Dining Review: Restaurant Ober at Alpenclub – Engelberg, Switzerland
When looking for places in Engelberg to eat, Alpenclub stands out as one of the staple establishments in town. The building itself was built in 1780 and was used as an inn starting in 1875. Currently, there are half a dozen dining spots in Alpenclub along with hotel accommodations. With attention to detail and dedication to tradition, we knew this had to be one of our dinners in Engelberg. We had such a great meal at Alpenclub our first night and were excited to try another on property at Restaurant Ober.
We arrived on Saturday for our reservation and the restaurant was empty at 5:30PM opening. We learned during the trip the Swiss eat later like other European countries but the jetlag kept us at an earlier dining time. Within a few hours, the places was packed and the line was out the door! So I would say reservations are definitely a good idea.
Upon entering Alpenclub, we were instructed to head up the stairs to Restaurant Ober and when we opened the door, we were amazed! The interior is gorgeous – taking up the attic space in the building, the restaurant features original timber throughout, warm features on the tables, and an open fire behind the bar seating where all the food is prepared. Everything is covered in beautiful wood, all the tables were candlelit, and there was overall just a cozy and inviting ambiance. It is important for comment on how wonderfully friendly everyone was from the moment we stepped inside. Engelberg has such hospitality and Restaurant Ober was no exception.
Restaurant Ober features a simple menu where you just pick the meat and the rest is done for you – just one choice to make. We loved this concept! And only one way for preparation – over the open flame. Simple, fresh, local ingredients cooked in a simple way creating amazing results.
Once we settled into our corner table, we reviewed the menu and ordered a bottle of Petite Arvine – our new favorite Swiss wine we discovered on this trip. 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.
Kevin selected the beef tenderloin as his entree and went with the 200g amount. Neither of us enjoy or care to eat a giant cut of meat so it was great to have a size option for the meat select on the beef tenderloin. It was a bit funny when we arrived to the table since the dish was far larger than the cut of meat but Kevin was very happy with the size give all the other food that was on. the table. Overall, this was a delicious cut of meat, seared to a perfect medium rare over the wood fire, and seasoned well. There were two sauces brought to accompany the meat – a jus and Hollandaise – and Kevin’s preference is and always will be the Hollandaise, which was perfectly executed.
Bourbon Glazed Smoked Spare Ribs
Wow, what a presentation! I was even given a small bowl of lemon water to wash my fingers – permission to eat these with my hands granted. These ribs were succulent, fall off the bone, and just enough fat to keep the meat juicy. And the portion was on point to not get completely stuffed on the meat with so much on the table. Dabbed with a bit of BBQ sauce on top, I could not have been more happy with my selection.
Weekly Side Dish Bowl with Vegetables
Side dishes at Restaurant Ober are simple – there is a weekly rotation of a side with vegetable that you can order for the table. During our week, it was freshly made mushroom risotto with grilled vegetables. We could not have asked for a better arrangement of the weekly side dish. The risotto was prepared perfectly, super creamy, a bit of a bit on the risotto, and simply delicious. And the vegetables were plentiful and very tasty. Ours featured red peppers, carrots, romanesco broccoli, eggplant, corn on the cob, to name a few. This really is the perfect way to do side dishes at a meat restaurant and we were extremely impressed with it.
Bakes Potato with Sour Cream
The other option for a side dish is a baked potato with sour cream so we decided to try this as well. It was a great size potato for us to share, very fluffy and tender on the inside, and swimming in sour cream enough for not just the top of the potato but the entire potato.
Homemade chocolate mousse with cream
Typically we do not order chocolate mousse out cause Kevin learned how to make an incredible version at home. Thank being said, reviews mentioned the chocolate mousse on multiple occasions so I knew we had to try it. When our server came to the table with a legit wooden pale of chocolate mousse I was at a loss for words. Was this table side chocolate mousse?! Indeed, it was. The server bring the giant pale of chocolate mousse, has a pitcher of hot water that the spoon is dipped into (think of water pales for ice cream scoopers) to make the perfect spoonful portion, and the a second pitcher contains freshly prepared ream that. is drizzled all over the scoops of chocolate mousse. The dish is also covered in cocoa powder so it adds more chocolate. We were amazed and must have had the strangest looking grins on our face as we witnessed this entire process. We learned that this recipe is more than 40 years old and has never changed, including continuing the same table side presentation. Even when new chefs arrive, they are not permitted to alter the chocolate mousse recipe. Simple amazing and yes, it was perfection.
We thoroughly enjoyed our entire experience at Restaurant Ober. I loved how different it was from our previous, traditional Swiss meal at Alpenclub just downstairs, showcasing that the Alpenclub series of restaurants knows hospitality. I feel that Restaurant Ober is quite a secret though as there is nothing on the exterior of the building even indicating that this is here and no advertising. Perhaps that is the point though I simply discovered it from Google maps as it had a stellar 5 star rating and also found it on the Alpenclub website. I would highly recommend adding this to your Engelberg trip.