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  • 5.0 star rating
    23/4/2014

    Neuchatel restaurants are expensive.

    Wait a minute  - let me express that more accurately.

    Neuchatel restaurants are !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And many are not all that great.

    Paying a fortune for mediocre fare takes a lot of the fun out of travel.

    So after having poisoned myself multiple times for unacceptably large numbers of swiss francs - I asked a good friend in Neuchatel where he/she eats.

    The Brasserie le Cardinal was the place that was suggested to me that was reasonably priced.

    You are still going to be paying 60-100 swiss francs for two for dinner.

    However, the food is excellent and the room is a complete charmer.

    First the room. All four walls are beautiful hand-painted tiles that depict wonderful scenes of alpine fields, swans swimming in lakes, birds flying through the trees etc.
    You could go to the Cardinal and pretend you are in a museum.

    I want my house decorated like the tilework in the Brasserie .

    The menu contains a number of Swiss standards (fondue, simple steaks) plus a first rate vegetarian plate plus a number of more elaborate chef specialty dishes.

    The fondue is first rate - made with an excellent wine and a complex mixture of cheeses.

    It makes the stuff I get in the US look like Cheez-Whiz.

    The veal cooked in lemon peel and rhubarb is one of the better veal dishes I have ever had. Fruit makes all meat dishes good - but it does not hurt that they use a first rate quality of veal.

    (US veal is - if you are lucky - mediocre - and it goes downhill after that.)

    The vegetarian plate is a real winner and makes eating your healthy vegetables a delight. It is a plate full of all the garnishes they put on the other plates plus some fine chickpeas.

    And yes - this is not your macrobiotic tasteless good-for-you-semi-raw vegetables.

    These are perfectly stir fried or braised little wonders.

    Desserts are the standard items available in nearly every Swiss Romande restaurant (Tiramitsu, TarteTatin, Creme Brulee, Chocolate Mousse etc etc)

    and are perfectly serviceable.

    Between first rate food and a wonderful wonderful room -

    we can at least say that if we are going to pay a gold brick for every Swiss meal - at least we get one that is fully worth the gold brick.

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