Kronenhalle has been around a long time, being a gathering spot for writers and artists, like Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce and Yves Saint Laurent, starting in the mid-1920’s. The walls are covered in art some of which was supposed to have been given to the owners instead of cash. In the same building is a wonderful old bar with a book of cocktail listings, as well a huge supply of liquors. Luckily we were early for our reservation so we were able to spend some time at the 50+ year old bar watching the bartender go to great lengths to make a couple of cocktails that had been invented by other bartenders that have worked there. It is my understanding that it was opened in a former hair salon. The dark wood walls and giant collection of bottles give the room a cozy feel and we weren’t surprised to find many other people already there.
When the restaurant opened we walked through into the large, high-ceiling dining room. The setting feels formal with lots of white cloths and napkins on the well spaced tables and formally dressed waiters. Lots of art on the walls and multi color roses on the table are accompanied by a hum of conversation. There are a couple smaller dining rooms also on the first floor. The menu offers a good selection of Swiss/German classic entrees, and the waiter added some daily specials to the offerings.
Bread came to the table in a form that looked like it had been torn from a bigger loaf. It was crusty, chewy and really dense. It was great with the tasty butter and perfect to use with the sauces to come on our later plates.
One of the orally presented specials was a plate of sautéed porcini mushrooms with bits of tomatoes. It was good sized pieces of gently cooked flavorful mushrooms, which retained wonderful texture and taste.
Off the written daily specials was the Asparagus soup. It was made with white asparagus, some pieces of which were on the bottom of the bowl. It was simple, not heavy and a very good soup. It was warm and tasty.
Veal steak with morel sauce and spätzle was from the entrecôte cut of veal and cooked to a medium rare. It was served with a rich, creamy sauce that was wonderful and a perfect addition to the best spätzle ever. Plump, flavorful morels were abundant in the sauce. Interestingly, both main courses were brought out in the pans and plated tableside. What didn’t go on the plate was left on the side table for you to have more as wanted. The waiter even offered to warm what was left should we have room for it. It was an excellent dish and the spätzle was the star for me.
Sliced calf’s liver with onions and rösti was tender and the moist pieces of liver were served with sweet caramelized onions and a side of sautéed potatoes. The buttery potatoes soaked up the flavor from the grease used to cook and liver and onions. It made for a taste sensation and was one of the best liver dishes I’ve had. It was still liver though, so if you’re not a fan of liver, I’d go for the veal.
Another oral special of the day were fresh Swiss strawberries. The waiter suggested a side of ice cream which we accepted. They were nicely flavored but needed the ice cream to give them enough sweetness.
You didn’t really need the strawberries as everyone gets a complimentary dish of thin rolled cookies and chocolates squares. The cookies were crisp and flakey with a nice sweet finish.