Posts tagged ‘Bern’
Restaurant Commerce is an oldtime instituion in Bern. My aunt und uncle would take me there every now and then for dinner. My lovable-yet-slightly-complicated-when-it-comes-to-eating uncle actually had a “Commerce jacket”. This was a special jacket he’d only where to Commerce, since after dining here every one would smell for some days. This day he avoided having to ruin on of his better ones by exosing it to undue olfactorial stress. Insides are all wood and the place has an almost parisienne feeling, since when you walk up to the door (with a reservation) there’s a sign saying you needn’t turn up inside since they’re fully booked (“Comlplèt”). The pulpo was okay I had a starte, nothing to write home about but together with the white Sangria it brings out memories of holidays in Spain (where I’ve never been). I went for the Paella a dish I really like and there’s nothing wrong here, the rice is firmly cooked, it has the right amount of peas and sea creatures. I never know what to do with my fingers so I always make a mess, but I guess this is part of the fun experience. Looking around the small dining room, this really seems to be a family place for virtually all Bern. From young kids to a sixtieth birthday, there’s a lot going on here. The owners’ kid’s running around and gives it a comfy atmosphere. Food might be not stellar, but it’s decent, prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is one of a kind:
In the middle of nowhere, the hotel Rosenlaui has found its niche. Near Meiringen and the Reichenbach waterfall (where Sherlock Holmes almost died) the hotel is part of the smallest town in Switzerland. There is nothing except the lovely hotel, which has been tastefully upgraded but is lacking classic luxury. Most rooms do not have ensuite bathrooms, but there is a game room, a reading room and a separate library. Dinner started of with a nice Riesling soup and was followed by a very fresh and tasty summer salad with some goat cheese. The bread which was served, however could have been tastier. Main course was a veal steak with vegetables and some potatoes. Now vegetables which is plural, was not quite met, since it was just zucchini and for some weird reason – cherries. The steak could have been a bit more tender and the potatoes could have been crunchier. Still – the red wine prices were very fair and the atmosphere one of a kind! Only downside was the sheer number of teutonic invaders, we were glad that sauerkraut was not on the menu. If you want to stay at this hotel you need to reserve very, very early. Still 250 CHF including a room for two is a great deal.
Do you know who Erich Hänzi is ? Would you be able to point out Martin Trümpler in a lineup ? Would you concur that Eric Winalda is the only other incarnation of Georges Bregy ? Do you think Young Boys sounds like a special interest group of an Irish All Boys School in the 1950ties ? Your answer shows your intimate knowledge of the Swiss Football League. BSC Young Boys was playing against Bilbao and your favourite lifestyle and culinary expert was invited to the VIP lounge which includes a dinner buffet. The issues with this buffet is the same as in most external catering situations, someone is optimising in the background… Most of the components from the corn salad to the Schupfnudeln were okay. But the underlying premise is the same as the army. A team of cooks assemble dishes aimed at feeding the troops not at pleasing the gourmets. It really wasn’t much different than what you would get at a Migros Restaurant place. Overall if you get sponsored tickets, take them – otherwise buy a decent seat, eat at a fancy restaurant and you get the better overall experience.
Waldheim caught my eye a long time ago and finally the chance arose to grab lunch here. The place was a quarter full and seats in the garden were freely available. The location is in the middle of nowhere, which is helping the availability of seats. Waldheim sports a business lunch at a hefty price. In the pursuit of fine dining and ensuring that our readers are well informed, we went for it. First up was a sandwich of buffalo mozzerella and tomatoes. Classic ingredients and a very tasty mozzerella were noted on the plus side. However the whole sandwich approach fell apart. It was a bit difficult to eat and it wasn’t a good idea. The accompaning pepper sauce gave it a nice little twang. Main course was beef with chanterelles served with a risotto. The main didn’t come together in terms of flavor. The sauce was simply to overpowering and the dish wasn’t balanced well. The risotto was okay, the dried tomatoes enhancing the flavor profile. Even the nice garden can’t save the day, the place is simply too expensive for what they offer. CHF 41 for this type of lunch in an obscure side road in Bern is too expensive. Compare it to the “Weisses Rössli” in Zurich which has 13 Gault Millau points serves a business lunch of the same level for CHF 29. It must be the high level of government workers which are invited for lunch by lobbyist why a place like this can get away with these prices. Just to prove my point, a former high ranking member of the consumer advocates group is dining next to us, why she wasn’t protesting the prices couldn’t be determined.
