FOR the first meal of the year, GM Simon Rindlisbacher led us to the rooftop of the hotel and treated us to a veritable banquet. It was a fine calm evening and the area made a great setting for our first evening meal since the founding of the Club back in 2003.
Canapés arrived thick and fast, so fast in fact that the paparazzo failed to take any pictures of them, but I promise they were delicious. On offer was Salami Milano, White Asparagus with Swiss Mayonnaise, Paris Ham with Eggs, Fresh Celery Salad “Waldorf”, Air-dried Beef and Gruyere Cheese, Schingägifpäli (flaked puff pastry with ham filling), Chäschüächli (cheese tartlet), and finally Grissini Sticks Wrapped with Speck. With these came several glasses of Franciacorta ‘Alma’ Gran Cuvée Brut (Lombardia, Italy), a sparkling wine, mostly Chardonnay and made by méthode classique, praised by James Suckling (92/100): “that shows tension and vivacity with cooked-apple, peach and lemon aromas and flavours. Full body, plenty of fruit and a crisp finish.” Roy Dean, wine spokesman, started by paying tribute to both Simon for “delivering a fantastic meal” and to Thomas Boedinger for assembling an excellent flight of wines.
The main course commenced with Roasted Beetroot and Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese and Charred Brassica with White Beans and Dijon Mustard Dressing. Both were found to be very enjoyable. There followed a choice of Australian Grain Fed Beef Tomahawk Steak, Roasted Grass Fed Australian Lamb Rack with Walnut Crust and finally Kurobuta Pork Neck rolled with Smoked Bacon, Onions and Garlic with many opting to taste all three. Some, including Rene Kuhn found the beef perfect and their preferred choice but my favourite and that of Roy was the lamb with the pork not far behind.
To accompany the meat, we found Roasted Wine Tomatoes, sautéed Sugar Snap Peas with Coppa, roasted Portobello Mushroom Caps and Potato Gratin plus Three Peppercorn Sauce, Béarnaise Sauce, Red Wine Jus and Café de Paris Butter. A marvelous wine, Montes Alpha 2012 (Chile), a Cabernet Sauvignon that matched the description provided by the wine-maker “Deep ruby-red in colour and very fruity, ripe, and intense on the nose with a predominance of red fruit notes such as strawberries and ripe cherries. Black currants and candied fruit also appear on the palate, where the very well-integrated oak contributes notes of toast, toffee, fresh-ground coffee, tobacco, and vanilla. The palate is well balanced with finely tuned rounded tannins that lend the wine a certain creaminess and very pleasing volume. The aromatic sensation increases with greater emphasis on the lactic aromas and fruitiness. Long, pleasing finish.” And most importantly, great value.
Mövenpick “Baked Alaska” served with Seasonal Berries was intended to be the final dish. Rene said it reminded him of the days he spent in Bermuda and gave it full marks. It was served with Monte do Zambujeiro 2012 (Portugal), a blended wine which was found to be both interesting and pleasant to drink.
We were not completely finished however as Simon treated us to a round of Appenzeller – “a Swiss national treasure made from 42 herbs” – followed by blue Stilton, aged cheddar, and vintage Port brought to us by guest Ian Dayus. Finally, we could offer our traditional thanks to the Mövenpick team which included GM Simon, Chef Andreas, Max Huber, and the several lads and lasses that had made the evening so enjoyable.