ZURICH, Switzerland – The Limmatquai, located in the city center of Zurich, is a must stop for any tourist, as well as its many imposing churches and museums in addition to the scenic shores of Lake Zurich. It’s also a place where the best Italian restaurant in Zurich can be found.
In this series of articles, Cédric Lizotte visits some of the best restaurants in Europe. From France to Switzerland via the Czech Republic, here are the best places to sample the delights of some of the best chefs on the planet. Follow it with the hashtag #CedricEnEurope.
And the Italian side of Switzerland – the city of Lugano, among others – is not the most visited by tourists as they seem to be always in a hurry to see the best of Europe in the shortest time.
So why not combine the two?
Bianchi Restaurant, located on the banks of the Limmat River, offers fish and seafood served in the classic Italian way. Endulge in oysters, fish, truffles, and pasta, complete with special attention, beautiful cutlery – Sambonet silverware – refined, premium wines!
Obviously, since this is a restaurant wherein products and service are of impeccable quality and that we’re in a tourist area in the city center, not to mention that we’re talking about Zurich, the most expensive city on the planet, prices at Bianchi are not exactly affordable. But when you want to have fun, sometimes you have to pay the price…
Bianchi, Italian Restaurant in Zurich: The Meal
The meal opens with a glass of Roero Arneis 2014 Bruno Giacosa (Arneis). This Italian white is very fruity and light.
My server, Armando, greets me in German. I explain that my German is a little rusty. So he asks me, in English, what my favorite language is. “French,” I reply. So he waits my table in French from thereon. He then turns, and speaks Italian to the couple on my right. Here’s a microcosm of Switzerland for you…
The manager, Roberto Pascucci, explains the restaurant’s history. Bianchi is actually a delicatessen opened by an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Bianchi, in 1881. a restaurant was later opened in his name. “We do all our pasta in-house, fresh,” he explains. “All fresh pasta except spaghetti and penne for which we use the Barilla brand.” Ah? How come?
And the food arrives.
My order is served quickly. A lobster carpaccio. This is a lobster tail roulade cut thinly and served raw. There’s just enough for two bites. Unfortunately, when it arrives at my table, it’s still partially frozen. That’s a pity.
Then, the first course comes up. Remember that this is an Italian meal. So, in addition to the appetizer, there is also a pasta dish and a protein dish, and ends with a dessert.
I have the honor to eat a plate of pasta with white truffles.
A waiter approaches my table and places a plate of pasta before me. He’s wearing a white glove and carries a bell with a white truffle underneath. Using a truffle shaver, he shaves several slices over the pasta.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqliJDARJJ8]
The pasta is very chewy, which is mandatory with good, fresh pasta. The dish is generally subtle since it’s a white truffle, not black. The truffle’s aroma is more evident than its taste and the wine goes so well with this wonderful dish …A real delight.
While I am enjoying my pasta with truffles, Armando, my server, walks to another table with a large tray. On it is a salt-crusted fish. And just like any good classic waiter, Armando goes to work. He cracks the salt crust, carefully extracts the meat by cutting it in the middle and then removes it from the bones before placing it on a plate. It’s a shame that they don’t do this in most restaurants anymore…[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLywRquqmPg]
Then, my fish dish arrives. Along with the fish is a glass of red wine: Antenata 2010 Bindella. Mr. Pascucci tells me that this is literally the house wine. “This is a 100% Merlot wine, created by the same company that owns the restaurant.”
The dish is very simple: an oven-roasted monkfish medallion, accompanied by sun-dried tomatoes. The medallion eats like a steak! A small roasted crust has formed on top of the fish which gives an almost crisp texture to the white flesh of the monkfish. Also, at Bianchi’s, they do not hesitate to season their dishes. Is it too much? It depends on each’s palate…
The wine is very good, but does not match well with a white fish that has such delicate aromas.
Finally, the dessert and its wine accompaniment: Dolce Sinfonia di Vallocaia Bindella 2008 (Malvasia, Trebbiano) paired with a very classic tiramisu.
One can tell if a tiramisu is good if one has eaten bad ones in the past. The tiramisu of Bianchi restaurant in Zurich is excellent. And, to my surprise, the wine goes very well with the very sweet dish!
An espresso, and presto, a great walk to the banks of the lake!
Limmatquai 82, 8001 Zurich, Suisse
+41 44 262 98 44