12 October 2015

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 October 12, 2015
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The newest addition to the Montreux Palace’s food outlets is the MP’s Bar and Grill.  It occupies a large area (which was the Michelin starred Jaan many moons ago) on the second floor of the hotel overlooking the Grand Rue (Avenue Claude Nobs).  Its bar is the former Bar Rose d’Or which was actually opened during my visit last year when Harry’s Bar was undergoing renovations.

The feel of the MP Grill is a classic and clean modern take on the space and what the hotel describes as a fusion of belle époque and arresting contemporary aesthetics.  It is actually quite a lovely space and feels very much connected to the aesthetic feel of the hotel.  Walls of windows afford a fantastic view out over Lac Leman and a new outdoor seating area provides for outdoor dining when weather permits. The menu focuses on local ingredients from the region and is what you would expect to find at a fine grill – steaks and fresh fish.  The combination of ingredients used in the dishes is anything but typical and offers some very interesting takes on classic dishes.

Since the weather was lovely the evening we visited we decided to eat on the terrace – which we had entirely to ourselves.  We started the evening with a couple of cocktails which were absolutely perfect.  I explained to our waiter about my dietary requirements as I always do (despite pretty much everyone I ever come into contact with at the hotel’s restaurants seems to automatically already know them before I even mention them).   

The food was really the star of the evening – which is saying something given the stunning vistas of the lake and mountains that surround you. I opted for the Duck foie with Amalfi lemon jelly and beetroot rhubarb chutney and a Muesli bar with salted caramelé (the Muesli bar was omitted from my dish as it was not gluten-free) as my starter. It was, in a word, magnificent. The liver was wonderfully light and creamy and when paired with tart tart jelly and beetroot chutney atop the warm gluten-free rolls that accompanied it was absolute perfection. My husband had the Spinach salad with organic poached egg and smoked bacon served with a dried tomato vinaigrette, red onions, and pumpkin seeds. The presentation was again beautiful and my husband said it was absolutely delicious (and this is from someone who typically shies away from a soft-yoked egg — but worked perfectly with this salad).

For the main course we both selected the Swiss Beef Grand Cru (aged 35 days) Filets – I opted for the Ladies Cut which was a generous 140 grams (as I wanted to leave room for dessert) and my husband had the Gentleman’s Cut which weighed-in at 180 grams. With any of the steaks you can select from a range of sauces including: Shallots and red wine, Armagnac and green pepper, Bearnaise with fresh tarragon, Maître d’hôtel butter, or Home made BBQ sauce with Jack Daniels. I had the red wine/shallot and my husband had the Bernaise sauce. Both were served on the side so that you could dress the steak to your personal preference. Side dishes are à la carte and there was a choice of: Young spinach and garlic from Toulouse, Steamed broccoli with lemon zest, Sauteed green asparagus, Mashed potatoes with churned butter, Oven-cooked potato and sour cream with chives, Potato gratin with aged Gruyère, Large cut French fries, and Steamed broccoli with lemon zest. We opted to share the broccoli (which is rare to see on Swiss menus) and of course the potato gratin – both were perfectly prepared and absolutely delicious.

 

 
Overall service was good but as the meal progressed there seemed to be some confusion as to what was (or could be made) gluten-free as we arrived at dessert.  I had ordered the meringue with crème de gruyère and while what arrived was absolutely stunning from a presentation perspective – complete with a healthy helping of gold leaf adorning the dish – it was served upon a round disc that was extremely cookie-like.  Since this was not noted on the menu I was caught off-guard and asked the waiter (after he tried to convince me it was okay) to please confirm with the chef.  Needless to say, the dish never returned. It was disappointing because I bet the dish tasted as good as it looked but the waiter could not seem to grasp what the issue was.  After that incident we never saw him again for the duration of the evening and the manager was most apologetic about the miscommunication.

One small hiccup was certainly not going to affect what was a truly wonderful meal and I will most definitely be back next year and look forward to seeing the evolution of the menu. You can view the current menu hereto get a feel for what the restaurant has to offer. If you are planning a trip to Montreux, I highly recommend checking the new MP’s Bar and Grill out.


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