The dining scene in Zurich has changed a lot since our first visit nearly ten years ago. Our impression at the time was that the few decent restaurants in town were overpriced and underwhelming. There have been a lot of new openings since our first visit, and to be frank, Zurich’s up-and-coming dining scene is proof that it’s now San Francisco that is overpriced and underwhelming. How the tables have turned.
Wermut is German for vermouth and was on our list of must-dos. They make their own house vermouth, which is very, very good. Both a bar and a restaurant, we planned to check out the wine bar and grab a casual lunch during the day, but we were able to get an evening reservation for one of their tasting menus, and we’re so glad we did!
Wermut’s bar menu includes casual comfort food like chicken pot pie, porchetta sandwiches, and homemade quiches. The bar offers brunch and lunch, but the dinner menu is served in the back by reservation and only seats about 50 people. With several options for set menus, you can choose from a 3, 5 or 6-course experience. There is not a specific option to add wine pairings, but the restaurant will gladly select pairings on the spot.
Be sure to start dinner with vermouth and soda so you can try Wermut’s signature vermouth. We loved the vintage style soda siphon they placed on the table, allowing you to perfect the cocktail to your liking. While the service is casual and the environment hip (the restaurant opens to an art gallery below), the food is serious business. The standout dishes to us were the truffle brioche made with local truffles, and the king crab served in a rich crab broth. We were also impressed by the Coq au Wermut, which is a sous-vide breast of local chicken served a touch pink in the center. Apparently, freed from the shackles of FDA guidelines, a chef can execute perfectly juicy and tender chicken. We finished with the millefeuille – a must any time we see it on a menu.
We did not have enough time in Zurich to stop back in for lunch at the bar, but based on our dinner experience, we’d confidently recommend it. It’s safe to say that if we lived in Zurich, we’d be at Wermut at least once a month.
Wermut, Neugasse 63, 8005 Zürich, Switzerlandwermut zürich