Luckily we had a reservation when walking into Fugu on a lovely late summer night. Fugu depcits itself as a Japanese-Thai crossover, but the menu (asides from the sake) makes only a minimal japanese impression. The appetizer, a homemade springroll with crispy duck meat and glass noodles was offending. No taste of duck, the noodles mushy and lacking any sensation – why wasn’t something fresh and vibrant added to the spring roll? The main course didn’t really give me a good vibe either. While the Yellowfish tuna was good, putting radishes on top is dumb. The crunchy and spicy radish completely overpowers the delicate tuna and the level of oil used in the Spinach Garlic Dip was way too much. Strange was the side order of tomatoes with honey and ginger. The sweetness of the ginger which was caramalized with honey overamplified with the slight sweetness of the tomatoes. The ginger would have been interesting on a dessert but not on tomatoes. Looking around the restaurant it seems to be clearly very popular with groups of women. This is always a bad sign when it comes to dining, since women rate calories higher than the quality of the food. Summarising it’s a run of the mill “pan asian” eatery, ideal if you need to invite your secretary for lunch, otherwise stay away. Prices were steep for Bern with 14 CHF for the spring rolls and 39 CHF for the tuna.
The Restaurant Seidenhof is located in the Laenggass area in Bern. Looking for a bite to eat, it has a lovely garden located under some big chestnut trees giving it plenty of shade. For lunch the place offers six menus all accompanied with your choice of one from four different salads. The waitress seemed a bit overwhelmed by waiting on four good looking men. That’s the only explanation as to why it took thirty minutes to deliver a cucumber salad with yoghurt sauce. It wasn’t worth the wait simply because someone forgot to add salt and pepper to the salad. After asking the waitress to check up on our food since now we were sitting down for 45 minutes finally our main courses arrived. The pork filet was dead on arrival, cooked to an arid texture. Again the vegetables were lacking salt and pepper. The place is probably good to drink beer in the shade but waiting 45 minutes for your main course when ordering from the lunch menu is a joke, especially if the quality of the food is abysmal. The dry pork filet cost a whopping 34 CHF.
Casa Novo is located on the banks of the Aare, the river snaking through Bern. If you reserve here on a sunny day, make sure that you get a table on the lower terasse right next to the Aare. The Fräulein Wunder you’re trying to seduce or the mother-in-law you’re trying to impress will all think that you’re a smooth player with excellent taste. The beef tatare was slightly disappointing, since the medium spicyness did not generate any hint of heat. The service for refilling our toast was impeccable and as soon as the basket was empty a new one appeared. Mains were very tasty veal liver cubes with a port wine sauce and vegetables. Nothing to complain, well executed food, however the side dish of Olive linguine was lacking a bit of aroma. The prices reflect the location, but when you look at the people jumping the bridge into the river and you enjoy the majestic flow of the Aare, you’ll be able to cope with the impact of the bill. The CEO of a major swiss telco company sitting behind us clearly indicates that Casa Novo is best visited on a company lunch expense account:
Jack’s is really the only bit which is left of the Schweizerhof, the hotel just next to the train station in Bern. On the outside it doesn’t become clear that the place is open, walking through the door it has a similar vibe as the Kronenhalle in Zurich, although not quite as fancy. If you like Grand Hotels, you’ll like this place. My meal started of with a duck liver terrine, nothing spectacular. A bit more special was the liver à la anglaise. The big piece of meat has a nice metal tang to it, the traditional servings of beans and potatoes. A seldom combination where the classic patina of the restaurant is matched perfectly by the dish. Dessert was a fancy-schmancy something, next time I’ll just get a Coupe Danmark.
The night before the Bundesratswahl, I was at an interesting dinner party at the Metzgerstübli, a two story restaurant on the Münstergasse in Bern. The menu appears rather seasonal and we are warned that there will be a wait since everything is fresh. I opted for a cod on top of beetroot dressed with herb foam and chorizo. I really like chorizo if it’s cooked and the combination with beets and cod was good. The only thing which should have been left out was the herb foam, the yellow eggish color and taste didn’t help the dish. The contrast of the beet root’s with the cod’s texture was nice. A filet of beef followed. One of the biggest debate is how meat should be cooked. I strongly prefer bien cuit or medium over anything else. The filet was cooked to order and accompanied with a nice roast sauce. Potatoes and vegetables were up to par. The only thing which detracted was the greenish pesto sauce on top of the meat. It was cold and didn’t add anything to the dish. The meat would have been better off by just leaving out the pesto. No price information as I was invited.
The Restaurant Zebra in Bern has a unique selling point, a wonderful garden. There is gravel on the ground and a whole set of beautiful trees giving shade to the complete garden. The place was buzzing for lunch, no tables were available without a reservation, so call ahead if you feel like eating there.
The menu is concise and displayed on a wall. Certainly convenient for the staff, but a pain trying to read it from across the garden. Printing the menu out and propping it onto the table isn’t that much work… We kicked our meal off with a menu salad, nothing special. Main Course was great, excellent price, spot on for lunch. This was one of the best pork steaks I’ve had, crunchy and caramelized exterior, wet and soft center. The Gnocchi were actually homemade, you could feel the love of a big fat italian mamma coming at you through this plate. The Marsala sauce went nicely with the Gnocchi. The only bad part were the vegetables, they looked very nice, but like a photoshopped bikini babe in Playboy, they fell short on a closeup and personal inspection. Underseasoned, overcooked.
Salad, Steak with Gnocchi, 2x 3dl Cokes put me out 26.10 CHF. Great place for a summer lunch, decent prices.