When a life sized tweed camel named Leonard stands proudly outside the Michelin starred restaurant, you get the feeling that this evening is going to delight you in ways that you never knew would be possible. And that’s exactly what happened when Charlie and I dined at Leonards restaurant within Le Grand Bellevue in Gstaad.
Helmed by Chef Urs Gschwend, who earned a Michelin star at the hotel’s restaurant, the menu consists of bistro style modern and contemporary dishes, which are Swiss twists on international favourites. Easily the most sought after menu in Gstaad, possibly even in the whole of Switzerland, Charlie and I eagerly anticipated our first Michelin Star dining experience outside of the UK.
The evening started with cocktails on the hotel’s beautiful terrace area, we enjoyed the berry infused Bellevue Smash made with Tanqueray Gin, Chambard, Raspberries, Blackberries and Lime juice as well as the refreshing home made Iced Tea while soaking in the dramatic views of the surrounding Alps.
After a teaser course of melt-in-the-mouth salmon, Charlie and I tucked into our starters. Upon recommendation of Daniel, the owner, I chose the poached Gstaad Egg, on a bed on spinach, Hollandaise sauce and chives – easily the greatest egg dish I’ve ever tried. It was hard to imagine how essentially a fancy take on the breakfast classic could be made into a Michelin Star worthy starter, but we soon discovered that anything is possible at Le Grand Bellevue. Before I’d even asked Charlie how he was enjoying his Scottish Salmon tartare, the plate was completely clean, so I’d say he found it pretty good!
In need of some warming comfort food (after a really tough day at the spa… you know how it is) I opted for the Picada Aquerello Risotto, with chorizo and green peas. Much like Charlie’s starter, it was gone far too quickly, leaving a delicious tingle from the many flavours lurking on my palette. Charlie’s Tagliata of beef sirloin was cooked to absolute perfection, and unlike in many luxury eateries, there was plenty of meat within the serving to satisfy his hunger pangs.
It’s only because we enjoyed the ambience of Leonards Restaurant for a leisurely two hour dinner that we even had room for deserts, and they were certainly worth making room for! I opted for the Romanoff, similar to an Eton Mess in style, it consisted of Strawberries, home-made vanilla ice cream and meringues created from Gruyére, and lots of double cream. It’s a good job it was so delicious, because Charlie’s Chocolate Parfait looked like all my dreams come true in chocolate form. He informed me that it truly was as good as it looked.
Luckily we didn’t have far to roll walk after our meal, and we retired to our room extremely satisfied from our scrumptious meal and incredible experience at Leonards.
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