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Posts tagged ‘Gault Millau’

Delmonico Fine Arts Restaurant, Hopfenstrasse, Zurich

Mit Mönchsbart marinierter Lachs auf Kartoffeln und Bagnetto Rosso Sauce serviert mit einem Spargelsalat an Tatarsauce und Frühlingszwiebeln

Angolotti mit sizilianischen Orangen, Ziegenricotta und Kräuter an Gremolata, begleitet von Tagiolini mit frischen Tomaten


Kandierte Schweinsbacke auf sizilianischem Ratatouille begleitet von Schweinebauch auf Randenkarottenpüree und Bärlauchsalsa

Nougat semi-freddo in Kaktusfeigensuppe mit sizilanischem Cannolo

Parmesan Creme brûlée

Probably the most stubborn of chefs has been standing behind his clear line a the Delmonico Fine Arts restaurant for a couple of years. The menu has been slightly revamped for this spring and I decided to give it another go. The restaurant – with a very distinct interior design – draws on two main pillars, a strong presence of the Chef’s sicillian heritage and his fondness of top notch quality food. The first dish was some salmon on barba di frate (monk’s beard) and potatoes paired with an asparagus salad drizzled with a tartare sauce. I loved the salad, maybe the sauce was a bit strong and somewhat overpowered the asparagus, otherwise the dish felt fresh and refreshing a great glimpse to spring. As expected the pasta course was next and I was blown away. I called them Ravioli, but they’re actually dubbed as Agnolotti which were filled with sicillian oranges, goat ricotta and herbs. A small serving of Tagliolini was also on the course. The Agnolotti where a dream, an explosion of flavours, with a lovely balance left me craving for more and I would have sold my dining partner into slavery for another plate. This would have been illegal, hence I relinquished the idea and turned to the Tagliolini. Now some restaurants use the utterly stupid name of angel hair pasta to describe thin strands of dough cooked in salty water, but more often than not what you get is more of demonly quality. Contrary the ones here were clearly of nirvanistic quality. Instead of an amuse bouche as a small surprise a strawberry sorbet was served in between courses and the lingering salty taste played nicely with the sweetness of the sorbet. The main course was all pork, serving a piece of cheek and a piece of belly. I enjoyed the sicillian ratatouille, which consisted of zucchini, aubergine, potatoes and pine nuts. The meats were expertly prepared with touches of different citrus fruit. I think it’s brave to serve pork belly in a menu, since most women will probably shy away from it, but if you’re looking for powerful flavours, this is good. Another highlight was the dessert a semifreddo of nougat, served on prickly pear soup and topped with a filled Cannolo. It was on the sweet side (as you’d expect from an italian dessert) but it wasn’t verging on being kitschy. My kind of dessert since it shows skill and is a testament to the chef’s heritage. After dessert a parmiggiano creme brulee followed, quite frankly I thought that would have been better before the actual dessert, since it once again has a tantalizing mix of savoury and sweet flavours. I’m assuming this was a concession to classic french menus. What can I say ? This guy’s pasta is arguably the best in town. People will tell you about Cappeletti at Da Angelo or Pasta at Ciro, in true Donnie Brasco manner I would say “forget about it”. The pasta here is more modern, more exacting in its preparation and on a Michelin level. I misplaced the bill, but the menu was 208.80 CHF including a different glass of wine for every course, coffee (lovely petit fours), a beer and coffee. The guy might be stubborn, but he’s good and probably your best bet in Zurich for upscale and more modern italian food.

Restaurant Adelboden, Steinen, Schwyz


Thunfish und Hacktätschli


In Nussbutter gebratene Eglifilet aus dem Zugersee "Fräulein Speck", mit Quinoa, Kapern und Orangensalz

Ochsenschwanzravioli mit Nussbutter und Jahrgangssbrinz

Confierte Muoathaler Kalbsbrust und tranchiertes Rindskotelette mit Bergkäse Tortellini

