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Rico’s Kunststuben, Seestrasse, Küsnacht

MOSAIK DE FOIE GRAS EN GELÉE DE POMMES ET CIDRE ET FOIE GRAS SAUTÉ SUR VINAIGRETTE DE POIS MANGE-TOUT ET HARICOTS AU CONFIT D‘ÉCHALOTTES ET MOUTARDE

LE SAUMON LEGERMENT FUMÉ PAR NOUS AU POIVRE SUR POMMES DE TERRE SAUCE BADIANE

LA FLEUR DE COURGETTE FARCIE DE LANGOUSTINES SUR MARMELADE DE PETITS LÉGUMES DU SUD

LE PAVÉ DE BARBUE EN CROUTE DE POMMES DE TERRE AUX CALMARS NAGE AU LAIT DE COCO ET CITRONNELLE

LE BRIE DE MEAUX AUX TRUFFES NOIRE

LA PÊCHE POCHÉE AU SAUTERNES COUVERT D‘UNE ESPUMA AU CHAMPAGNE MILLE-FEUILLE AUX FRAMBOISES ET CHOCOLAT GLACE AU THYM

Finally I’ve made it to the legendary Kunststuben. I’ve never been here before and I was pretty excited to see what the place is like. The well known Horst Petermann officially retired and his longtime right-hand man Rico Zandonella has stepped up to the plate and is running the show. My dining partner was waiting for me and when I sat down the first thing I notice is that the table is wobbly. Not being shy I ask the waiter nicely to fix it. She’s actually very surprised when giving the table a shake to see that it actually is wobbling and promises to fix it right away. I did have to re-iterate my simple request twice (after waiting five minutes) until it finally got fixed. Another thing which put me off was the german waitresses gooey friendliness, but I was here for the food and decided to overlook this. The first course blew me off my feet. It was a delicious preparation of foie gras. The snap peas (Kefen) were actually upon closer inspection only half a snap pea, which was split down the middle. I do not envy whomever was working on this in the kitchen, but it was a great display of craftsmanship. Also a special mention was the foie gras ice cream refined with a sprinkle of Armagnac and Calvados – hmmmmmm. Slightly disappointing were the small breads which were served, I tried them all and one of the white ones I got was dry. Next was a very delicately smoked piece of salmon – there wasn’t much you could do better with this fish. It was served on slices of potatoes and a star anise sauce. While reading the menu I was excited for the courgette flower with langoustine course. The disappointment was that the farce and the langoustine didn’t develop enough flavour and I would have liked it better if there was a stronger textural contrast. Main course was a brill fish with potato scales on top of some calamari and coconut and lemongrass sauce. This dish once again showed the great, unrivaled strength of Kunststuben – sauces. All of the sauces were small masterpieces, you can taste and sample over and over again and still discover new flavours and nuances. I had to surpress a smile when the cheese course was served, a simple piece of truffled brie. Now I’m all for simple dishes – but this here was simply too lowkey. Truffled brie is like the Opel Manta of cheeses. It reminded me of opening a pack of Migros Sélection amouse bouche when friends are over and calling it fine dining. My only explanation is they ran out of whatever great cheeses they normally serve. Dessert made me happy again, peaches cooked in Sauternes with a delightful thyme ice cream and a mille-feuille. Another observation was when looking around the dining room, was that most of the diners seem to be regulars. This also echoed when I was asked by the Maitre d’ and the chef how the food was and politely mentioned that the Courgette flower / langoustine course wasn’t quite as convincing and that they reacted almost shocked. It seems that diners here do not offer constructive criticism and the staff isn’t accustomed to dealing with it. Cutting to the chase – the key question is, will the restaurant keep its rating of 19 points in the Gault Millau and remain the best restaurant in Zurich? Based on the performance, while the potential still looms, I doubt that the Kunststuben will remain at the top of Zurich’s restaurant food chain. If details decide who goes all the way to the top, this restaurant needs tweaking on bread, cheese and service. What is absolutley among the best I’ve experienced are the sauces and these alone are worth the visit. Even if this might have been a bad night. This is the restaurant people got to for a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can expect stellar performance on every night. Prices are also in the once-in-a-lifetime range:

Rechnung

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Posted by therealpickygourmet on 14 August 2011
1 Comment Post a comment
  1. 09/8/2011
    Gahleena

    Two more things to add:
    Instead of receiving a wine list you get an iPad where you can flip through the list. That’s it – I mean the iPad is nice but I except more than just to flip through a file. It would nice to get tasting notes etc. if you click on a wine but no such luck.
    What was really tacky was the foulard with the Kunststuben logo that was stuffed into a little plastic box. You could buy it for 30 CHF. Come on – who does that?

    Reply

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