Sensations of the Italian Riviera
" inspiring combinations and interpretations "
Thirty Bailliage members and friends of the Chaîne met in Goldach on the shores of Lake Constance. The third largest lake in Central Europe by water volume and surface, it has borders shared by the three countries of Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Maître Rôtisseur Peter Runge and his wife Silvia have transformed a 19th-century manor house with its Mediterranean park and a covered summer pavilion into a jewel of its own. In his “Villa am See” Peter has been practicing a light, delicious and elegant cuisine at a high level for at least 20 years.
Nothing is left to chance, only to inventiveness. Based on regional Italian and French cuisine, Peter and his team create inspiring combinations and interpretations of well-known dishes, refined with a passion for delicious jus, stocks and sauces. In alignment with Swiss pragmatism, it's the content that counts here beyond the form. The beautifully arranged plates have no need of haute cuisine frippery.
Dinner started with fresh prawns on Mediterranean grilled vegetables subtly enrobed in olive oil. Our palate was now stimulated for the freshly-prepared tagliatelle, a classic dish from the Italian Emilia-Romagna region, accompanied by pulled tender young boar.
The patron orchestrates the cuisine and service almost invisibly. Unnoticeably from the background, with restraint, almost with shyness. The stage is devoted entirely to the food creations. Experienced, friendly service staff dressed in white, suggested the appropriate white and red wines to accompany the menu to perfection.
The dishes are well-portioned, preventing an unpleasant feeling of satiety. For the main course, a Tuscan tagliata awaited us, this time made of veal deliciously accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes - a Swiss specialty - gently steamed leaf spinach and a dream of Marsala jus.
Meanwhile, a soft, light evening summer breeze passed over us. It quickened our appetite for the tiramisù with white coffee glacé and fresh berries. At the same time, we marvelled at the sun slowly setting in the Swabian Sea, the lyrical nickname of Lake Constance.
Blessed and happy, we set off for home. Now we understand why the Editor-in-chief of Gault Millau Switzerland did not comply with Peter Runge's repeated request to stop mentioning his decades-lasting 16 points in the guide but replied: “We would like to present the best restaurants in Switzerland to our readers, and the Villa am See is one of them.”
And we were lucky to experience the best - one of the significant benefits of belonging to an association such as the Chaîne.
Vive la Chaîne !
Vice-Chargé de Presse