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Eat Switzerland.


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I need some help finding restaurants in Switzerland. Well actually my friend is the one who needs it. He will be spending his first anniversary doing an art and architectural death march in Switzerland and France and he has asked me for some advise on where to eat. As I know little about European restaurants, I thought some of you can help me.

Switzerland recommendations would be mainly for Basel and Zurich. They will be spending most of their time here. Other trips will include going to Winterthur, Bregenz, Chur and Vals.

Basel will be spent going to: Beyeler Foundation, Catholic Church, Ricola Storage Building, Vitra Headquarters, Auf dem Wolf Train Station and Signal Box, Schutzenmattstrasse Apartment Building. Zurich: Calatrava Train Station, Foundacion LeCorbusier, Doldertaal Apartments.

As for the type of restaurants, it really doesn't matter. Money is not a main concern. Having one of the most memorable experiences is.

Thank you in advance for any comments, links or articles. :smile:

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The most memorable dining experience I had in Zurich was eating at Blindekuh, a restaurant run by the blind where you experience the same. I can not tell you how strange it is to eat in complete darkness, relying on your senses of smell and taste. And pouring red wine without being able to see it??? Let's just say we were happy to be wearing black. Seriously it gave us such an overwhelming respect for people without sight as well as pointed out to us how much we rely on the beauty of food to give us hints to it's tastes!

Blindekuh

Muhlebachstrasse

148 8008 Zurich

Switzerland

Tel: 01 421 50 50

Fax: 01 421 50 55

www.blindekuh.ch

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The most memorable dining experience I had in Zurich was eating at Blindekuh, a restaurant run by the blind where you experience the same. I can not tell you how strange it is to eat in complete darkness, relying on your senses of smell and taste. And pouring red wine without being able to see it??? Let's just say we were happy to be wearing black. Seriously it gave us such an overwhelming respect for people without sight as well as pointed out to us how much we rely on the beauty of food to give us hints to it's tastes!

Wow this place sounds quite interesting. How were the flavors? What type of cusine? Did you know? Did they tell you? Never mind, I found the other threads:

Dining in the Dark

The Blind Restaurant

Thanx. :wink:

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The food was fine, nothing amazing but good. What we found interesting was that without seeing the food we really had to pay attention. At one point we all (table of 6) were trying to figure out what a certain vegtable was....one of the girls put a piece in her pocket for later dissertation. It was brocolli, I kid you not!! 1 Suisse, 1 Scot, 1 Kiwi, 1 Canadian and 2 Americans could not pinpoint the brocolli! too funny.

Also hot and cold, crunchy and soft take on all new meanings. None of us thought it was hoky or gimmicky. We all still talk about it and we know that proceeds went to job training for the blind in the city.

When you first enter there is a menu so you can see before you enter into the darkness. We made reservations well in advance.

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as i worked in swityerland this summer as a chef i can recommend <teufelhof> in basel and <therme vals> in vals.

you will find the adress to each restauratnt easily through google. when your friend is going to vals tell him he has to! visit the spa/wellness area. unbelieveable design.

have fun,

vue

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for being a bit late here.

For Zürich, I gave some recommendations:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=45589

and all those are still valid for Basel, I think:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=33465

As for the "Therme Vals" masterpiece, architect Peter Zumthor desigend two or three smaller, yet very interesting buildings in or near the Canton of Graubünden (Haus Gugalun, his atelier in Haldenstein and the chapel of Sogn Benedetg).

Not to be missed are are a whole serie of simple, almost traditional wooden buildings of Gion A. Caminada in Vrin and maybe a utility building by Conradin Clavulot in Seewis and one by Stürm/Wolf in Domat Ems.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I spent a year back and forth to Zurich 3 years ago and on the whole found the food to be VERY disappointing :sad: . However, we did have one great meal at Ermitage Am See (Ermitage). On sunny days all the tables are moved outside overlooking the lake. I thought I had written about the meal on EG but I can't seem to find it. I was impressed that they were having fish driven up daily from the south of France, sometimes twice a day.

Another thing not to be missed in Zurich is having a Bratwurst down near the lake. Get off the tram at Bellevue Platz (sp?) and on the main road there is a structure that seems very temporary but is permanant (think marquee), they serve great Bratwurst, wrapped simply in napkin with a small pot of mustard and a bread roll. Pull up a chair and order a beer from the bar at the back (a separate enterprise) This place is often packed with locals, especially Sunday mornings.

I recently returned for a friends wedding earlier this year and a group of us ate at La Salle which is in th trendy shipbuilding area of Zurich. It is quite an Industrial space. I thought I had posted this as well:

I returned to Zurich, it was as dull as I remembered it. I had one meal out with non-foodie friends at a restaurant called La Salle which is apparently one of the trendiest tickets in town with food to match. Every dish was served with over-reduced dark sauces with no particular flavour, something that I remember from my previous times in Zurich.