I’ve told the story before, that I found out the day before it was announced that Franz Wiget of the Wiget Adelboden was named restaurant of the year. I tried to secure a table, so that I’d be able to outdo the press but I was out of luck at such a short notice. Being a fierce scooter driver, a couple of weeks later after waking up (I was on vacation) I decided at roughly 10:30 am, that I’d head over for lunch. My testicles (albeit manly and large to start out with) lost a bit in diameter due to the severe cold in riding over an hour to this godforsaken place in the Kanton of Schwyz. To avoid any concerns with my vast and loyal female readership, they have fully recuperated in the meantime. I get a nice table just next to an old tiled stove in a dining room filled with wooden panels. I forgo the menu and order a mix of a la carte dishes. A flurry of appetizers and dishes make it my way. The chilled oyster was excellent, with a tad of vinaigrette served on top. Second was a lovely meatball paired with a nice piece of tuna. I wasn’t a big fan of the scallop carpaccio, not just because I’m not too big a fan of raw scallops (one has to try every now and then) but also because I found it somewhat weird when I looked at the restaurant. It prides itself on a strong “Schwyzer” heritage, calling out all kind of local producers and then still offers these kind of dishes. For me this felt like a slight disconnect. My favourite dish was the Egli filet (European perch) from the lake of Zug “Fräulein Speck” sauteed in nuss butter, with Quinoa, capers and orange salt. Perfect balance of the individual flavours, a good take on local produce (minus the Quinoa) and strong skill behind the stove. The next dish was one I just couldn’t leave out, since I truly love oxtail raviolis and these one were pitched as having been refined with vintage Sbrinz (swiss hard cheese). Maybe my expectations were too high, but the ones I had at the Taggenberg were better, since I felt they were richer and deeper in flavour. Nothing to complain on my main dish, confied calf breast, beef chop and a tortellini in terms of flavour. It was a rather traditional dish and not as refined as the Egli, but solid. This often makes sense since by now you’re already a bit tired from all the earlier dishes. I won’t comment on the desserts, since my blogging buddy from the Dessertblog does so with much more skill than I do. Overall I was slightly disappointed, since my out-of-proportion expectations were not met in every course. One of the things which I didn’t quite get was the 72 CHF price tag on the meat course, I thought that was over the top. Prices:


Clouds, Prime Tower, Zurich

Calamares-Carpaccio mit kurz gebratenen Jakobsmuscheln und Chorizo

Maisveloute mit Salz-Caramel-Popcorn und Kapaunbrust

Raviolone mit Büffelricotta und Eigelb auf Blattspinat und Trüffelbutter

Zanderfilet auf Lyoner-Kartoffeln mit Salbei-Wirsing und Paprikajus

Dessert vom Wägeli

A steady drop hollows the stone is an old german saying. Thanks to my bravery, conniving personality and persistence I present you with the first formal review of the highly anticipated restaurant Clouds on top of the Prime Tower. As pointed out before, my anonymous approach has its limits when you try to snag a table at the most sought after hot-spot. It actually took me multiple tries (once I even showed up in person and waited in the lounge to no avail) and a bit of luck to get a table. I seldomly talk about the setting, but Clouds is a different story. If you’re into railways like myself, it is a fantastic place, since you’re looking at Zurich HB like you’ve never have before. The view alone is worth a visit (I’ve attached a picture at the end). If you’re planning on getting married, want to impress out-of-town folks or are trying to show that speed-dating acquaintance how urban you are – this is the place to go to. It doesn’t have much heartfelt soul and the crowd could be any business crowd in New York or Berlin, but it oozes sophistication and it just fits Zurich and the Prime tower perfectly. Before starting my meal I was slighltly put off since one of the long obelisk shaped breads I tasted had fruit and nuts in it. That would be nice for cheese at the end but I thought it was disturbing at the beginning. I start off with a Calamares Carpaccio, scallops and some chorizo. I liked the dish, especially since the chef showed a lot of balance and restraint in the use of the spicy sausage, as well as the delicate presentation of the octopus. Next dish was a corn veloute with popcorn and kapaun (castrated rooster). Now when it was served I was told it was a “Maispoularde” and some of the corn kernels were a tad chewy. I think here there’s room for improvement in menu description and execution. The slightly deconstructed Raviolone revolving around and egg in the middle, topped with cheese slices & truffled sauce while resting on a bed of spinach was a fun and tasty course. I was slightly perplex, when the waitress offered to shave some more Perigord truffles on top, I declined for the reason of me being not the biggest truffle fan, but it certainly was a generous gesture. Looking around the dining room it seemed that every main course is served with sauce, which is brought to the table in a seperate container and then artfully poured over your plate. So the same was true for my pike perch on savoy (wirsing) and potatoes a la Lyonnaise, accompanied with a jus made of peppers. The only criticism here were that I thought the potatoes were more like chips and were fried too much for my taste. I felt that the peppers sauce elevated the dish and highlighted the fish. For dessert I picked some small tibits off the Wägeli (cart). I’ll come right to it, I never though that with two acclaimed chefs in the kitchen this could work and to be honest the place is pretty fucking fantastic. I could sit for hours and stare out the window at the trains, only to be interrupted every now and then with a tasty course. There is still room for improvement, so if I’d have to guess I’d say they’ll be looking at 15 to 16 Gault Millau points moving forward. Whoever came up with the concept here deserves praise and I’m willing to bet a good bottle of Champagne, that Clouds will be a Zurich hotspot for months to come. Prices were actually okay for all the food I ate:


