People often ask whether we get bored visiting Montreux year after year for more than ten years now. My answer is always no because every time we visit there are always new experiences awaiting. Au Fil de l’Eau is one of those surprises.
One constant during every visit is dinner with dear friends of ours who always go above and beyond to find new places for us to share a meal. They had selected Au Fil de l’Eau for our most recent visit and they could not have made a better choice.
Located in what used to be the Hermitage hotel and restaurant that we had always planned to visit but never quite got around to it. It recently became Au Fil de l’Eau — actually during our visit last year it was just getting up to speed but we did not have a chance to visit. Just outside of Montreux in the charming town of Clarens sits Au Fil de l’Eau, situated in a lovely chateau perched just above Lake Leman. It features a stunning view of the lake and surrounding Alps and while we had planned to sit on their lovely terrace overlooking the gardens, the weather did not cooperate so we ended-up in their intimate dining room (which still affords views of the lake).
Walking into the restaurant (and small six-room boutique hotel) is like walking into a well-decorated friend’s house. It’s an eclectic mix of traditional and modern that feels fresh and welcoming. The dining room is minimalist and framed by windows providing stunning views of the lake. Our friends had noted that I was gluten-free and confirmed when we arrived. Our waiter was extremely helpful guided me through them menu and it was more about my preferences and what I wanted to eat vs. telling me what I could have. This demonstrates that when chefs are actually cooking to order that they can manipulate items that might not typically be gluten-free to cater to their guests. It also is refreshing to know that the chef’s took the time to understand specific dietary restrictions to provide guests with a safe experience.
I opted to start with a velouté of white beans with summer truffle and hyssop (a member of the mint family). It was absolutely delicious — a light and creamy base that floated across the palate and had the added earthiness of fresh truffles providing an added dimension with the subtle spicy notes of hyssop playing perfectly against the flavors.
For my main course I selected the slice of Swiss veal shank with lemongrass balm confit. This was a true standout. The veal was prepared very much akin to a short rib and was absolutely delicious. A simple sauce allowed the true flavor of the veal to shine through and the lemongrass confit took the flavor portfolio to a whole different level. This was truly one of the finest preparations of veal that I have ever come across.
Dessert was caramelized peach in a melba of red fruits served with a verbena ice cream. This was the perfect ending to a perfect meal. It was not at all heavy and the richness of the caramelized peach with its subtle charred sugar-flavor played perfectly with the slight tanginess of the red fruits that as all brought together with the crisp refreshing verbena ice cream.
Everything about the evening was perfect. The service was top-notch but not intrusive and the kitchen truly outdid themselves providing aesthetically beautiful presentations that were not only a feast for the eyes but perfectly prepared. The restaurant prides itself on using local suppliers to create seasonal menus that capitalize on the finest ingredients that the region has to offer.
Stay-tuned for quite a few more restaurant reviews, not only in Switzerland but in the Rhône-Alpes of France. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite finds in future posts.
Au Fil de l’Eau
Rue du Lac 75
+41 21 964 44 11