Zurich – After the holidays and all the feasting, you’re actually always a little tired of eating out. However, my friend had been telling me about the restaurant KIN for a while, so yesterday I went there with her. The interior follows the concept of “reduced to the max” with dark colors. The incredibly good food has a wonderful stage to shine (the perfect lighting on the table helps too :-). We opted for the surprise menu and were definitively surprised with dishes that we might not have ordered on the normal menu. My highlights were the marrow bone ravioli and the dessert of pandan leaves ice-cream with pear and chocolate crumble. But try for yourself, definitely make a reservation.
Zurich – I read about this new restaurant in Zurich in a magazine. It was an ad-like article but somehow it looked very nice and sympathetic that I wanted to try it out.
Then, just before Christmas, I paid a visit to the restaurant. We three ladies were greeted with a glass of champagne on the house. We were spoilt for choice on the menu. I opted for the lamb’s lettuce and cordon rouge – I was not disappointed. My two friends were also very pleased with the Filet Rossini and their fish. I am already looking forward to the next visit.
Reserve a table….and if in Lucerne, look out for the first restaurant “Reussbad Chez Thomas” www.reussbad-luzern.ch
Helsinki – This summer, we were invited to our friends “mökki” (typically a wooden summer house on a lake in the country side). Actually, during the stay with our friends, we were spoiled culinary with the full palette of good Finnish food. Finland offers a great variety of fish, seafood and local meat, vegetables and fruits. This summer was exceptionally warm and we enjoyed more than 20 hours of sunshine every day.
After a wonderful time at the lake and multiple sauna sessions, we wanted to get to know the city of Helsinki. We were lucky, to get a table at the Michelin star awarded OLO (olo means “feeling”), as we had planned our trip on rather short notice.
We chose the 10 course OLO menu, Scandinavian dishes with modern and international nuances. It was just amazing – have a look at the pictures.
(Ambivere) near Bergamo – I have wanted to visit Bergamo for a long time. The old town is really worth seeing, including the panoramic view from the top of the hill.
For dinner though, we made a reservation at the Trattoria Visconti. A place I’ve had on my culinary “to do list” for a long time. We entered the trattoria with a very friendly welcome and were even invited to visit the well-stocked wine cellar with the owner, thanks Daniele :-).
For dinner, we opted for the traditional menu, which included the famous local “casoncelli” here with a recipe by “nonna Ida”. A pasta filled with meat. In the Bergamo area, each family probably has its own recipe for casoncelli alla Bergamasca. Nonna Ida’s pasta came with sage butter and crispy bacon – a treat for the palate. A secret ingredient is hidden for some sweetness. I know what it is, but you have to find out yourself and try 😉 For a starter we had salami nostrano, for main the Guancetta (beek cheek) with polenta and as dessert one of the best apple pies…a very good menu with the best of local ingredients. I’d say the pasta itself is worth the trip to Ambivere, about 15 minutes by car from Bergamo. Be sure to make a reservation!
Zurich – A delicious culinary trip to Italy and Spain.
We took the 4 course menu, which is price wise very fair for 98 CHF. As starter we had Pulpo salad, second was pasta with red chicory and ham. For the main course we had a whole sea bass baked in salt coat and for dessert I chose the chocolate tartlet with a warm and liquid centre. The wine cellar is well stocked with good wines from Italy and Spain. Really very worthwhile the visit with personal and friendly service. Reservation necessary.
Sorrento was a revelation for me. A mid-size city directly by the sea, situated on a spectacular cliff, nearby the famous Amalfi coast. A shopping tour before dinner is recommended especially for hand made leather sandals – I bought mine for example at: www.sandalisiniscalchi.it/en/ you can have them made individually with every imaginable leather, coral or crystal… The region is also known for its delicious lemons, which can be seen in every shop as fresh fruit, cuddly toys, soap, perfume or even decorated cups and household goods. After the shopping you can relax at the big main piazza which is ideal for an nice “Aperitivo” (in Italy pre-dinner drinks are always accompanied by small bites).
The dinner at the Antica Trattoria was spectacular: An interior could hardly be more kitschy and seemed like a scene from an Italian film from the 60s where Sofia Loren or Gina Lollobrigida would enjoy an extended dinner. The waiters wore traditional uniforms and the walls were decorated with painted tiles, framed pictures and plants hung from the ceiling in the cozy pergola.
The food was local and traditional. We shared some starter of Calamari, Fior di Zucca and Melanzane. As main course I had Tagliolini al limone….not just a plate of long noodles with lemon sauce, but homemade fresh pasta with fresh lemon sauce, part of the portion neatly rolled into a hollowed out lemon half. It was simply DELICIOUS! My hubby had the Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. A special thanks to Vincenzo, the mandolin player, who entertained the guests in the restaurant with his passionate play and made our evening even more special: Grazie mille Vincenzo. www.lanticatrattoria.com
Matera is the European Capital of Culture 2019 and rightly so. We made a stop in Matera on our road trip through Italy and could not stop being amazed. (read more about the history of Matera, 3rd oldest town) The place is really very special, because the old part consists of caves – so-called Sassi. The people lived there with their animals until the 1950s, when the mayor of Matera had everything cleared for hygiene reasons. In the 1990s the Sassi were rediscovered and prepared for flats, hotels, restaurants and shops.
We stayed in a beautiful cave hotel – the Sextantio – , which was a very nice and extraordinary experience.
It was also astonishing to discover that in this relatively small village there are two restaurants with Michelin stars. But we relied on the recommendation of our hotel – it was worth it. The restaurant Baccanti with local cuisine is embedded in a cave and although it was still 30 degrees outside, it was pleasantly cool inside. As starter I had animelle (sweetbread on artichoke cream, hazelnuts and black truffle), my hubby chose the “probably” best cheese flan in the world (Podolico cheese flan with pork sausage) and as main course I went for calzoncelli (filled pasta) with black garlic and tomatoes. Of course our stomachs were already full but we still had to try the Tiramisu and the Ricotta dessert. Everything was excellent and I can warmly recommend the restaurant. Reading the menu back home now, I am dreaming of going back to the Baccanti for a great dinner tonight.
Valdenas Rhine gorge – The hotel “Gasthaus am Brunnen” in a 500 year old building is exceptional. It is far away from tourism and crowds of people. It has only 7 rooms and all of them are very different, simply furnished. The house is almost only made of wood and so the room smells wonderfully of wood, one can relax very well in this place.
Restaurant and Dinner
The restaurant in this hidden place is really fantastic. Meat, vegetables and dairy products are from the surroundings/region. The jam for breakfast and homemade and just very delicious. The great thing is that you can simply eat a main course or a whole menu with various delicacies, you always get full. In the afternoon you can drink coffee by the wooden well or have a cocktail in the lounge in the garden and watch the ducks from the farmer next door.
In the surroundings you can visit the Rhine Gorge or take a hike to Lake Cauma and/or Lake Cresta. The nature is beautiful and there is something for every fitness level.