Real-life Märklin feeling

Wirtschaft St. Pelagius, Pelagiberg, St. Gallen


Amuse bouches

In Sesamöl gebratene Kalbsmilken mit Grissini

Eierschwämmli mit Kräutercrêpe und Flan

Kalbsrücken mit Bratkartoffeln, Gemüse und Gartenkräuter


I took my scooter for a ride into the country and ended up in the middle of nowhere. There’s a convent on top of the hill in St. Pelagiberg, and besides the church there’s a fantastic restaurant called Wirtschaft Pelagius. Now I almost felt bad when I entered the dining room, since it turned out that I was the only guest for Saturday lunch. I thought I’d compensate by ordering a couple of extra courses… Surprisingly two plates of amuse bouches are served setting an immpressive tone to the meal. I liked the “Flaade” I guess that’s comparable to a cheese flat bread. The second plate contained six impeccable amuse bouches, quite a lot to take on, but absolutely no complaints. First course was a sweetbreads with salad and a grissini. The grissini wasn’t as crunchy as it should have been, but the rest was nicely done, especially since all the herbs / flowers etc. coming from their own garden. The next dish was a silky light crepe filled with and bedded on some chanterelles together with a flan. The flan wasn’t my type of texture and lacking taste, I would have just left it off, but the crepe and the chanterelle were delicious. Main course was veal with vegetables. The star here were the Bratkartoffeln (sauteed potatoes), with some olives and dried tomatoes. Next time I’m really thinking about not ordering meat and just going for the potatoes. A nice touch in the mix of vegetables was the zucchini flower. The dessert of the day was okay, one thing was very weird. The sorbet was announced as a raspberry sorbet. I took a spoon and another and another and there was this weird garlic taste. First I thought I had something between my teeth, then I thought the spoon wasn’t washed properly and finally I came to the conclusion that it was actually the sorbet. I mentioned that to the waitress, she was a bit surprised. Funny enough she came back and told me I was right, it was a ramson (Bärlauch) and raspberry sorbet. Now this mix is a bit strange to spring upon guests without prior notice. Overall great meal, great location and actually if you look at it – great prices (also come to think of the freaking 250 CHF fine I paid riding my 125cc scooter down the Hulftegg into Baeretswil on a sunny day going a tad too fast, who puts this automatic photo machines in these horrible locations…):


And I couldn’t resist, since this village is in the area where I have fond and unfond memories, posting a picture someone else took:

Quaint village ?

Restaurant Römerhof, Aarbon, Thurgau

Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

Entenlebertörtchen, gebratene Entenleber, Entenleber mit einem Hauch von Schokolade und Passionsfrucht, Entenleber Catalana

