2020/01/19

Review of Restaurant Zur Gedult, Burgdorf near Bern/Switzerland

Location

Refined fine dining in a historic restaurant in the Emmental region

Yet again my husband and I went on tour to explore the best fine dining spots in my home region, the triangle of Basel, Bern and Zurich in Switzerland. This time, we ended up in Burgdorf, a medival town in the Emmental region – where the original Emmental cheese comes from –, not far from Bern. Here, a talented young chef is at work, and these in the historic restaurant of Zur Gedult, where he celebrates a sophisticated cuisine.

Location

The restaurant is located amidst the picturesque old town of Burgdorf, the largest settlement in the Emmental region, a rural area with hills and pastureland. The town can be reached from Bern in about 15 minutes by train or from my home town of Olten in about 30 minutes by train. Once arrived at the train station, it is a pleasant 10 minute-walk through the idyllic medieval town to the Restaurant Zur Gedult.

Facilities

In one of the nicest parts of Burgdorf, in the lower old town with their cobbled streets, you find the lovely bistro-style Restaurant Zur Gedult. When passing here, you can clearly see the action going on in its interiors.
It is a cozy place, with 32 seats, a bar and featuring a predominant color, which is evidently red.


Our party of four had a table at the rear of the restaurant, which was appreciated by us as there was quite a large group seated in the front.

Ambiance/Service

This could be a typical bistro, e.g. in Paris, but nota bene, the cuisine is far from being bistro-like – more to it later on ... It is an atmospheric place, simply furnished, with a warm feel.

The restaurant has been under new management since the beginning of 2019. A group of local foodies formed a cooperative in order to keep the fine dining establishment alive, a great idea! The cooperative’s chairwoman, a business woman, was present and was in charge of the service, together with a young female server. Both were gracious, informative and professional, there is nothing to criticize. 

The only thing that was a bit awkward was the fact that it took quite long until the dinner “got in gear”. We were quickly served an array of snacks and shortly afterward, an amuse bouche. Then it took quite a while until the bread arrived and then there was again a rather long waiting period before the first course was served. From this point of time, everything proceeded smoothly with time intervals that seemed adequate to us. To their credit, it has to be said that one of our party only ate vegetarian fare and another fellow dinner had some alterations on her menu.

Food concept/Pricing

Zur Gedult is helmed by chef Lukas Kiener, who has been in charge since 2016 – he was adopted with open arms when the management changed at the beginning of this year. The young chef is not an unknown person in Bern and surroundings as he was part of a team that made another regional place great (Eisblume Worb, now permanently closed). For his performance at Zur Eintracht, he even got a Michelin star (at the beginning of 2019) and was awarded 16 points Gault-Millau (one more than the year before).

In terms of food concept, there is a sole menu with six courses, out of which you can opt for all of them (140 SFR/US$), five courses (130 SFR/US$), four ones (115 SFR/US$) or three of them (95 SFR/US$). Granted, this is pricey but absolutely aligned with the quality provided.

In case you want to have a vegetarian meal, they are happy to prepare you a meatless three- to six-course dinner.

5-course menu

Most of us went for the 5-course menu, i.e. we left away the cheese course.

The dinner started furiously with an array of delicious snacks put in small bowls in front of us.

And on it went with the amuse-bouche, a tasty mousse of Jerusalem artichoke.

Next was a scrumptious bread with its condiments. While we liked what we got, we were a bit astonished to see that the latter was served on a personal plate. There was no other choice to get “rid of” it than to tackle it immediately and finish it completely – not that we found it too hard –, as it was not suitable as a side plate.

Then it was time for the first “official” starter, a delectable arrangement of beetroot, caviar, lardo (Italian bacon) and egg yolk, a great beginning and a prelude for the delights to come!

We proceeded with a chickpea tart with layers of lamb, kumquat and fennel, what an ingenious dish! It was an amazing combination of tastes, textures and flavors, making it for me the most heavenly (savory) bite of this dinner.

The fish course featured turbot paired with almond, leeks and quince, another intriguing creation.

The meal continued with the meat dish, which was a tender and juicy piece of veal from Limousin cows in unison with sweat potato, corn and onion. Again, all these ingredients worked nicely together.

The feast ended up with a dessert that was a total hit, a divine mélange of chocolate, shortbread, rosemary and pear.
This sweet dream could not be topped by the petite-fours, which were nice but not exactly memorable and abundant. But of course, we had had enough. Noteworthy is the fact, that it stuck out although we were quite in a hurry to leave because some of us had to catch a train. Never underestimate a last impression!

Overall

Our trip to the countryside to have dinner at Restaurant Zur Gedult in Burgdorf in the surroundings of Switzerland’s capital of Bern was well worth the effort! We could not be more delighted by the chef’s culinary savoir-faire. Lukas Kiener is a real wizard in the kitchen, and I am sure there is much more to follow in the future as I do not think that he has arrived at its zenith yet! I firmly hope that the cooperative running this restaurant will be successful to keep this gem of place alive. We will be back for sure!

Date of visit: November 2019


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