by Nick Malgieri
New York, New York
August 27, 2005
The mid-winter meal I had started with three little post of spreads to play with while waiting for the first course – they were made from duck liver, black olives and celery root respectively. The first course was a parsnip soup with oatmeal and a garnish of shredded salty-sweet cured ham from Willsau near Lucerne. Next, a ragout of diced calf’s foot with Jerusalem artichokes and black truffles – I almost swooned this was so good. The main course was a rack of baby lamb with polenta and a herb salad that included dill, tarragon, celery leaves and mache, called nuessli in Swiss German. Dessert was a slice of barely cooked beet, providing an earthy counterpoint to a compote of preserved sour cherries, a sour cream ice cream and scoop of a quite bitter chocolate mousse, perfectly echoing the earthiness of the beet. I think I’ll have to go back to see what Brunner is concoting in each season. I love this type of approach to food -- it stretches the boundaries and comes up with a surprising touch that makes perfect flavor sense in each dish, without making them bizarre for the sake of bizarre.
Kaiser’s Reblaube/Goethe Stuebli
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From journal Zurich: My Second Hometown