Posts tagged ‘Spanish’
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:
I am on a roll – one new first after another and where are you reading this ? Yes, right here on the blog which answers only to one thing, the Truth. This time I went to dinner at Tinto, a new Tapas bar and restaurant at the corner of Lang- and Kanzleistrasse. Before this new founded dining establishment moved in, it was the strip club with the most attractive women – Ceasar’s – at least this is what I heard. I am actually the only patron in the dining room, since there’s a split between the bar (where they serve tapas) and the dining room (proper menu, no tapas). Most people seem to enjoy the slighlty less formal atmosphere at the bar. The menu is small and today there’s also a tasting menu, which I go for. I start with a calf tongue ravigote, which looks like a carpaccio and has a oily yet tasty sauce, which was nicely scooped up with the splendid bread. Only criticism is that in a tasting menu, the dish was just too heavy. Next up was a fennel veloute with calf sweetbreads and mussels. My issues with the dish, were that the mussels were unneeeded, the sweetbreads were too thick, the veloute was more of a puree and it was cold (intentionally). Interesting attempt, but needs some reworking. The pulpo with chorizo (parts of it in a molecular powdery way) came on top of some mashed potatoes which reminded a bit of Robuchon’s (albeit not quite as spectacular). Main course was a normal entrecote with some pumpkin on the side. The perfect ending was a very fluffy and airy Crema Catalan (probably a gas cartridge was used). Honestly I thought the tasting menu was more interesting than the components on the regular menu and I wasn’t sure why they’re only serving tapas at the bar and not at a table. On the other hand it seems like there’s a Ferran Adria fan in the kitchen who’s ready to do some experimenting. I’ll be interested to see how this develops. They feature interesting wines and being spanish also offer a decent selection of my favourite wine region (Ribero del Duero). What I thought was interesting is offering glasses by the wine which go up to almost 20 CHF, at that level I usually go for a bottle. Prices:
The Zueritipp and assorted friends of mine spoke favourably of the Restaurant zum goldenen Fass. With a group of friends we sat down for dinner. When we ordered two plates of Tapas as an appetizer, the lady told us that we would be okay with just one (42 CHF) she was right and it was fair to point that out. We enjoyed the chicken skewers and shrimp, the albondigas lacked a bit of fire and taste, and the two octopus variants where somewhat unconvincing due to flavor and texture. We were excited to get our main course which was a smaller chicken with french fries. The best known spanish chicken place is Emilio near the Stauffacher and apparently this place here poached one of their chefs. The chicken was nice, moist and clearly tasted of butter and garlic. The french fries however were a sorry mess. Soggy, strips of potatos swimming in oil were found on our plate – when pointed out she apologized and said this isn’t the way it should be. Anyway – the place cheap (the chicken was 25 CHF) and I believe if you stick to the right dishes from the Tapas menu, the Paella or the chicken with a different side order, you’ll do great. It’s good to know that there are still places in Zurich with prices which won’t send you to poverty. The glass of Limoncello is nice for female patrons, we needed some Carajillos to get the taste out of our mouths.
Cafe Bijou is a small cafe turned restaurant near the Milchbuck. The interior hasn’t changed in the last 20 years and neither have the patrons. I slide into a booth and people seem curious that an outsider strays into their little cozy place. The food is definitely spanish and I select a dish of chorizo which was cooked with cider. A nice starter, especially since the sweet and spicy combination works well. My main dish was a nice bacalao gratin, nicely finished with some cheese and olives. Overall a small, quaint place, serving decent spanish food, the interior needs a makeover though.
The next hot place ? There’s always a couple of them in larger cities. Suprisingly it has been relatively quiet about the Restaurant Real near the Stauffacher. Only a couple of whispers about a new spanish place were surfacing, but this obviously warranted a visit. Assisting in studying the menu was a bite of tortilla, scoring an okay on the chart. Really exciting was the appetizer a serving of pasta with seafood. Seldomly have I seen that much seafood on a plate for 20 CHF. As always with larger, whole crustaceans these dishes get messy, but nothing to complain in terms of flavor. Beef tenderloin a la maison was next accompanied with some spanish potatoes. A nice dish to go with a bottle of Aalto, simply perfectly executed. The downside as in most spanish places is that you always get charged separately for the side dishes. To sum it up a perfect meal, very nice service, unfortunatley it will become harder and harder to get a table here. Countering this effect are the prices:
Picasso is near Langstrasse and is poised as yet another Spanish place. Only two tables were occupied this night, making the place a bit empty. Why both parties were seated just directly behing each other didn’t really make much sense to me. Again I ordered a sepia, it had a nice tang but the one at Metzg I liked better. My main course was lamb rack with spanish potatoes. I really have a soft spot for these spanish potatoes and these ones again had the same effect, nice crisp, nice spicyness – just one of the best side dishes I know. The lamb was cooked the way I expected it to be, the nicest thing is that 34.50 CHF is quite a decent price for a spanish place in Zurich. I’ll definitely be back here. Details for two with wine:
Restaurant Madrid at the Froschaugasse in Niederdorf, is one of those places where you’ll walk by and never really feel drawn to go for a meal there. Luck had it, that a colleague of mine setup a lunch meeting at the Madrid. The restaurant has a classic, traditional feel to it, certainly a safe bet with men over 40. I started with some veal ravioli in a butter foam sauce. Now I’ve ranted at the same dish I had in the Schoenau, but at least here you could see the ravioli and it was presented in a clean and stylish fashion. Taste was subtle, just the way it should be. I ordered the FILETE ESPECIAL “MADRID” as my main course. Now after looking at the picture I can understand if you feel a bit hesitant and agree that the colors are not exactly playful… Still I liked the creaminess of the sauce and the olives, it was a decent piece of meat. What I’m still dreaming about are the potatoes which were served with the meat. I know the germans are really proud of their Bratkartoffeln, but the spanish ones are just so much better. Crispy discs of potatoes and a touch of spiciness, I’m actually thinking of going vegeterian all the way the next time I’m here. Dessert was a classic Creme Catalan, for some reason I feel that the Creme Catalan is perfect if it needs at least a medium amount of spoon whipping to break the caramelised sugar sealing on the top. It passed my elaborate screening process. On the downside I did feel like an American honeymooner on his first trip to Europe when the bill arrived. We ordered a digestif to go with our espresso and the waiter took advantage of our good mood and told us he had a good brandy. We didn’t asked how much this was going to set us back and found out that it cost whopping 22 CHF! And not it wasn’t 3 times better than a decent Williams. The place has nice food but even if you deduct the alcoholic beverages, it is expensive:
Have you ever stood in front of the menu posted outside and wondered whether to go in or not? Certainly – but have you ever been approached by people sitting in the restaurant who got up to tell you that you really have to eat here because the food is great ? It so happened at the Pergola . It felt warm and welcoming when coming in and we were greeted in a friendly manner. The interior looks like a restaurant you’d see on Columbo, but it adds to the charme. I ordered Sepia Pergola (cuttlefish) which was served in a small pan, slighlty spicy with garlic and was a decent starter. I’d have preferred a bit more lemon juice and a bit more spice, but at least the Sepia was cooked right. What really got me drooling was my main course. The vegetables were nice – but not the center of my personal attention – it was the filet of beef I had ordered. It was served in a separate metal and very hot pan. Again I see my bypass operation coming closer because the amount of butter in which it was cooked was incredible and it tasted fantastic. Juicy and red in the center, in the sizzling butter – that’s the way to serve meat.
The guys from Peter Luger should take a lesson here and learn that there are other ways to prepare meat than just burning it. Pergola is a great neighborhood eatery, prices are not cheap – but decent for the food: