Return to the Wonderful Widder
Jackie: We want to talk about an Oz-like hotel in a storybook city. David, traveling alone, ended his spring journey at the magical Widder Hotel, a designer’s dream, and each room tells its own story. It’s hard to put into words but David will manage…
David: Here I was, back in incredible Zürich, and once again staying at the amazing Widder Hotel. Both city and hotel proved even better than I had remembered.
Zürich boasts at least two distinctly different areas, both a hop and a skip from the Widder. There is the modern, mostly shopping, district exemplified by the Bahnhofstrasse, the wide and elegant street that stretches from the main rail station all the way down to the Zürich Lake. The other area is the old town of winding, narrow streets filled with cafés and antique stores, and including bridges that cross the River Limmat to even more shops and food stops. From my top floor junior suite I could see rooftops and the graceful clock tower of St. Peter’s Church. From my terrace, several steps up from my digs, I could even see The Fraumünster and her big brother, The Grossmünster, two of the city’s many landmarks.
My large corner room was sleek and contemporary with warm wooden parquet floors, doors and desk. The supremely comfortable bed was covered with a caramel leather spread, and high-tech lamps joined two Bang & Olufsen flat screen TVs and CD system. At my request, reception added a DVD player, WiFi, natch, and a business center with free-to-use computers. Frosting on the cake was a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, fruit and delicious cakes from the hospitable and generous General Manager, Jan Brucker. Breakfast each morning, served in a bright, light room with clever art, was either continental or very complete from the menu. On the first night, I hit the Widder Bar for a vodka and some live piano music, then I ate at the hotel’s rustic Zur Schtund with food and drink typical to the region – various flamm-kuchen (paper thin pizzas with great Swiss cheeses and choice of toppings), sausages, dried meats, soups and salads, brown ale and white beer and the lovely Swiss red wine, Nobler Blauer. Next day, I window shopped, to my heart’s content, without putting a dent in the family fortune. I took a boat ride around the lake and day-dreamed about meeting my wife in New York. (JJ: We met; it was great!) Meanwhile, back at the Widder, I indulged on my last night by dining at their incomparable restaurant and sampled the cooking of chef de cuisine, Marcel Reist. His Amuse-bouche was a trilogy: seared tuna, a wasabi mousse and a Chinese dumpling with which I enjoyed a flute of Ruinart rose Champagne. Then a succulent poached filet of sole with crispy calamari (deep fried… forgive me, Dear Doctor Lebovitz!), a best ever Châteauneuf-du-Pape—05 Domaine Font de Michelle—accompanied my luscious mixed salad. Then, impossible-to-finish lamb chops and shoulder with (longed for) polenta and fresh barely-cooked veggies along with a Château Haut-Segottes ’03 Saint-Émilion. Needless to say, I skipped the dessert and coffee. Great dining. Great accommodations.
Jackie: Luckily, David was not driving during his abundant Widder stay. I guess, it’s lucky to enjoy these great gourmet experiences just every once in a while. Otherwise we would get the gout. But for a Widder experience, it might be worth it?
David: The wonderful Widder of Zürich – because, because, because, because, because (breath) because of the wonderful things it does! We’ll travel…