Bodensee restaurants take advantage of fresh, local resources, especially lake fish ' whitefish, perch, pike, trout, char and eel ' served with vegetables grown on Reichenau or other nearby farms. Fruit often comes from nearby orchards and local vineyards produce "Weissherbst," a delicate rosé more gold than pink. Most of the German Bodensee falls within Baden-Württemberg (Lindau is Bavarian), and regional cuisine, such as Spätzle and Maultaschen (like ravioli) from Swabia, and venison, wild boar and pork from Baden, are popular.
Weinstube Zum Guten Hirten
A variety of local wines, coupled with inexpensive but eclectic cuisine, make this restaurant worth a stop. Try Hirten Skewer with venison, pork, lamb and a tomato-pepperoncini salsa, or perhaps the Baden sausage salad. The interior's medieval architecture is interesting but a table outdoors avoids the canned music. Most entrées are less than €10.
Contact: Weinstube Zum Guten Hirten, Zollernstrasse 8, D-78462 Kölnstanz, tel. +49/7531/27344
Rating: Quality 15/20 Value 14/20
If it grows on Reichenau, it's probably on the menu at the Löwen, a small island café that serves only fresh, local vegetables in a variety of salads, dumplings, pizzas, noodles, Spätzle dishes, stir-frys and "health plates." But it's not vegetarian and these dishes also come with meats, cheeses and sausages. The setting is modern and the welcome cheerful. Entrées range from €8-12.
Contact: Restaurant Löwen, Pirminstrasse 144, D-78479 Reichenau, tel. +49/7534/229, web www.loewen-insel-reichenau.de
Rating: Quality 14/20 Value 14/20
Fish doesn't get any fresher than at Georg's Fischerhütte, a local favorite in the ancient shadow of Reichenau's Saints Peter and Paul Church. Georg Böhler fishes each morning, and he and wife Iris prepare the catch for eager appetites throughout the lunch hour (but no later). Place your order, take a number, sit at an outdoor table, and await a generous portion of fried fish (with French fries and salad) for less than €10. The variety and serving hours depend on the day's catch. The setting, at the most remote end of the rural island, is sublime.
Contact: Georg's Fischerhütte, Fischergasse 5, D-78479 Reichenau, 49/7534/7169
Rating: Quality 14/20 Value 15/20
Stromeyer Restaurant & Bar
Outside, the Stromeyer looks like what is was, an old factory. But inside the 19th-century structure has been painstakingly restored in 1920s style, a delightful integration of Jugendstil (art nouveau) and industrial chic. Teardrop lamps and an old factory clock suspend from the ceiling over hardwood and marble floors. Chairs are original bistro seats from the 20s and 30s. Be sure to sit under the vaulted windows. Cushioned benches run the length of the waterfront wall with a view to the Rhine as it flows from Lake Constance. Swans roll over the wakes as boats parade by. The lunch buffet features dishes such as pork roast with bread dumplings, trout in rémoulade sauce, chicken livers in Madeira sauce, and saltimbocca with gnocchi ' as well as rows of pastas, salads and desserts. Not bad for €8.50. There are seasonal entrées from -7 for spaghetti carbonara to €23 for young venison with wild mushrooms. Taxi fare is about €6 from downtown.
Rating: Quality 15/20 Value 16/20
The Stork's Nest is "a bit of Alsace in Constance " and the decor of this intimate and relaxed bistro features a growing collection of storks in various poses. Specialties like Flammenkuchen ' that delectable cross between a crêpe and a pancake ' are popular with various combinations of cheese, bacon and onions. Bibeleskäs'a kind of cottage cheese with herbs and pan-fried potatoes ' is surprisingly tasty, as is la choucroute aux poisons, a boiled sauerkraut-and-fish concoction that tastes better than it sounds. More familiar dishes are goose liver with Port wine jelly, quiche Lorraine and coq au Riesling with dumplings. French and Alsatian wines and regional beers round out the meal. (Save room for the crème brulée.) Service at the family-run restaurant is warm and cordial, with a French/German linguistic mix: "Bitte schön, monsieur. Merci!" Main dishes are in the €7-12 range.
Contact: Restaurant Storikenescht, Doebelstrasse 3, D-78946 Kölnstanz, tel +49/7531/919047
Rating: Quality 16/20 Value 16/20
Weinstube zum Bengel
The Weinstube zum Bengel lies in Meersburg's lower town between the waterfront and the quiet "main street" (actually, its the only street). The best seats are on the outside terrace with a view to the upper town. It's extremely friendly and informal. Fish lovers should order the "Carina" platter, an array of salmon, trout and other local species. Lighter appetites will enjoy the "supper board" with bread, cheese and meat, or perhaps the sausage salad. Service is fast, if needed, but it's best to linger in the evening. As the sun sets and lights beam across the castle, servers light candles on each table. It's time to celebrate with "Bodensee Sekt," the local sparkling wine. Dinner will be €10-12, tops.
Contact: Weinstube zum Bengel, Unterstadtstrasse 30, D-88709 Meersburg, tel +49 07532 6060, fax 7785.
Rating: Quality: 14/20, Value 15/20