The Pavillion is in the 175 year old Baur au Lac Hotel. The round dining room underwent a major remodel in the early 2000s and is filled with gorgeous fresh flowers as is the hotel. Windows to the manicured grounds provide a lovely backdrop to the huge centerpiece that dominates the room. It is a huge arrangement with lots of orchids on top of a round banquette seat that provides part of the seating for a couple of tables. Nice carpeting compliments the light gray tablecloths and matching napkins set on the well spaced large tables. It is an elegant room with very little noise level but your conversation stays private except for some weird effects brought on by the shape of the room. They offer a tasting menu of 7 or 9 courses as well as an a la carte menu. Wine pairings are available with Swiss or international wines. Service is friendly and helpful.
While you make your choices they brought 2 gougeres, one plain cheese and the other with salmon. They were not warm and the plain one was definitely my preference. After you order the bread basket with 4 varieties is offered. I chose the brioche and baguette. Both were fine.
The Harmonie tasting meal starts with the Ouverture – Vegetable spring roll. It includes ginger, wasabi, rice noodles and various vegetables. It was well seasoned, tasty and light.
Portage du moment was white asparagus in vinaigrette. White asparagus Panna cotta was topped with seasoned vegetables and vinegar. The lovely vegetables were super fresh and the panna cotta very creamy and cool. It was a perfect combination where no one taste dominates but instead it was just a good, overall flavor of spring.
Duck liver was a terrine with ice cream, pepper from Kampala, elderflower and Masia el Altet. The elderflower was a foam that was mild and herby. The terrine was exceptionally smooth and creamy. It was divine. The brioche bread that came with it was okay but the ice cream was foie gras flavored and to die for. This was a spectacular plate.
Bretonian lobster was served with watermelon and Madagascar vanilla. The watermelon was grilled and it was all surrounded by a lobster bisque that contained the vanilla. It was slightly sweet. The sauce was the star here with the lobster meat being the vehicle to transport it to your mouth. It also provided a texture for the very nice dish.
A Sunday evening at my grandmothers was an egg yolk with Oscietre caviar from Belgium. The egg yolk was lightly poached in butter then surrounded by vegetables and vinegar of green asparagus. The yolk was not fudgy and instead worked into the sauce and caviar. The green asparagus pieces were nicely flavored but this combo again blended all into one overall taste but it didn’t work as well as before. Instead the wonderful flavor of the fine ingredients were mellowed.
The Reset course contained Yuzu from Japan, sake, meringue, matcha tea and wood sorrel. The crisp meringue bits were dusted with macha powder and the sorbet was tart but mellowed with the addition of saki. It was a good cleanser.
Swiss Prime Beef was a flat iron cut served with Barolo jus and alongside were parsley, lemon and Annabelle potato. The meat in solid chunks is presented first and then cut in the kitchen and brought to the table. A sampling of some braised shoulder meat was wrapped in a pastry bag and also on the plate. The braised meat had more flavor than the rare meat but neither were outstanding. I’d give this course an okay.
The first dessert was Pineapple and Coriander. The pineapple was in a sorbet that was topped with a white chocolate layer and surrounded with the juice from pineapple. It was very sweet with a twist on the flavors of the main components. It was good.
The second dessert was a Cream Cheese Soufflé with strawberry brandy. The soufflé was properly light and topped with passion fruit. It had a nice granular sugar outside that got a good crisp to add to the sweet, light interior. It was just sweet enough and not too heavy to serve after a fairly heavy meal – a perfect ending to the meal.
They brought around an after dinner drink cart that had something for everyone. I enjoyed a glass with the last sweets that included tonka bean and chocolate, raspberry, pistachio, strawberry and chocolate flavors but I forgot to photograph it.