Visit to the Restaurant Della Casa - or just the Delli, as we Berner call it.
In the meantime it should be known that I was especially taken with the traditional restaurants. One of them I haven't visited for quite a while - and that should change now.
The Delli at Schauplatzgasse 16 looks back on 120 years of history..
In 1892, Roberto Della Casa, a native of Stabio in the canton of Ticino, rented the property with the existing tavern - and henceforth called it "Della Casa". Thanks to its location very close to the Bundeshaus, many politicians soon came and went here during the session, and the student fraternity of the academic gymnastics Rhenania established their tribe here. They were followed by all lovers of the hearty Bernese cuisine, which was soon literally on everyone's lips. A part of the artist scene was also to be found here, because the name Della Casa became famous beyond the Swiss border through Lisa, the daughter of Robertos born in 1919. She was one of the most famous and popular opera singers of her time.
After the Della Casa family, there were a few changes of tenant, but the basic tenor - the old Bernese cuisine - has remained in the restaurant to this day. And today Zahai and I had once again decided to feast on the old tradition! This time we had not reserved in the restaurant on the ground floor, but in the more elegant restaurant on the first floor. Both rooms have their very own, traditional flair - and you absolutely have to visit both sometime!
Even today's tenants at Schauplatzgasse 16 are no strangers to the Bernese gastronomic scene: Nilgün and Tobias Burkhalter have managed the Kultur Casino Bern for the last 12 years. They are also tenants in the guild restaurant Schmiedstube on Zeughausgasse and in Fähribeizli directly on the Aare in Muri. Tobias Burkhalter is also President of Gastro Bern, a member of the Board of Bern Tourism and owner of Burkhalter Gastro Management AG. I myself know Tobias from his time as a board member of the Kesslergassleists. He had a lot of energy and commitment - there was a lot going on! Now the Burkhalters, together with the previous chef Michael Montag, are working with the same vigour to ensure that all of Bern's bourgeois specialities are not forgotten. A glance at her menu will bring grandmother's times to life: Milk, tripe, bollito misto and veal head...
"We do it the way it has always been in the Delli - and try even better," says Burkhalter. The legendary oxtail ragout, for example, has a light rocket flavour. And host Sabeur Lajmi - the face of the "Delli" - is increasingly serving up desired vegetarian dishes. On the other hand, the elaborate platter service on the side tables has disappeared because there are fewer and fewer guests ordering and eating such large portions. For those who want a smaller and more intimate ambience, a new small hall called "Della Casa-Stübli" has been created on the first floor from a former plaster room and storage room. And another innovation was introduced: The restaurant is now also open on Saturday.
In the meantime we both sit in the dark brown paneled room with its old composite glass windows and enjoy a calf's head and an oxtail ragout. We chose a deliciously fragrant lemon risotto. The lady of the service was extremely attentive and helpful and immediately noticed that each of us would actually like to try both dishes. She made us a mixed plate, so that there was no awkward back and forth. The portions were still good to look at, and with the best will in the world, we could no longer cope with a second plate on offer - so the rest was immediately packed and given to us in an uncomplicated way.
But the excellent wine list also did us a lot of good. The Spanish Ferratus made of Tempranillo grapes was the perfect choice for our menu. To crown the evening - and although we were extremely satisfied and satisfied - the lady from the service came to the table to make us happy with an etagere full of small desserts - and we could not resist, we ever chose one and did not regret it!
We are in agreement and are already looking forward to such a tender oxtail, we will certainly melt on our tongues again in the "Delli"!
Many thanks Zahai Bürgi