Flavourless beef and Tuna carpaccio's, OK horse steaks, crappy cheese board etc. etc. Excellent service, the Maitre D' spent a long time translating the list of specials, there were around 15 of them which matched the number of dishes on the a la carte menu!! He made us laugh when he returned for our order and somebody ordered one of the specials "Thank goodness for that!" :laugh:

The building itself is fantastic, very industrial looking built into an old shipping hall housing a jazz club, theatre and a couple of bars

I couldn't honestly recommend this place for the food but it is a nice space (if you like that sort of thing :rolleyes: )La Salle

If they haven't booked anywhere to stay yet, don't miss The Widder, one of the best hotels I have stayed in, I somehow managed to book myself into this hotel via my company and by the time they had noticed I was staying there every visit it was too late to stop me. :laugh:CLICK HERE

Its worth stopping for a drink in the bar, nice cocktails, a huge selection of whisky's and sometimes they have good jazz.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Re. above comments.......the food in Switzerland is terribly overrated, you can eat (shock,horror for the continentals) far better in the UK. I was at the Lake Side Casino in Zurich last Wednesday and it was very poor and massively over priced.........however one thing the Swiss still do well is Chocolate.

Of the Zurcher chocolatiers Teuscher seems to have gone a little downhill but Sprungli has some excellent grand-cru truffles-Honold is traditional and the quality is as reliable as ever........oh and the best hot chocolate in Europe bar none is to be had at Cafe Sprungli on Paradeplatz where they they throw in a mini criollo chocolate taster......impressive.

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Re. above comments.......the food in Switzerland is terribly overrated ...

While I wouldn't deny Matthew Grant's judgment about Zurich (the place where I live) and the price/quality ratio is maybe among the worst in this world, but the extended generalization above is going a bit too far.

Switzerland (as small as it is) is a far too heterogenous construct to be considered exclusively under the admittedly poor culinary light of Zurich. But even around Zurich, you simply need some knowledge to find the (mostly) rural places, where you can get unique, regional dishes at very fair prices. Finally, there are some youngster establishments (I named two of them in my link above) which offer quite interesting neo-traditional/regional food at relatively moderate prices (at least wrt. Swiss price levels). But in general, I avoid all trendy places, as I had my share of rather horrible experiences.

Matthew Grant's not to be missed Bratwurst eatery is called "Vorderer Sternen" and you'll find it in this map.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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That's the place! I dind't realise it was such a professional outfit. ts even got it's own website! Is it well known in Zurich or is it just my imagination?

It's well known. Wonderful St.-Galler-Bratwurst (the white ones) and excellent Cervelats (the brown ones). The traditional bread rolls ("Büürli") are among the best of it's kind. It's near the opera and a place for an after performance snack. Some years ago, it was really more of a stand.

Compared with the sometimes grotesquely overpriced fusion here around ...

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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I have to say that it was one of my more regular eating haunts when I was in Switzerland. I love those Bratwurst and the bread rolls, I used to take some of my colleagues ther but they just didn't get what the hell I was on about :rolleyes: . It still has quite a "stand" feel to it.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Ha!.......Sorry to ruffle any feathers- I do confess I like to provoke sometimes! However I stand by my comments.........and after living there for more than 20 years and having been employed at one stage by Mr F. Girardet among others I feel I am qualified to judge........Oh and with a Swiss wife and dual nationality I dont think anyone playing the anti-card cuts any ice. Perhaps it was my dinner guests who annoyed me?.....fact is the majority of Swiss will tell you that the food in the UK is awfull-reality is, that it is better than CH ..........counting or not counting Zurich. :wink:

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The short answer is no............though in the case of Pont de Brent I cannot comment as I have never eaten there. Domaine de Chateauvieux was superb though not as good as Bruderholz when Hans Stucki was at the stove...........(which was the 2nd best meal Ive ever eaten).........the best was at the Hyde Park Hotel when MPW was at his peak.

Well.........where would I consider 2nd rate?

For a start the Bauer au Lac has no kitchen worth talking about........not to compare with comparable hotels in Paris or London........I was not impressed with the Palace or (admittedly a bit of a tourist spot) Old Swiss house in Luzern either.......but far and away the worst (surpassing even the Lakeside Casino for preis/leistung ) was the Restaurant Sonnenberg in Zurich with its heavyweight chef and even more heavyweight bill with supercillious sevice thrown in...........nice view though.

Vmilor or Boris......I am in Schwyz next Tuesday and Wednesday........where can you recommend?

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The short answer is no............though in the case of Pont de Brent I cannot comment as I have never eaten there. Domaine de Chateauvieux was superb though not as good as Bruderholz when Hans Stucki was at the stove...........(which was the 2nd best meal Ive ever eaten).........the best was at the Hyde Park Hotel when MPW was at his peak.

