During Food Zürich, I had an evening free of events. And my first choice was Ecco. I was not sure I could get a reservation with such short notice, but I was really lucky and they had a table waiting for me.
Almost like the song: "One Food Blogger went eating one day, over the hill and far away." I was using the awesome Zürich Card, so I decided to go by streetcar. Once I arrived at the stop (Thank Google Maps!) I started the walk. Ecco is at the Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, Really up the hill, with a beautiful view to the city. It was quite a walk, but I love walking, even better in such green small paths.
So it all starts! I ordered the 9 course dinner and I tried to not over eat much before dinner (haha impossible with all the tasty stuff at Food Zürich)
The first amuse bouche was a Cracker with marinated Sepia and Dill, sour cream and iced sepia pearls. It was a very nice appetizer, the different textures, soft, crunchy and ice complemented each other perfectly. The funny thing was, when I cleaned myself with the napkin it was black.
Right away, came the next two amuse-bouches... Yeah! and these ones do not count as the 9 courses.
A delicious cannelloni and a turnip ravioli filled with hazelnuts and sprinkled with black truffle. Both of them delicious. The turnip ravioli reminded me on one dish at the Essento Insects Dinner, where they served kohlrabi ravioli swimming in a cloud of nitrogen.
The sommelier's pairing was a Prosecco. Yeah I dont like to drink champagne before a beautiful dinner like this. It goes right away to my head and "tipsy" isnt really a good thing to remember all dishes. I got an Andreola Prosecco that shows fresh aromas of apple and citrus with a mineral undertone. It is made out of 100% Glera, grown at 250 meters above sea level in a mixed soil of clay and sandstone.
Next appetizer was a superb duck skin cracker with shaved duck and pickled cabbage over it. Yumsters!
Then the bread came and it was the cutest bread ensemble I have seen in a restaurant. Even cuter than the bread presentation at one-star Ylajali.
It was potato bread with sea salt, buttermilk butter and smoked butter with garden cress and a little scissor so you can cut them yourself. Super cute. And wow! that smoked butter! mouth-watering. I really enjoyed this serving.
The last non-menu entreé: Crab tartare marinated with curry and sprinkled with smashed crab shell, pickled carrots and iced purple curry pearls. And crunch of sepia and tapioca. Quite a unique dish. Crunchy and with a soft curry creamy taste. A dance of flavor, spicy yet not hot. The crust crunch is defo a new experience!
First course. Belly bluefin tuna (Otoro) flamed on both sides and thin sliced poached oysters on top. Pickled cucumber marinated, mini cucumbers with Yuzu cream on top and Linseed chips. All this floating in a cucumber and oyster leaves (herb that taste like oysters) soup.
What a taste. Oysters and tuna blend like milk and chocolate, smooth oysters with a really tender tuna. I am a super fan of yuzu, so I loved it! I cant stop thinking of those buttery oysters. I don't think I have ever had oysters in a dish. Normally I get them in their shell. I will try this at home.
A white wine to start. The Sommelier brought me a Grüner Veltliner Federspiel from 2014 from Wachau, Austria. The fragrance of this Grüner Veltliner its fruity and spicy, reminding of fresh yellow apples and apricots, with fresh herbs in the background. You can only find a few stores in Europe and only the 2014 and 2016 vintages are available. (yeah I checked)
My phone was going out of battery, when I noticed they have outlets next to the table and WIFI! Awesome!
While charging my phone and enjoying that Grüner, The "Cep" came by. I was told that the chef thinks that this plate look more photogenic without the sauce. I didnt think so, both ways look so beautiful, with or without sauce.
This was a "Ragout" made out of pumpernickel and rye with boiled mustard seeds, pan fried cep chips and iced pearls of mustard. Drizzled with shaved chips and cream made of herbs from Uetliberg. Served with a cep sauce. (see first picture of the blogpost)
The "Ragout" is just something different, very soft and bready, feels like a sunflower risotto from Relæ I tried to cook at home) with a very subtle but delicious flavor of mustard. The cep mushrooms that they use are local unless there is not enough of them around, then they will import them from France.
Norwegian Lobster, Aha! Norwegian! it was fried and glazed, served together with tomato, seaweed cream, coriander and seaweed crisps. Swimming in a red curry sauce and sprinkled with chives.
This was a huge langoustine like the ones at Maaemo. It was perfectly made. The curry mixed with coriander did get a great mix of cultures Thai and Vietnamese, in my honest opinion.
A tiny difference between scandinavian restaurants and Ecco, was that no cooks come to the table to explain the dish. Though the waitress did and took the time to explain me every dish while I took fast notes. Very patient indeed.
Next wine was really really good and as one of my favorite bordeaux "Calon Segur", it was from a woman winemaker from the french part of Switzerland. Maria-Therese Chappaz's 2015 grand hermitage president troillet has a light gold color with a taste of candied fruits and sweet spices. it has a smooth finish, with notes of flowers.
Seared cod served with a bean cream compote with mussels covered with raw marinated sugar snap and "Ajo Blanco" and Savory and roasted almonds.
