Dating from 1801, this was once the haunt of Zürich's beloved writer Gottfried Keller. One section is a dark and heavily graffitied bar, with sagging timbers and slanting floors; there are also two welcoming little dining rooms with coffered ceilings and plenty of carved oak and damask—opt for the cozy, charming Gaststube (not the more staid Stübli). Traditional meat dishes—calves' liver, Geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch—are lightened up with fresh seasonal veggies.
The place is always packed, and service can be slow, so stake out a table and plan to spend the evening. Guest who succeed in swinging around the room's famous wooden rafters three times wins free wine for their table. You'd be amazed at the number of diners who make the attempt.
Apr 7, 2003
This was our second visit. The first was in late November several years ago. The place was packed; but the maitre d' took pity on two Americans with jet lag. We had a very nice meal and pleasant experience (they even found us a table in an area with no smokers!). This March we visited again. The place was almost empty. However, the service was again delightful and the food quite nice (the veal dishes seem to be the best)and the wine recommendation
fit the meal and was reasonably priced. We would happily visit a third time -- the restaurant is not truly outstanding but more than quite satisfactory. The upper floor is our favorite -- the less formal areas are full of smokers.