Well.........where would I consider 2nd rate?

For a start the Bauer au Lac has no kitchen worth talking about........not to compare with comparable hotels in Paris or London........I was not impressed with the Palace or (admittedly a bit of a tourist spot) Old Swiss house in Luzern either.......but far and away the worst (surpassing even the Lakeside Casino for preis/leistung ) was the Restaurant Sonnenberg in Zurich with its heavyweight chef and even more heavyweight bill with supercillious sevice thrown in...........nice view though.

Vmilor or Boris......I am in Schwyz next Tuesday and Wednesday........where can you recommend?

I liked very much my leisurly lunch in Saas Fee at the Waldhotel Fletschhorn. This was a month ago, October the 4th. The Austrian chef excelled both with relatively chi chi as well as hearty(civet de chamois) preparation. Wine list was fairly priced. I had a remarkable Petite Arvine and 2001 Domaine Gaudy VV. We had blue sky and about 20 Celcius and it was quasi magical.

I found Peterman's Kunststuben in Kusnacht near Zurich way overrated. It is like industrial assembly line version of haute cuisine. No passion in cooking.

I always enjoy La Grappe d'Or in Lausanne for very solid, harmonious cooking. Game and fish for 2 is very good.

If you can get Chevrier at Chateauvieux cook game for you, you will eat very well. His preparation of grouse and becasse are especially decadent. His "creative" dishes may be fussy at times.

I happened to think that Rochat can compete with the greatest chefs. My meal there on October 8th was flawless and creative without resorting to the wow factor a la Veyrat, Adria, etc. Mine is minority opinion of course.

Hope this helps.

Avoid Rheinhotel Fischerzunft in Schaffhouse by the way. It will only impress a clientele who has never eaten decent Chinese food and prices are on par with Parisian 3 stars. But the room is beautiful and presentations very artistic. So I minded less to get ripped off in my birthday there.

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I am in Schwyz next Tuesday and Wednesday........where can you recommend?

I have no personal experiences around Schwyz itself.

From the canonical view (Gault-Millau, Michelin, Press), Franz Wiget's "Adelboden" in Schwyz is clearly the top place there.

What I was told by friends, the "Adler" in Ried-Muotathal (9.5 km to SE), it's the place I'd feel attracted. I would eat there and I would ask the chef for the best, basic inns around. Nowadays, a perfectly made, traditional dish is harder to find than anything else. Like Cézanne said: "Hurry! Everything vanishes."

Let me know if at least in Schwyz there's some hope :rolleyes:

Edited by Boris_A (log)

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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  • 2 months later...

I have lived in Switzerland for six years now and I can count the inspirational restaurants on one hand. "Status-quo" seems to be the words we Swiss live by and I don't think "cutting edge" translates well into Swiss-German. The highest concentration of good restaurants is in the French section. A good guide for Switzerland's best restaurants is www.grandestables.ch

What we sorely lack is creative, inexpensive restaurants especially in the more rural areas of Switzerland. The Swiss have perfected processed foods and invented portion control. Too many restaurants use these products and the result can be pretty miserable. Oh well, at least the bathrooms are clean!

Ed

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Welcome SWISS_CHEF! Hi Ed!

For me, the real drama is that the Swiss (German part) customers lost much interest in excellently prepared traditional food and the replacement by creative/fusion cookery is poorly executed and thrown at clients lacking real culinary interest. In the end, it's maybe only cheese, sausages and chocolate where Swiss food production is world class.

The economic capital, Zurich (though financally really doing well), couldn't even make it to a Michelined one star restaurant. :sad:

One of the best culinaery qualities of this heavily protestantic influenced region is that the French and Italian part od Switzerland, Piedmont, Burgundy, Alsace, Lombardy etc are all within a 4 hours reach max.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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.... In the end, it's maybe only cheese, sausages and chocolate where Swiss food production is world class.

Speaking of cheese...

We go every Fall to the Käseteilets in the Berner Oberland. The cheese is way-way-way beyond good and NOTHING like store bought cheese. We usually look for some hobelkäse that is at least two years old and the best is three. I have tried hard cheeses all over the world but I have never found any as good as the Swiss hand made un-pasteurized mountain cheeses. It is amazing to taste the different cheeses from the same villages and see how they differ! There are always two or three champions in the group. It's like getting a Chateau Latour for the same price as all the other Bordeaux.

Käseteilets are truly one of the great culinary secrets of Switzerland.

Ed

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry to take so long to get back!............a mega-busy few months and an illness which took quite a bit of getting over have taken their toll.

To my eternal shame I cannot remember where we ate but it was a couple of miles outside Schwyz and was a hotel\restaurant overlooking the lake.........oh and voted recently the fourth best seminar hotel in CH.......if thats any help!