Apfel-Curryschaumsuppe mit Apfelchutney, St. Jakobsmuscheln im Knuspermantel

Zweierlei von Lamrücken, Baumkuchenkartoffel, Marktgemüse


My colleagues are getting older (somehow it seems more rapidly than I am) and are thus becoming more set in their ways. Some of the dining philosophies I’m surrounded with are “If it don’t taste like Schnitzel, I won’t like it” or “Risotto? Nahhh, don’t like rice mush”. Always up for a culinary challenge I proposed to grab a fancy dinner together and try out something new (and of course I wanted to try out the Römerhof since a couple of years). Surprisingly after a modest amount of kicking & screaming of some and plain enthusiasm of others we were on our way. The big bulge under the suit of my german colleague was his backup sandwich in case he’d leave hungry. Our group was big enough that we were shown into a small private dining room of the restaurant which has a good size for party of 6-10 people. After a couple of amuse bouches we dived right into the dishes. The selection of foie gras was a nice showing, four different preparations paired with a Gewürztraminer. I’ll be very picky and have to call out that I’ve made a better fois gras brûlée than the Catalana version here. I would have liked a herb on top which would have given the dish more depth. The rest of the component were up to par, nothing to complain an honorable mention goes to the chocolate roll with foie gras in the center. The next dish was my favourite of the evening. A very well balanced Apple Curry soup with a Coquilles St. Jacques (scallop) in a crunchy wrapper. If you compare this dish to the foie gras plate you can clearly see, that sometimes less is more. The main course was lamb and I guess as with many main courses in topnotch restaurants this falls into the same category – great handicraft, solid showing but not truly exciting or surprising. I personally believe there are two driving factors at play – alcohol and tiring palate. By now you’ll have drunken 2-4 glasses of wine and are starting to feel a certain buzz, also after four challenging plates you’re palate is not as fresh as it used to be. With most people these factors call for stronger, more trusted and well known flavors as well as a subconscious urge for comfort. Hence the main course tends to be less imaginative than the appetizers. Dessert included a nice sorbet and set a good ending point to the meal. At the end of the meal even Schnitzel guy was no longer hungry and was full of praise for the food. The evening was deemed an overall success and even I had to conceed that my face lights up when I see Schnitzel on our Cafeteria’s menu. In summary the Römerhof is well worth a visit, its cuisine and service are up to par and deliver what you can expect for this type of price (7 people including drinks):


au Chat Noir, rue Beau-Séjour, Lausanne

Amuse bouche salade avec pulpo

Mille feuilles de tourteau à l'avocat

Artichauts soufflé glacées a la nicoise

Chop d'agneau

It’s always a difficult call – you only have a couple of days in a city and you’re looking for some interesting places. We settled on going for dinner at au Chat Noir. It’s a brasserie like interior with a lot of wood. There are no menus and you choose your dishes of a black board on the wall. It started with an amuse bouche which was a small bite of octopus on a bed of potato salad. Nice small bite, which influenced the somewhat mediterranean influence this brasserie carries. I was really looking forward to my first course a mille-feuille layered with avocado and crab. I thought the dish fell short, the avocado cream was too heavy and smothered the finer crab. This should be executed in a much more subtle manner. The next course was excellent, it was a “artichoke souffle” which was cold on top of an artichoke lower part. The a la nicoise play where the potato chips, tomatoes, olives and other tibits sprinkled across it. The slight bitter note of the artichoke went good with the other flavours. This was an imaginative and interesting dish. The lamb chops were okay, I wasn’t too fond of the starch which was in a bar shaped form. The restaurant did have a nice mix of fine-dining powerhouse and comfortable eatery, however the food overall wasn’t consitent enough to justify the 15 Gault Millau points it was sporting. Finances:


Eder’s Eichmühle, Eichmühle, Wädenswil


Heimische Krebse mit Kartoffelstockgratin

Schwarzflossenheilbut mit Spinat, Vichysoisse und Forellenkaviar

Mediterrane Gnocchetti Sardi mit Zucchini, Auberginen, Oliven und grillierten Riesenkrevetten

Ragoût von Maine Hummer und Wildwasserkrevetten mit Sojasprossen, Sepiaspaghettini und Lauch

