Dining Review: Chalet Ruinart at Kempinski Palace – Engelberg, Switzerland
In searching for a winter wonderland, one of our favorite bloggers Girl in Florence (turned Girl in Zug) highlighted the Swiss town of Engelberg – Mountain of Angels. One of her highlighted experiences was fondue in a beautifully crafted chalet and for our first Swiss fondue experience, I could not think of a better place. With a tag line of “the top culinary trio – champagne, wine, and cheese”, I know we were in for a treat.
The exterior of Chalet Runiart is very inviting – we noted many people take videos and photos outside the chalet (without intending on actually dining there) as the building is beautifully crafted. But for us, we had reservation for 6PM, one of two seatings they offer for diners (reservations are highly recommended).
When we entered the chalet, Kevin and I both audibly gasped at the incredible interior. Wood tables and benches that were dressed with pillows, furs, and blankets. Twinkling lights and evergreen branches decorating frames and light fixtures.
The menu is simple. With a few appetizers to choose from, the main attraction here is the fondue. There are three cheeses to select followed by three preparation styles. The cheeses included one rom Engelberg (the strongest), one from Switzerland and one from France (the mildest). The preparations included classic (cheese showcase), chorizo (spicy), and truffle and champagne (bougie).
Since I am not a champagne drinker, we skipped the first “culinary trio” and went to wine. We had no idea Switzerland had a wine region and we learned that it is no typically found outside of Switzerland so we made sure for the rest of the trip to take advantage of their delicious wine. We ordered a bottle of the Petite Arvine and it quickly became our favorite wine of the trip.
Winter lamb’s lettuce salad with goat cheese & Birnel from Toni Odermatt, caramelized walnuts, and Runiart champagne dressing
Before we embarked on our fondue extravaganza, we wanted to have some veggies and this salad was delicious. It was the perfect portion for us to share and every ingredient was fresh and flavorful. We both loved this salad and were so happy we opted for this to start the meal.
Engelberger Fondue from Salmi Tongi from the Gerschnialp prepared as Truffle and Champagne fondue
It is almost impossible for us to say no to a truffle add on so we went all in with the bogie Truffle and Champagne option – when else would we get an opportunity to have fondue like this? When the Engelberger cheese was described as the strongest, I knew instantly that would be our cheese for the fondue – plus we are here and want to enjoy the products of Engelberg. For fondue vehicles, we had a bag of potatoes – literally a bag – of perfectly tender potatoes, various pickled vegetables, and fondue bread – which where shaped as breakaway square pieces. The fondue was incredible and we did not want to waste one drop. We were amazing how flavorful it was and how everything went so well together. We sat there blissfully enjoying our Engerberg fondue, drinking our Swiss wine, and basking in this Chalet.
We took a must needed food break and enjoyed the rest of the wine before diving into dessert. The chocolate fondue was calling our way – going all in on the fondue tonight. The dipping vehicles here were a variety of fresh fruit. I do not know what kind of chocolate was used but it was incredibly chocolatey. Thank goodness for Swiss chocolate! I even got a spoon at the end to ensure no chocolate fondue went to waste.
It was after 8PM when we were kindly asked to wrap up as they had to prepare for the 830PM seating. I was certainly surprised how long the fondue meal ended up being! We really enjoyed dining at Chalet Ruinart – it is such a wonderful dining location with a simple yet delicious fondue menu. This is definitely a spot to add to your Engelberg trip!