It was really rather good......and as I was not paying I enjoyed it even more.

Seriously......I think one of the major problems in Switzerland, certainly in recent years is the rationalisation concept which is still ongoing in the food business in general eg. some years ago the staff restaurant at the Credit Suisse Uetlihof in Zurich employed 18 pastry chefs-bakers-confectioners alone!-the Directors restaurant was in the Gault- Millau guide and had a very respectable 14 points.There were a lot of top class chefs employed by the large banks till ca. 2001.

Today.........Oh read and weep........everything but everything at the above mentioned is so called convenience food provided by a contact caterer,there is nothing whatsoever produced fresh-everything is preprepared and delivered-result, no need to pay decent salarys to craftsmen when hilfskraft will do at less than half price. This is just one example from innumerable that I can mention.

A similar process is hapening right accross the hotel\restaurant industry and the country which was far and away the best tourism\gastronomy country 20 years ago is slipping further and further behind.

:sad:

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  • 3 years later...

Hi I'm new to the Switzerland dining forum

French food has always been my favorite cuisine and I've been to quite a few 3-star in Europe, but none is outside France. Maison Rochat was the first one ... It's intriguing for me since the chef owner is the last true disciple of one of Gault Millau's chefs of the century - Freddy Girardet. Well, there's no way I could eat his cooking, but at least I can trace it through the creation of Phillipe Rochat.

Food (and wine) - 95/100

I was fortunate enough the day I ate at Hotel de Ville was the 1st day the restaurant serve the alba white truffle and game season. I ordered the bigger version of the proposition menu. My meal opened with a fresh oyster with oscietre caviar - they're good except I did not quite like the light butter they put below. The white truffle dish was a pasta served with truffle's foam ... it's smoky and intense, love it. The quality of ingredients are very high, probably the best one can be found in the area (even outside Switzerland). For instance, the Erquy's scallop is sea fresh and tender, despite a strong sour taste from the citron "soup", the scallop was managed to shine. My top 2 fav dishes came towards the end b4 the cheese ... the 1st one is a pair of delicious langoustine's tail with slightly spicy green curry prepared a la Thai. The highlight was the mythical dish of French cuisine - lievre a la royale. I disliked it when I had it at Caprice, but this one is different. The sauce's incredibly intense, yet not cloying. The crisp "bread" brown crust tame/balance the hare's meat, and thus everything worked well in harmony. The cheese selection is extensive. The desserts here are not that strong ... the yoghurt-like pear and red fruits came at the right time after the wild hare and cheese dishes, but then I did not taste anything special for the Manjari chocolate cake accompanied with Arabica coffee ice cream.

For the wine, I only drank 2 glasses - 96 Chablis chateau Grenouille and 97 Chinon cuvee marie lambert (the latter one matched well with the main course). The food here is simple and classical. The chef put focus on the good quality of ingredients (the resources seem to be very abundant here), moreover he believes each dish should have no more than 3 ingredients. The dishes' presentation could be said spectacular compared to many other 3-star establihments. The reviews that I often read about this place is bipolar - either you like it a lot or you hate it. For me, I really enjoyed the food here - not the best I've had nevertheless the standard is very high. I gave 95/100 for the food (2 3/4 *, about as good as my meal at Can Fabes)

Service (and ambiance) - 93/100

The restaurant is located on the west side of Lausanne, the city of olympics. The village of Crissier is a quite neighborhood, not much happening except around the restaurant. The service is friendly and pleasant, but I've encountered better. This could be due to the fact that the restaurant was very busy (the private dining room across the main dining room was very crowded) and the staffs are not that abundant compared to Paris palace-like establishments. The white color dominate the oval-shaped dining room, there were a few modern paintings there. It's relatively comfortable but not too spacious. If you like food with high quality and inspired by French classic, this is one of the places you should try. If money is not an issue, try the abundant choices from the a la carte menu. In my note, the overall dining experience at this (formerly) municipal building will be 94/100 (a high 2 1/2 *, almost at the same level as my meal at Troisgros). The pictures, hotel de ville 08

Edited by Bu Pun Su (log)
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Thanks for the report, Bu Pun Su.

What is the thin rug of pink under the monkfish? It looks like some kind of force m eat.

Dare I ask how much this meal cost? As I recall from my last romp through Europe, it was among the most expensive - outside of Paris.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

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Thanks for the report, Bu Pun Su. 

What is the thin rug of pink under the monkfish?  It looks like some kind of force m eat.

Dare I ask how much this meal cost?  As I recall from my last romp through Europe, it was among the most expensive - outside of Paris.

I think it's the anchovie ... it did not do much to the monkfish

The tasting menu is more than CHF 300 I think (slightly above the degustation menu price at Le Meurice). Maybe it's on the high side for Switzerland's dining but still not (yet) like Savoy or Ducasse

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