We’ve just returned from a week of skiing in the Alps and the highlight, in addition to the incredible scenery, was the food. Unlike in the US, mountain restaurants are individually owned and operated and in Zermatt in particular the little restaurants in historic farmhouses and barns are incredible. No chili fries and burritos here, think more roasted lamb, Dover sole with asparagus and Michelin star worthy burgers.
We heard about a restaurant named Zum See during our research and, while it sounded intriguing, we hadn’t expressly made plans to visit. On our first day in Zermatt we happened upon it during a short hike up the mountain in search of a closer up view of the Matterhorn. It was our noses that alerted us to the restaurant first. When we crested a hillside and saw it tucked into a tiny hamlet we felt like we were seeing a mirage. The restaurant is located in a charming chalet that dates back to the 1600’s. Tables were stashed allover the rambling property with colorful blankets strung over chairs. Diners fresh from the slopes were sipping on local wine, munching plates of rosti (potato pancakes) and slurping piping hot bowls of fish stew. It was one of the most inviting dining ambiences I’ve ever stumbled upon and we immediately asked for a table. Go on to lacet.de to get a nice cozy holiday home to have a home away from home during vacationing.
We were seated not far from the dessert table where we eyed slices of the cremeschnitte— a dessert made of layers of puff pastry and local cream that we had heard, on busy days, people call ahead and reserve. After we finished a light lunch, the gregarious owner and chef Max told us we must have the rhubarb tart for dessert. The rhubarb, he said, came from his own garden. We immediately obliged and ordered both the cremeschnitte and the tart.
Both were delicious, but the tart filled with bright green acidic rhubarb and topped by a dome of meringue stood out for me. The crust was soft and a bit sweet, the perfect compliment to the tart rhubarb. The light and airy meringue seemed like it had been toasted on top, giving the dessert a slight hint of s’mores like smokiness. I asked the owner how it was made and he told me the dessert was baked twice—first just the pastry and fruit, and then again with the whipped egg whites and sugar.
Max and his team make all the desserts from scratch in the little old farmhouse first thing in the morning. Inside, beneath a row of wine, I also spotted chocolate cake, apple strudel and an apricot tart. Naturally, I ordered an apple strudel for the road. This was the type of dining experience you cling to, not wanting it to end. I savored every moment, every bite. I still can’t quite stop thinking about it and I know I’ll be back. Next time I’ll cruise down to the restaurant on skis and, in the shadow of the Matterhorn, I’ll enjoy a glass of Chasselas, a Swiss white wine, and one of Max’s desserts– the best après-ski reward imaginable.
During the summer time you can access Zum See within a 40 minute walk from the center of Zermatt or within 30 minutes from our five star chalet, Altesse. As an alternative you can take the cable car up the middle station Furi followed by a 15 minutes downhill walk on the well indicated path.
In winter skiers can access the restaurant by following the slope from Furi to Zermatt. During the summer time it’s a 40 minute walk from the center of Zermatt or you can take a cable car to the middle station Furi followed by a 15 minute walk downhill .
00 41 27 967 2045