Dessert Sans souci Dorothée, Dessert Ueberraschung

I had a reservation at the Eder’s Eichmühle, a classy restaurant in an old farmhouse in Wädenswil. The menu is of medium size and has a significant amount of shellfish dishes listed. So I was excited to give some of them a try and decided on skipping meat as a main course. After the amuse bouche my first dish was a local crayfish with a mashed potato gratin. The mash was great (albeit a BMI increaser) but overtook the crayfish’s rather delicate aroma. Next course was a piece of grilled halibut, served on spinach and vichysoisse, topped with some trout caviar. I thought this was a well thought out dish, the cold soup taking on some temperature from the spinach gave it another dimension besides the textural and flavor contrasts. Small Gnocchi came my way with a bit of vegetables and some shrimp. Strong, bold flavours, just what you would expect from such a pasta dish, nothing to complain. The only thing which I thought was weird, was the fact that when the couple next to mine table got up and left, a dog emerges from below their table. In all fairness, I hadn’t noticed the mutt before, but when he got up and shook his fur right next to my plate, my blood started boiling. I’ll say it again – dogs have no place in a fine dining restaurant – no exceptions. So I calmed down with another glass of wine and got the main course. It was some Maine lobster & freshwater shrimp served on Sepia Spaghettini with leek and bean sprouts. I didn’t quite understand the dish. The noodles with the leek and sprouts were seasoned with soy sauce. Quite frankly it tasted like ordinary fried noodles you’d get at a Suan Long Chinese restaurant. Pairing these noodles with rather expensive product such as Maine lobster seemed weird. Funny enough when I mentioned (in a more polite way) that I didn’t understand the dish to the chef, he just kind of shrugged his shoulder and mentioned he’s had that on the menu for 15 years. It kind of made sense, people who visited fine dining establishments 15 years ago didn’t eat a lot of chinese food in their age, hence the taste was still a novelty for them. But in today’s world, it’s dated which shows if he’s still serving a dish without reworking it for such a long time. A funny thing was the dessert surprise I ordered, it’s a huge plate of different tibits, great to eat, if you’re still somewhat hungry. Overall I am disappointed, since there was good and bad. I think the shellfish served wasn’t portrayed in it’s best light and that some dishes are dated. Prices are actually fair, considering the products I ate:


Rico’s Kunststuben, Seestrasse, Küsnacht







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:


Sternen, Sennhüttestrasse, Wangen b. Dübendorf

Amuse bouche

À la carte Terrine von Graved Saibling und Avocado mit Kräutersalat und Pommery-Senf

Topinambursuppe mit Hummermedaillon und Basilikum

Sautierte Jakobsmuschel mit Orangenchicorée, Thymian und Schweinebauch

Zürcher Oberländer Rindsfilet-Medaillon an Sauce Béarnaisemit Bäckerinkartoffeln und Wintergemüse

Mandarinenvariation mit Schokolade

Duo von Ananas und Orange mit Kokos Panna Cotta und Kubeben-Pfeffer-Hippe

Sternen in Wangen sounds like a pretty normal restaurant somewhere in the uncharted areas around Dübendorf. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. Treating myself to a glass of champagne I opted for adapting the regular menu to get a good feel for the chef’s ability. You can look at at all the tibits – what was memorable that on the Jerusalem Artichoke soup was served with lobster medallions. The soup initself was so good that it didn’t even need the lobster. Also a very strong showing of skill was the beef filet with female baker’s potatoes. Now I was so thrilled that I forgot to take a picture but the potatoes were so good that I fell in love with the preparation. It goes to show that if a chef has the basics down square he can elevate classic dishes to a whole new level. Also if you consider what I drank and ate – 190 CHF is not over the top (obviously not an everyday meal):


Restaurant Mürset, Schachen, Aarau

Lachs mit Selleriesalat

Gemischter Salat

Leicht gebundene Zitronengrassuppe mit knusprigem Gewürzsegel und kurz gebratenen Würfeln vom Gelbflossen Thunfisch

Rosa gebratenes Entrecôte vom Bison mit Bourbon Whiskeysauce Ricotta-Gemüse-Canneloni und Wintergemüse


Funny enough, I thought there was a place in Aarau called the Riviera, but apparently that was a restaurant. Right next to it is one of the pinnacles of fine dining for Aarau, the
Muerset. It sports multiple dining areas from brasserie to fine dining. The pictures on the website look quaint, so we end up in a table in the corner. Amuse bouche was a celeriac salad with a bit of salmon. The presentation was bad and there could have been more care in trimming the salmon. Next up was a mixed salad which again was somewhat below average. One piece of lettuce was just too big for the plate, the sole tomato in winter made me wonder and the asparagus salad (while a nice touch) was imported from Mexiko. I asked the chef and he did say that he wanted to try something out with the asparagus, nevertheless I’d be expecting some more seasonality in the selection of his produce. The soup which followed was made with lemongrass and some pieces of tuna. Nice flavor combination, good execution, this was the best dish of the meal. Mains was a cut of bison meat with some Canelloni. I like bison and that was perfectly cooked, but the Canelloni were bland. Dessert was Tirolercake which normally brings back memories of my mother making a delicious snack. In this rendition it was more like some dry stuff you get prebaked at the Migros. Maybe it was just a bad day here, but from menu composition, quality of execution and produce this place wasn’t up to the alledged 14 Gault Millau points. Prices: