It Was All Foie Gras And Bone Marrow For Hospoda's René Stein In Europe

René Stein has implemented a menu comprised entirely of items cooked with beer at Hospoda.

Chefs love to travel — for inspiration, to experience the cuisines of other cultures or just to get away from the heat of their own kitchens. When they return, we hit them with some questions — where'd they stay, what'd they do and WHAT DID THEY EAT?!

It takes a certain amount of courage to take the helm of a critically acclaimed restaurant in New York City and completely transform the menu. And a whole lot of skill to do it right. In July, René Stein took over as Executive Chef of the Upper East Side's Hospoda — which had been serving Central European cuisine — and has implemented a menu composed entirely of New American dishes infused with beer, cooked with ingredients used to make beer (such as barley and hops) and inspired by the flavor profiles of beer. Yes, the former chef de cuisine of Michelin-starred Seäsonal just may be the largest proponent of beer out there. He caught up with us to recount a recent trip to Europe.

Related: 10 Places To Eat And Drink Very Well On The Upper East Side. Not A Typo!

Where are you just back from?

I spent two weeks in Germany — specifically in my hometown of Wetter, which is Northwest Germany. I went with my family and took a mini vacation to Paris for three days with my wife as a late anniversary celebration.

Was it business or pleasure?

Pleasure — I try to visit my home once a year and it was time for my mom and dad (Oma and Opa) to finally meet our little son Max, who is 7 months old.

How often do you travel for inspiration?

As much as possible. I wish I could do it more often.

Highlight of your trip?

Too many to list, but if I had to call out two, it would be strolling the streets of Paris and dipping into random cafés for a bite to eat. We'd have simple but delicious food, like foie gras pâté and poached egg with béarnaise. And of course, seeing my family with Max and enjoying every moment.


Dinner at this crappy tourist trap in Paris. It was terrible! We had escargot, which is usually tough to mess up but somehow they managed to do it. The main course was beef tenderloin with roasted potatoes, and it was just unmemorable. Not bad but not good. And no matter what you ordered, they gave you the same boxed wine.

What airline(s) did you fly and how was it?

We flew Lufthansa, which was great as usual.

Where'd you stay and what's your mini-review of the place?

My mom's house always has the best amenities. And in Paris, we stayed at Hotel Atlantis, which was perfect. Small, quaint and very Parisian.

What was your best meal on the trip?

Bone marrow and seared rib-eye steak with mashed potatoes in Paris.

Did you bring anything back and if so, what?

An entire suitcase filled with gifts for my family and friends in the States, and Tasmanian pepper.

Are you running any specials inspired by the trip?

Bone Marrow! I serve it with Beef Tenderloin, Cabernet Sauvignon Jus, Spanish onion and vine tomato.

And where do you want to travel to next, and why?

Maine, because I love the outdoors and nature.

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