Posts tagged ‘Guide Michelin’
After a hard day’s work at the Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke on the way home we stopped over at Brunnen for dinner at the Weisses Rössli. Entering the restaurant just 50 meters or so back from the quaint lake, a red Guide Michelin logo catches our eye, obviously we were in for a treat. Our table was reserved at the corner and we sat down. After waiting to get a menu and waiting to get our order in, our confidence was waning. Food arrived and I agree that maybe in hindsight my selection was too avantgardish. Three pieces of sauteed and breaded camembert (where actually ok), but the weird bit was the cranberry foam which was served with the cheese. Foam implies light and airy this was just berries with some slightly cream element. Main course was a veal cordon bleu with roeschti. Tastewise it was okay, roeschti decent just a tad bit heavy on the salt and the butter. The real mindboggling thing here was that the chef decided to serve a half of a strawberry on top. Plain Weird – I’m not sure what the Guide Michelin was looking for, but I was expecting more in terms of food, service and overall quality.
There’s only one restaurant with a Michelin star in Lisboa, Restaurant Eleven led by Joachim Koerper. The location and the building make a simple statement – it’s not going to get any better than this. Sitting at the top of a hill, overlooking a long stretch of lawn, a sleep and very modern building awaits you. The vibe is typical for a Michelin acclaimed restaurant. Some of the dishes had a retro feel to them in terms of ingredients and presentation. The salad with the asparagus and quail egg is a dish you can get in many upscale restaurants (maybe not in this quality). A bit of a disappointment was the main course (fish with peas), especially comparing it with the pork dish which was the alternative. It looked nice but it didn’t excite the taste buds. The most surprising creation was a fish soup with a red wine pear. Surprisingly well balanced in flavor and certainly the most interesting dish on the menu. Eleven was the best restaurant I’d visited in Lisboa. Lisboa is especially tricky since the amount of tourist traps is high and even checking out acclaimed local places, they’re all a bit grimy and radiate a rather rustic charm. As such Eleven is a welcome retreat, even if the dessert plate is a real howler. Of course the place is expensive and lunch for five was just a tad cheaper than dinner for 20 the night before at Docas, it must be noted that most of the wine has great bang for the buck:
Continuing our series of Saturday lunch outings, we headed to Andre Jaeger’s Fischerzunft. It actually has a very nice dining room, comfy and classic, an air of grandeur and a bit of Grand Hotel charm can be felt. Something which always startles me if they serve you an amuse bouche before handing you the menu. Ever since I’ve ran into a scam in younger years in a tourist trap, I go into full battle mode, the same way you would do in sleazy strip joints in Eastern Europe if suddenly a bottle of champagne appears on the table. The maitre de reassured me that we will get a proper menu after our amuse bouche and I was able to relax. Gluttony is my favourite sin and I attempt to commit it on a very regular basis. We opted for the menu and added another dish, some Langoustines with fried vermicelli. Look at the pictures and compare it to Didier de Courten. Mr. Jaeger’s artistic line is much less strict, more flowery and elaborate but beautiful and special, just look at the pictures. On the second amuse bouche a truly perfect green asparagus and a piece of salmon were served. Never have I eaten such a perfectly cooked and slightly sweet asparagus. This simple piece of greenery showed perfectly what can be achieved if you buy absolute top quality food and prepare it expertly (taking into account about 25 steps instead of 3 as you would at home). You’ll find yourself balking at anything else you get in normal restaurants if you oversaturate yourself with Michelin star places… The most interesting dish was the duo of lobster served in two glasses. One was upside down filled with black tea smoke around a lobster navarin, really displeasing, the flavours were off and the smoke a joke at best but it certainly didn’t add to the experience. On the other hand the lobster cocktail was perfect. A combination of lobster tiered with an advanced adaption of a cocktail sauce and a biscuit like layer inbetween. You got the creamy- and crunchyness as well as the distinct lobster taste and texture. I’m not sure if this is the Ying and Yang concept of having a screwed up and a faboulous bit of food on the same plate. The dish which made me chuckle was the intepretation of roesti and eggs with some Vacherin cheese. Quite frankly, Mr. Jaeger’s roesti is nice but it isn’t stellar. Such a comfort food must be done in larger portions, I’m here to try the sea urchin sauce and necessarily the roesti. He took a risk on that dish and it only played out partly. The funniest thing were the other guests in the place, a gay couple around 50, celebrating the birthday of one of the gentlemen. It became quite clearly who was the wife and who was the husband in this group. The elder of the two kept ordering for both of them. It’s very strange if a 50 year old grown man states that Mr. So-and-so will be having this and that as if Mr. So-and-so was an 8 year old boy…
Moving over to the salon, where smoking is allowed, there is a huge cognac bottle held in some kind of tipping contraption to pour for guests. Only Mr. Jaeger is allowed to operate this machinery and the price for a glass is rather steep with 36 CHF. Speaking of prices, even if you only stick to tap water the hit is rather steep, and I once again let censorship prevail:
The inclined reader of this blog, has discovered that I like Saturday noon outings. This time we went to Sierre to the restaurant of Didier der Courten at the Hotel Terminus. Thanks to the new Loetschberg tunnel, Sierre is less than 3 hours by train from Zurich. The Hotel Terminus is a mere 3 minutes walk from the train station, so this is very well feasible for a lunch. The restaurant sports the same air, any other decorated food temple does. Sombre, aristocratic and not the most welcoming. No idea who the interior designer was, but I’m sure he’s famous for his airport lounges and conference rooms worldwide. Enough complaining about the interior, the food is simply fantastic. Yes there is a tendency to fancy schmancy dots and carres on the plate, but the taste sensation is fantastic. Just look at the pictures and be dazzled by the presentation. My favourite was a duck foie gras with a smoked corn ice cream and slices of caramelized apples. The combination reminded me of life on a farm, just a perfect memory which was recalled by the taste and smells of the dish. Another nice touch was the bergamotte, which was added to the langoustine. On the downside,
he’s serving three desserts plus friandises, which was way too much sweetness for me, I’d have preferred another two appetizers more. None of the waiters seemed to speak german, we didn’t mind and communicated in our guttural french. I told the sommelier that “nous avons beacoup de confiance en vous” and he disappointed us on the red wines, there is a heavy focus on the wines made from the indigenous grapes of the Wallis. Still not all these special wines were pleasing my palate. A nice touch was that the coffee was served in the bar. It looks pretty cool with the backdrop of stone and green behind the large window, plus the movement is needed after roughly three hours of nonstop eating. I had to censor parts of this bill, simply because the total amount for this lunch was obscene, keep in mind that we had at least a glass of wine for every savoury course of this meal. You can still see what just the food cost, at the end of this article. Still, right now Didier der Courten is the best restaurant I’ve been to in Switzerland.