This dish is citrusy and fresh even though it is warm. The beans are surprisingly good. I'm not a fan of beans but they tasted great with the citrusy tone that made them very pleasant. The cod is perfectly cooked and the sugar snaps were a special touch to it.
Then came my favorite wine of the evening. I had 2 glasses cause it was soooooooo good. It was a 2013 Bricco del Bosco Vigne Vecchie made out of grignolino grapes (have you heard of those grapes?) from Piedmont, Italy.
Ruby Red with a complex perfume with notes of cardamom, nutmeg, rhubarb, on a bottom of flowers. It is very limited, about 1800 bottles.
This dish was a combination of different parts of veal from Grison. Baked sweetbread, braised and sliced head , braised tongue, cooked and braised chin with deep fried cauliflower, roasted cream and pan fried violet cauliflowers. Lovage cream on the side and puffed calfskin. The sauce was made out of calf with roasted cauliflower and lovage from Eichhof.
I was totally digging the lovage. I don't think I have ever tasted that herb. The sauce is very very strong and more "german". The sweetbread was so buttery and crunchy, haven't got such a good sweetbread in quite a while. This is the strongest flavored dish of the evening and remind me a little bit to my Vau experience back in Germany
And now the main dish. I chose the young venison from Tyrol instead of the Wagyu. It was a shoulder sauce with pickled plums, chervil root and liver, Over it, the pan-fried saddle with a mash chervil root and chips
Very tender and on my favorite rare medium doneness. The sauce was strong and sweet at the same time.
I loved the chervil root in three-ways like the Jerusalem in three-ways I got at Brasserie Paleo. You get the soft mash, saucy sauce and crunchy that complement the overall of the veal.
What a perfect mix of sweet and salty on the sauce, and the venison broth in the sauce gives the oomph it love to have.
Again the same red wine. And who isnt in love with Zalto glasses? so light, so elegant. Short note on my glass love
In a golden envelope, came a thick black paper booklet that explained the cheese I was served. The little booklet was great to know more about the origin and specs of the cheese. They were served with with nut & fruit bread.
All cheese was from Jumi. Check their website here
The first dessert. Americanello grapes in 3-ways. Awesome! Fresh grapes, grape cream and grape iced pearls with a sorbet made out of black walnuts, goat cheese cream and walnut earth.
Wow, just wow! This dessert was the bomb, I was surprised by the saltiness and freshness of it. So many elements and textures without being overwhelming. I can't believe the next one can top this one
The next and last dish and dessert from the menu. A chocolate mousse ball filled with apple compote served with 72% chocolate crumble, marinated apple in thin slices and with a worm of sorrel sorbet.
it was very close to the last one, very flavoursome. That sorbet was craziness! so good! I am now even a bigger fan of sorrel. The chocolate mousse was as delight. A lovely dessert but in my honest opinion, it didn't top the grape dessert.
And I thought I was done and there it comes an special dessert for me! Yay!!! Ice cream with ginger foam and ginger cake sprinkled with poppy seeds and a baked shortbread. Under it, gel citrus filets.
It smelled like ginger strongly. But I didnt expect the flavor once I tried it. It was an outburst of flavors with the right sparkle of ginger spiciness.
I am sorry for the last picture. The ice cream was actually perfect but I got distracted talking to the Chef. You know how chatty I get sometimes... only sometimes. *wink* *wink* This first bite was a caramel brioche with pear and black vanilla verbena.
The second bite was Duck foie gras in a brioche and shaved fennel. I love liver and foie gras and duck. so this was a big plus on my Ecco experience.
The third bite was a "one bite" praline made out of white chocolate, buttermilk and a juicy center of lime.. ahhh love the liquid inside.. like a cooler version of a key lime pie.
And the last bite and last dish of the evening. Cookie with pistachio and cassis, buttermilk and lime ice cream... I love cookies. Who doesnt?
And who is this handsome lad? It is Stefan Heilemann, Executive Chef from Ecco since 2015. And yes girls! he is german, Stuttgart-born to be exact. He spent many years acquiring his skills at the 3-Michelin-star Schwarzwaldstube in the Traube Tonbach hotel in Germany’s Black Forest. A couple of minutes away from my parents Inn. The Ecco was awarded two Michelin stars not long after he became head chef in 2015.
When the bill arrived, also a little goodbye surprise in a jewelry box tadaaaah! When i opened it is was a golden parfait. What a best memento to eat later at the bloggers hotel.
Overall this was my one of my favorite experiences in Europe. The food and ambiance was very similar to the other Michelin starred scandinavian restaurants. I totally recommend you to get a table when you are visiting Zürich, or if you live there. After this HUGE amount of food, I walked to my streetcar again and joined my fellow Food bloggers for a night cap. Check Maria & Sophias article on our "Food bloggers Class Trip" to Food Zürich.
Don´t forget to follow my Instagram account @twofoodieseating. I am always adding on my stories everything I eat and a special preview of what it will be in the blog. Like these 2 pictures while dining at Ecco and during Food Zürich.
This article was made in collaboration with Visit Zürich who brought me all the way from Berlin to the beautiful Zürich.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...