(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)
There is a restaurant hidden in the Swiss Alps among the cows and mountain goats. Although it is a local’s favorite, tourists are welcomed. How can they do business without roads leading to the hamlet? The little 500 year old hamlet of Zum See is worth walking or skiing for a half-hour from the village of Zermatt along an easy trail. Max and Greti Mennig opened their Restaurant Zum See and everyone was enthused. This is the perfect atmosphere most people seek in the Alps, to enjoy the outdoors and be happy for an excuse to come for a delicious meal or snack then continue up or down the mountain. In just another half-hour further up, you have reached the tram (large suspended cable car) up to the top of the Matterhorn.
With only a dozen houses, the Zum See Hamlet is a perfect outdoor museum of the past. Most of the small wooden houses stand unoccupied, except the restaurant and a few huts used to store corn, meat, wood and other necessities for the winter. Large stones separated the lower and upper parts of the hut to prevent animals and insects from getting inside.
This is the life here, except the Restaurant Zum See makes the Hamlet come alive! People gather to sit under the sun in the summer and winter to enjoy the uniqueness and beauty of the area. Max and Gerti arrive at 8:30 am everyday in order to bake their tarts, chocolate cake, apple strudel, Neapolitans, and prepare the ice cream and all of the other food. Although the kitchen is very small, you would not realize it from their three page menu. They serve corn fed chicken and unexpected gourmet recipes way out there. The menu held a wonderful mix of international favorites such as the French prawns Provencal, home-made Italian pastas, as well as traditional Swiss and Alpine-style food. The sirloin steak Robespierre, named after one of the leaders of the French Revolution in the 18th century, was sliced and topped with arugula and parmesan cheese. Most of the food was prepared a-la-minute so guests can get back to their sports, skiing, hiking and exploring. You can always eat at a regular restaurant, but the Restaurant Zum See is special!
You have a choice of taking the gondola or walking from Zermatt up to the first level then continue by tram to the top of the Matterhorn, or walk down from the tram level. The Restaurant Zum See is between Zermatt and the tram level. During the winter, Max lights the path with torches at night twinkling under the moon as the fire reflects the snow. www.zumsee.ch email@example.com
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