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Restaurant Goldener Schlüssel

The Restaurant Goldener Schlüssel is just off the lobby of its namesake hotel. It's a large room with wood paneling, tile floors, and walls that are hung with framed photos of local groups and citizens who have frequented the restaurant over the years. The long tables are covered with patterned black-and-white tablecloths, and the wooden chairs are both attractive and comfortable. A large red wooden duct runs down the middle of the inverted ship's-hull ceiling, adding a cheerful touch to the otherwise traditional decor.

When I dined in the restaurant, the other guests were an eclectic mixture of Swiss businessmen, women shoppers, and other locals--including an elderly gentlemen who managed to put away an enormous Bernerplatte (a large plate covered with sausage, other meats, and sauerkraut). I was tempted by the Bratwurst with onion sauce and Rösti (grated potatoes pressed into a skillet and fried in butter), but I ended up having my Rösti with geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch, a traditional Zürich dish consisting of chopped veal in a sauce of cream, wine, and mushrooms. If I'd been in a less traditional mood, I could have ordered duck, steak, and other dishes prepared in a variety of creative ways--along with a wide assortment of Swiss wines by the deciliter or bottle.

Prices were midrange by Swiss standards: 32.50 francs for geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch with Rösti, or 26 francs for a smaller portion. The cheapest dinner item on the menu was the Bratwurst mit Zwiebelsauce und Berner Rösti for 19.50 francs.

Service by the middle-aged waiter was excellent, and the food was as enjoyable as the atmosphere.

Verdict: The Restaurant Goldener Schlüssel is an excellent value for diners who want a choice between classic Swiss favorites and more creative international dishes with a good assortment of moderately-priced wines and beers.

Web link

Hotel Restaurant Goldener Schlüssel
The Goldener Schlüssel's Web site lists room rates, offers a sample Rösti menu, includes a map and street directions, and has an online booking form.

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Hotel Web link

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