06 June 2009

hotel oberland restaurant

We were wandering the alpine meadows of the Interlaken region of Switzerland when we came across the town of Lauterbrunnen and decided to have lunch. It was surprisingly warm outside in those meadows, under the glaring sunshine, and all I wanted was a refreshing green salad and a sweet apple juice (sussmost; I’m not a huge apple juice drinker but I can’t get enough of it when I’m in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria).

We sat down at an outdoor table at Hotel Oberland and I was delighted to see little gluten-free symbols next to certain items on the menu. Unfortunately I didn’t have much appetite for anything more than a salad. But one of the traditional meals from the region, rosti, is inherently gluten-free because it’s potato based. It depends on what’s added to the potatoes that determines the gluten-freeness of the specific dish. Two of Hotel Oberland's four rosti dishes were gluten-free, as well as all their salads and a number of other entrees. 

I still ordered the salad, but my husband had a rosti that I took a few bites of. It was cheesy, potato deliciousness. (I did get rosti for dinner on another day. More on that in a future post.)

05 June 2009

chez paul

One restaurant during the whole vacation was definitely tops over all the others. It's Chez Paul, in Paris on rue de Charonne, and we ate there our first night.

Chez Paul has hearty, bistro-style food. As I sat down and started reading the menu, I made note of a couple dishes that would probably be safe. When the waitress came by, we explained my gluten-free requirement and I pointed out a few things on the menu. She went back to talk to the chef and when she came back she said, "Don't worry, the chef will take care of you."

We had a crudite plate of vegetables to start with (and of course my husband had bread). For my main course I had a steak encrusted with peppercorns and a dreamy cheesy potato dish to substitute the usual potatoes au gratin that comes with the steak. My dessert was an amazing creme brulee.

I can't remember the last time I ate so much, especially at a restaurant. The chef certainly did take care of me. The waitress was also ready with some wine suggestions and the bottle we chose was perfect with my steak and my husband's lamb.

Our friends recommended Chez Paul as their favorite restaurant in Paris. Now it's our favorite restaurant in Paris, too. It's a casual place. By the time we finished dinner it was crowded with more locals than tourists. The entire waitstaff was cheerful and helpful.

Chez Paul is at 13 rue de Charonne, close to the Bastille. Reservations are recommended, particularly during peak hours.



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