Posts tagged ‘seefeld’
I was in fear for my life. I attended a health checkup in a center specialised for such a thing. About 45 minutes of tests (incl. a blood sample) lead me to a room with a doctor to discuss my results. I should eat healthier (less meat & sausages, more greens), watch my weight (I’m over 25 in terms of BMI) and drink less (less than a drink a day). I could have just listened to my mother instead of commanding scarce resources of our health care system for those insights… However my cholesterol is through the roof. The lady doctor gives me a whole story of heart attacks, clogged arteries and that I should stick to my non-smoking plans, she interjects a dirty look every now and then. Doing some reading online I found out that the hypothesis of high cholesterol and heart disease seems to be disputed to say the least. Best sentence I found was “Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit”. So I guess I asked myself, how good can a doctor be who sits in a check-up center, looks at a computer display with numbers and gives the same old spiel about 12 times a day ? The checkup center seems to be the career basement of medically trained personel. Knowing this I felt better about the dinner I was to attend and angry at a not so special someone I met in a medical facility. At Stefs Freieck restaurant in the Seefeld a group of friends had ordered a special meal and I joined in to try out the delicacies, all following the offal and innards line. I knew what was coming, but the individual dishes were not announced until after the meal. The first dish was an easy one, a calf head carpaccio with salad. Classic taste, a bit high on the salt, with typical salad tips for this restaurant were strewn on top. The next dish was an interpretation of the Zuercher Aristokratengericht. A piece of sweetbreads on spinach, covered with a mille-feuille pillow. Nothing to complain, but I prefer the version with a “pastetli” it feels more reminiscent of the past. The star of the whole menu came next, breaded calf brains on asparagus with sauce bearnaise. Virtually non of my co-diners would have eaten that, if they’d been told what was served. But everyone was raving about the dish and so was I. Slightly creamy, yet still a bit of firmness to the brains, combined with the crunchy breading was not only a discovery in taste but also a great textural idea. Now I’ll frown for asparagus in early March, but I’ll give it a pass, since it was rounded off by a lovely sauce bearnaise. Next up was heart served on a potato gratin. No one guessed that correctly since it was a fatless, muscle meat, but again it tasted really good, like a ragout but of a very high quality. We moved on to a kidney served in slices with potato foam on top of lentils. Here all the side dishes were great, but the actual kidney was too dry. The last dish was queue de boeuf parmentier, a old and classic french bistro item. Braised oxtail on top of mashed potatoes doused in a bit of truffle sauce. The dish would have profited from being finished in the oven and getting a bit of crisp/sear on the individual portions. I believe the traditional version has oxtail on the bottom and mashed potatoes on the top. It had a strong and distinct taste and was a good match for the wine, but there’s still some room for improvement. I’ll cut the guy some slack, since he was alone in the kitchen and was still doing the regular a la carte business in parallel. Just to manage expectations before you go here and expect an offal meat festival, you need to call ahead to make arrangements. This was a fantastic meal. I ate at least two dishes I’ve never had before and was mind-boggled at least once. Also I bow my head to the man in the kitchen, it takes skill and a deeper culinary understanding to pull off something like this. I’m seeing more potential here than the 13 points currently awarded by the Gault Millau. I’d love to see some dishes on the regular menu… Anyway no bill, since it was an invitation by one of the members of the group. We left the next morning, happy, high and exhausted.
The restaurant Gandria is tucked away from the Seefeldstrasse, close to the Höschgasse. Upon entering, the restaurant makes a small, lovely impression and is obviously owner run. A nice contrast to the “concept” places appearing in Zurich all over town. I had some time on my hands and was looking forward to an excellent lunch. The place sports 14 Gault Millau points, which is okay, but not stellar. I’m shown to a nice booth where I sit down, order a glass of wine and study the menu. My first dish is some scallops on leek. The scallops were accompanied by a tomato sauce with some chili. I wasn’t too fond of the dish, I would have preferred the scallops a tad more cooked. The chili added a nice spice to the sauce, but overpowered the scallops and cut through the sweeteness of the leeks. The main course smelled nicely and I eagerly tucked into the wild-caught shrimp with spaghetti and zuchini and dressed with a lemon sauce. I’m a big fan of pasta and zuchetti strips which was a nice combination, pairing nicely with the fresh lemon taste of the sauce. My favourite protein really is shrimp, but there was something a bit off with the ones served on top of my spaghetti. They were either overcooked or already a bit old. Shrimp cooked perfectly have slight resistance to your bite, but your teeth cut cleanly through the meat, like a sharp knife through a ripe tomato. These shrimp had a slight mealy consistency and was lacking in beauty. Dessert was very good, a sourcream gelato with 40 year old Balsamic vinegar. To be fair I wouldn’t have noticed if the vinegar was only 35 years old. The sweet and creamy ice cream held up nicely with the acid of the vinegar, a simple yet creative way to finish of the meal. Prices are somewhat steep, but not off the chart for a place like this. Looking at the ambition of the place, next time I’ll go for the meat, I’m sure It’ll be a tad better than the seafood.
The Gout Mieux label depicts places with good, homemade food which also is regional. The menu of the Tüfi seems to follow this so we were interested to see how it performed. The appetizer was a salad with chanterelles. The mushrooms were nice, but the salad was too plain. It felt like raw vegetables which is not quite what I was looking for. The roeschti was very good, not the best in Zurich since the strips were to thin but a good one. The hacktätschli were tasty and luscious. The Tüfi is a nice local eatery and surprisingly unpretentious for the Seefeld with a focus on organic and real food. Prices are normal:
The Metzg on Seefeldstrasse is a type of Beiz which offers Swiss and Spanish dishes. A small amuse bouche of thin chorizo and olives is served as a nice touch for something to eat while looking at the menu. I opted for the sepia and was very surprised. It was perfect, nicely flavoured with herbs and garlic and perfectly cook, absolutley no trace of rubber, I really didn’t expect this. My mains was a Cordon bleu with roesti. I really like the crust around it, because it was light in color and was very thin. The filling was classic with no surprises for the good or the bad. Decent neighborhood joint, next time I’ll get a spanish main dish. Prices for two
Schluessel on Seefeldstrasse has a very nice website, which made me curious to checkout the place. Crisis, recession, TARP programs and all, we must all make an effort to stabilize private consumption. Since I only got a corner table for a thursday night even though I made the reservation on a tuesday, I can confirm that Zurich locals are doing their part. The menu has a couple of interesting things and a nice selection of changing specials. Quite friendly it reminds of a little lower key version of Stef’s Zentraleck. I had a nice risotto with Moenchsbart, it was okay. The next dish was better. Roasted calf cheeks with bacon and mashed potatoes. Honest, simple dish, yet poaching cheeks takes a lot of time. I’m a big fan of places which server offal products. I personally like more butter in the mashed potatoes, but assumed that this was a concession to some of the diet crazy female clientele. Dessert was a simple sorbet citron with wodka, a real manly thing, since flambeed dessert lose the alcohol and this one doesn’t. Three of us incl. a bottle of wine, aperitif and water: