina anthology by Alcuin of York, which might mention a meal eaten here by Charlemagne. Many other important figures in history are also said to have dined here, among them Christopher Columbus, Johann Faust and the Mozart family, including young Wolfgang.
You’ll receive a welcome drink when you arrive in the Baroque hall, an airy room with delicate decorative molding, ceiling frescoes and crystal chandeliers. The decor recalls the sumptuous ornamentation of the Baroque era — a suitable setting for the evening’s event.
The three-course menu is inspired by traditional Austrian cuisine from the time when the composer lived and worked in the city — perhaps a clear chicken soup with dumplings or a dessert of frozen honey parfait. You’ll dine on fine china by the warm glow of candlelight.
Performances are held between courses, so you can devote your full attention to both the cuisine and the music. What pieces you’ll hear varies, but the selection is always drawn from the composer’s canon. And, the restaurant’s chamber ensemble and singers all wear outfits similar to what Mozart’s contemporaries would have worn.