Enter through the wrought iron gate into the intimate dining room of La Vetta at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa, Switzerland and get ready for Chef Ivan Gotfredsen to take you on a culinary experience.
La Vetta is an attractive, intimate restaurant with floral padded fabric walls with an accent wall of tufted leather, there are leather banquettes that run the length of the room and feature sensual velvet decorative pillows in gold and burgundy. The tables are dressed with pristine white linens and adorned with tall cranberry candlesticks with white tapers, anthuriums and red chili peppers arranged in low cranberry bowls, and a mixture of round backed leather chairs and beige club chairs flank the tables. Floral motif wrought iron chandeliers with cream-colored shades with cranberry accents hang from the wood beamed ceiling. A tall orchid plant set on a cranberry runner, graces a long table that divides the room, while orchids in cachepots and decorative ginger jars accessorize a corner table; the ambience is one of sophisticated elegance.
Edward F. Nesta and I stayed at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel in January 2008, and had a wonderful dinner at La Vetta, that began with our waiter bringing us an Amuse Bouche of three lovely delicacies, a lobster medallion with caviar; parsnip puree soup with parsnip crisp served in a demitasse; and a square of foie gras terrine with melon and current. Paired with a Prà Bianco 2006, 12% alcohol, made from 50% Chardonnay, 30% Sémillon, and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, it was a perfect introduction to Chef Ivan Gotfredsen's cuisine.
For his first course, Edward selected the Piemonteser Carnaroli-Risotto aus limitierter Produktion, mit "coniglio cacciatore" (Piemontese carnaroli risotto from limited production with rabbit, mushrooms, and tomatoes), presented as moist and tender sliced rabbit and risotto with foam in a deep bowl.
I selected the Gebratener halber Hummer, mit zweierlei Peperoni und weißern Hummer Schaum (Roasted half lobster with two kinds of sweet pepper and white lobster foam), which was served in a large shallow bowl with pepper and foam, with a succulent lobster tail and lightly battered and deep fried lobster claw on a bed of julienne snow peas.
Edward continued with Freiland Poularde aus dem Gruyère in Malanser "Cuvé Blanc" poeliert serviert mit seinem Gebäck und braisierten Beluga Linsen (Pot-roasted free range Gruyère poulard in Melanser Cuvé Blanc served with pastry and braised beluga lentils), which was presented as poulard with a tasty caramelized skin on a bed of beluga lentils with julienne carrots, harticot verts, and filled pastry.
For my main course, I selected the Isländischer Kabeljau in schwarzem Taggiasca Olivenöl mariniert und gegart, Randen-Blumenkohl-Püree, serviert mit leicher Krokus Sauce (Icelandic codfish marinated and cooked in black Taggiasca olive oil, root vegetable and cauliflower puree, served with light crocus sauce). This dish was attractively presented with marinated codfish on a snow pea bed with a colorful crocus sauce, and a square of cauliflower and beetroot puree with beet crisp that provided a nice contrast of textures.
Both the poulard and Icelandic codfish main courses paired beautifully with a Rocca Rubia Riserva 2004, Carignano Del Sulcis, Santadi, 14% alcohol, made with 100% Carignano, a deep red, full-bodied wine with an earthy, spicy, black pepper and fruity nose of dark berries, with a balanced richness of fruit on the palate.
When we saw the stunning dessert presentations that the other diners had at their tables, we knew that we, too, had to indulge. Edward is a chocolate aficionado, so his choice was easy to make when he saw the Schoggi Variation (Chocolate Variation) on the menu. This was chocolate decadence in the form of chocolate crème brulee with vanilla ice cream, chocolate soufflé, chocolate nougat, and passion fruit chocolate sorbet.
I like to experiment with different tastes and selected the Geeiste Kalamansi-Wolke, Kashmir Curry mit fleur de sel, serviert im Glas (Iced kalamansi cloud, Kashmir curry with fleur de sel, served in the glass), which was presented in a red wine glass with a crunchy nougat base, topped with the iced kalmansi cloud with lemon, curry, and a hint of fleur de sel which added a lovely savory element to the dessert, and garnished with a chocolate Florentine.
We paired our dessert course with a Maculan "Torcolato" 2004, 12% alcohol, made with 85% Vespaiola, 10% Garganega, and 5% Tokay, which had a honey, pear, white peach nose, with light acidity and sweetness of honey, melon, ripe golden raisins on the palate that was perfect complement to the desserts.
As a grand finale of our gastronomic journey with Chef Ivan Gotfredsen, he sent out a wooden tiered sail, that reminded me of architect Mario Botto's sail design of the Tschuggen Bergoase Spa, which held three levels of small, tasty, delicacies which of course, we had sample.
Read about the Tschuggen Grand Hotel in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Chefs' Recipes, and Spas sections.
Tschuggen Grand Hotel
CH-7050 Arosa, Switzerland
Read other articles on Switzerland in the Destinations section including: Zurich, Switzerland, Bern, Switzerland, Interlaken, Switzerland, and Lucerne, Switzerland, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Liquor Cabinet, Wine Cellar, Gastronomy, Luxury Products, and Adventures sections.
For information on Switzerland, please visit: www.MySwitzerland.com. For information on Arosa: www.Arosa.ch. For information on St. Moritz: www.StMoritz.ch. For information on Swiss International Air Lines: www.swiss.com. For information on the Swiss Pass: www.SwissTravelSystem.com.
For information on Lucerne: www.Luzern.org. For information on Interlaken: www.InterlakenTourism.ch. For information on Bern: www.BernInfo.com. For information on Zurich: www.Zuerich.com.
© March 2008. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.