La Cavallera Apfel Lardo Kaviar

3 Hoteltipps für Foodies: die diesjährigen Neuzugänge im Fokus

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I not only like hiking, but also have a soft spot for culinary discoveries. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for hotels with exciting restaurant openings and promising restaurants. After this interest in top gastronomy inspired me to make three short trips to the Engadine, the canton of Aargau and the canton of Thurgau this year, it is time to dedicate a few lines to it here on the blog. Rumor has it that there are also one or two foodies among you, dear readers.

Below you will find an overview of this year’s new discoveries. The order is not to be understood as a ranking.

The all-rounder: The crown in La Punt-Chamues-ch

The crown in La Punt-Chamues-ch has been on my bucket list for a long time. The striking building, which stands at the foot of the Albula Pass road directly on a bridge over the Inn, has a long tradition as an inn and also an excellent reputation when it comes to culinary delights. After the landlord couple Sonja and Andreas Martin had worked here for 20 years, a change of staff took place at the beginning of this year’s summer season, which caught my attention. James and Natacha Baron have been announced as the new hosts. I discovered the Englishman James Baron in the summer of 2018 while looking for a nice stop at the Arlberg. At the time, he was cooking at the Tannenhof, which had been awarded 18 GaultMillau points, which seemed to me to be just right for the lunch break. We were so impressed by the menu served there that half a year later we planned our trip to South Tyrol in such a way that another lunch at the Tannenhof was included.

After a two-year stint at Mandarin Oriental, James Baron is now back in the Alps. If that’s not a reason to finally check in at the Krone? No sooner said than done. The location of the Krone, five minutes from La Punt Chamues-ch train station, is perfect for a sporty hiking (or cross-country skiing in winter) weekend in the Engadine.

The culinary concept of the Krone is divided into two parts; On the one hand, there is “casual dining” in the Arvenstube. The à la carte menu includes a beautifully assorted selection of starters, main courses and desserts – including regional classics such as pizokels or capuns. If you don’t order expensive pieces of meat, you can enjoy a very fine three-course dinner here for around 60 to 70 CHF.

The small “fine dining” restaurant “La Chavallera” is housed in a separate room. And yes, it’s really worth a detour! Accordingly, it is advisable to make a reservation early. The menu is available in 4, 6 or 9 courses with the signature dishes or in a vegetarian version. We tried our way through the nine courses of the summer menu and were very impressed. James Baron likes it classic in terms of taste – cream, butter, champagne sauces – and with nine courses, it can therefore be a bit fattening in the end, despite all the lightness of the individual dishes. I confess: Half of the dessert went over to the friend.

How much does it cost?
4 courses are available for 110 CHF, 9 courses for 228 CHF
Why should I treat myself to that?
Perfect combination of hiking weekend and nice accommodation
What should I not miss?
The apple, lardo and caviar combo and the pear ravioli
Where is there potential for optimization?
During our visit, there was no beverage accompaniment

ps. for vegans (and all others who are enthusiastic about vegan cuisine) a detour to the neighboring village is recommended at this point. There, Stüva Colani chef Paolo Casanova (1 star, 16 GaultMillau points) offers an excellent vegan menu (150 CHF).

The ambitious: The Mammertsberg in Freidorf

The latest addition is the Mammertsberg in Freidorf, Thurgau. Here, too, a generational change took place. The previous Relais & Châteaux member hotel with six guest rooms and a gourmet restaurant was acquired by Andreas Caminada and, after a small “refresher phase”, reopened on 1 October with Silvio Germann as head chef and host. In recent years, Silvio Germann has cooked his way up from one award to the next at the first Igniv in Bad Ragaz. 18 GaultMillau points and 2 Michelin stars were the results after seven years. In 2016 and 2019 we were at the Igniv Bad Ragaz twice and were accordingly excited about his new place of work.

Especially since I had flirted with a detour to the Mammertsberg from time to time. The venerable timber-framed building was renovated a few years ago in collaboration with the architect Tilla Theus and extended with a modern extension. The result: an exciting combination of old and new in an enviable location high above Lake Constance. From here you can go on extensive bike tours (rental bikes are available). Alternatively, you can also be in the middle of the city centre of St. Gallen in just under 15 minutes by train.

But now back to the culinary experience. This starts in the Mammertsberg in the salon, which is connected to the actual restaurant via a spiral staircase. Here the first appetizers are served and Guiseppe La Vasco, who is in charge of the service, recommends the accompanying drinks. The choice falls on the Thurgoni (the local interpretation of the Negroni) and a mousseux from the Schlossgut Bachtobel. The menu is available in a 3-, 4- or 5-course version with meat/fish or vegetarian. In addition, a suprise course and a cheese course can be ordered for 28 CHF each. What is included in all menus are five appetizers (mostly based on seasonal vegetables) and four small dishes to get you in the mood; including highlights such as the onion-blackberry combo and divine chestnut gnocchi.

We opted for the full menu including suprise and cheese course. The surprise course is a tasteful interpretation of the traditional dish Älplermagronen, accompanied by another local drop – a Pinot Noir from the Wolfer winery. Anyway: the wine accompaniment has a few surprises in store! Also remarkable: the young, highly motivated crew.

How much does it cost?
The full menu (5 courses) is available for 238 CHF
Why should I treat myself to this?
To fall into bed just one floor up after an all-round perfect gourmet evening: What should I not miss?

Giuseppe Lo Vasco’s
drink recommendations
Where is there room for improvement?
Willi Schmid’s
selection of cheeses
Further information:

The Cozy: The Ox at Caspar Muri

The third culinary detour takes us across the cantonal border to Muri in the canton of Aargau. The three-house Hotel Caspar, which opened at the beginning of the year, attracted my attention not only because of the head chef Sebastian Rabe, but also because of local planning aspects. Directly opposite the former Benedictine abbey – one of the most important cultural assets of the canton of Aargau – the two traditional inns Adler and Ochsen have been combined with the new “Wolf” building to form a new, strong ensemble. 50 rooms, two restaurants, seminar rooms and an event hall – this brings life to the village centre of Muri.

Tilla Theus and her team are also responsible for the architectural design. The architect with roots in Graubünden is regarded as a proven expert in the fields of restaurant and hotel buildings as well as the achievement of a balanced balance between historic buildings and modern extensions.

The rooms are simple but functional. Basically, you wouldn’t necessarily have to check in at Caspar for a dinner at the Ochsen. But it’s definitely more relaxed when you don’t have to drive home to Zurich after dinner. And so the excursion can also be combined, for example, with a visit to the Muri Monastery Museum or a hiking stage on the Aargauer Weg.

Sebastian Rabe’s natural cooking style has already tasted good to us at his previous place of work – the Restaurant Wart in Hünenberg. Here at the Ochsen, he focuses on the element of fire and smoky aromas. In addition to a tasting menu, the Ochsen’s menu also includes à la carte dishes.

Caspar Muri Dessert im Ochsen

How much does it cost?
4 courses are available for 98 CHF, 5 courses for 138 CHF
Why should I treat myself to that?
To enjoy
a relaxing evening at the end of the week: What should I not miss?
The smoked/grilled main course
Where is there room for improvement?
The dessert didn’t necessarily meet
my taste
More info:

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