2016/12/19

Review of Restaurant Einstein, Aarau/Switzerland

Location

Hippest place in town under new management 

Restaurant Einstein had been our favorite restaurant in Aarau, where recommended fine dining restaurants are not abundant, for the last decade. Unfortunately, the owner of the building gave over the management to a restaurant group in the area, which has been not known for upscale cuisine so far. Having said this, I will not exclude that this restaurant can hold its ground as culinary hot spot, but I have not yet visited the restaurant since its reopening in August 2016. Time will tell … Of course, our family decided to have a farewell dinner before closing down. Please pay attention to the fact

that all the details that follow concern the “old” Einstein (in business until July 2016).

Ambiance

When Einstein opened maybe some ten years ago, it took a pioneering role regarding dining in a modern, trendy setting in the area. It was the first spot in the region of Aarau where the concept of casual fine dining was realized. When I first stepped in, I immediately fell in love with the restaurant. The place is unbelievably stylish and classy: spacious rooms with high ceilings, a chic interior design and cool furniture, really amazing! I always felt like being in a cosmopolitan city when having dinner at this restaurant and not in a provincial town.

Einstein is divided into three parts: there is a bar, a lounge and a restaurant. The eating area is parted, there is a room divider in between. There are an open kitchen, a kitchen table area and an asado grill, which I do not fancy too much because sometimes it smells like smoke, especially when being seated in the front room of the eating area. When the restaurant is full, it can be quite noisy, especially when the lounge area is busy and noise spills over to the dining area. There is also an outdoor seating, but it is not really a hit and somewhat drafty.

Interior

Food concept

The food concept was more or less the same over the years, although the crew changed quite a lot. When I remember correctly, first there was only an a la carte menu, then there was an a la carte menu and a prix fixed menu, after some more time a barbecue menu was added (after having acquired an asado-grill). Most recently, there was an a la carte menu where the barbecue items were integrated. Ever since Einstein had been opened, a modern European-Asian-Fusion cuisine was featured. The choice was not really large, but sufficient. Whereas the ones from the grill lacked sophistication, the other ones did have an element of finesse. I preferred the latter over the former, except when I was very hungry.

Starter: Tuna Tatar with Asian Vegetables

Sampled dishes

On the occasion of our farewell dinner at Einstein, we made the following choice. As starters we went for a tuna tatar with Asian vegetables, scallops with orange fennel salad and a Mediterranean salad. As mains we opted for a duck breast with saffron risotto and lamb chops with sweet potato puree. For desserts we chose a cheesecake in the glass and a seasonal sorbet. All the dishes were tasty creations, expertly prepared and nicely arranged.

Starter: Scallops with Orange Fennel Salad

Service/price level


The young service staff normally was hospitable and prompt enough. When the place was busy, the employees had sometimes trouble to meet the demands, but normally they were able to resolve problems quite fast.

Main: Duck Breast with Saffron Risotto

Prices for dinner seemed okay for such kind of a restaurant. It certainly was not a bargain, but you cannot expect this from such a place. Regarding prices for the lunch menu it can be said that while in the beginning it was reasonably priced, prices started to raise more and more over time.

Main: Lamb Chops with Sweet Potato Puree

I am sad that the management of this hip restaurant with its great vibe changed hands in mid 2016. As mentioned at the beginning, the restaurant group, which is in charge now, does not have the reputation of operating in the field of sophisticated cuisine. When looking through reviews at TripAdvisor I noticed that they are reasonably good. Guests are generally satisfied with the food, but complain sometimes about a spotty service. When having a look at the dinner menu, I found that it sounds promising and is kept small, which is a good thing in my opinion. “Do less, but do it better” is always a good approach. As far as the lunch menu is concerned, I thought that it is quite pricey, especially the main course of the business menu. 53 SFR for a veal steak seems rather high. Be that as it may, I need to have dinner there first in order to give a proper assessment of the place. I will check out the “new” Einstein soon and will report on its performance.

Dessert: Cheesecake in the Glass


Date of visit: June 2016

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