In an era with almost everything available online and most products mass-produced, today’s latest, greatest and most fascinating luxury is simply the real thing. We long for local products, traditional manufacturing and individual service. During a recent stopover in Zurich, we heard about Santo, an amazing pop-up restaurant with just a few tables, one menu, one chef, a tiny kitchen, delicious food and a wonderful atmosphere.
Opened by Andrea Giancane and Antonio Surber, two passionate entrepreneurs who claim to “have nothing to do with gastronomy,” Santo offers one special menu a day until the end of this year. “We just had the opportunity to offer an alternative to Zurich’s gastronomy scene, and here we are. We’re really quite overwhelmed with the success.” Indeed the seven different wooden tables are booked out each night. The crowd is a colorful mix of artists and professionals, all of whom prize traditional, local and handmade quality. “The only thing they really have in common, is that they all drink an awful lot of wine while they’re here,” Giancane gleefully observes of his clientele.
The space resembles a small, but delightful living room: a few bits of flowery granny wallpaper here, brick wall showing there, fresh flowers and fruit on one of the tables, a few old religious paintings lit by dim candle light and a large crate of old LPs including Frank Sinatra, Édith Piaf and Prince. While the guests mingle, put on their favorite vinyls and tell each other about their latest projects, the Capo of the house explains his cooking delights, serves wine and occasionally disappears into the tiny kitchen. “Our menu changes daily depending on what our artisan friends have on offer. We have one quick lunch menu and a 3-5-course menu in the evening. There’s a story behind each meal,” Giancane explained while we waited for a tender filet of beef with a scrumptious rosemary crust. “It’s all just about having fun together, making unforgettable evenings happen and enjoying wonderful local food in a cozy ambiance.”
Restaurant address: Neugasse 75, 8005 Zurich
Open daily until 31st December 2008