As the city bundles up with the changing of seasons, it’s go-time for Swiss restaurant Stable. With hearty, signature dishes meant to warm from the inside-out – a trademark of Swiss cooking – the H Street restaurant’s fall lineup is ready to whisk D.C. denizens to the snow- capped Alps just in time for fall and winter months.
D.C.’s only Swiss restaurant beckons diners through its doors to layer up with hallmark dishes: think bubbling pots of fondue and a tableside raclette experience, along with new comfort food menu additions in the form of venison loin with spaetzli, butternut squash soup and rösti.
For co-owners Silvan Kraemer (general manager, beverage director) and David Fritsche (executive chef), the fall menu features dishes which harken childhood memories of their homeland: both Kraemer and Fritsche hail from Switzerland.
For those new to Alpine dining, the Swiss menu is a melting pot of flavors influenced by German and French cuisine with its own unique spin. Chef Fritsche’s fall dishes have Swiss roots but are infused with seasonal ingredients: tart cranberries, sweet and nutty butternut squash, crispy and smoky brussels sprouts and earthy mushrooms take center stage.
For shareables, you’ll find a Swiss spin on roasted Brussels sprouts. Chef Fritsche’s version is dotted with onion and bacon and finished with the iconic raclette cheese and a fried egg – a heartier, decadent take on the dish which bridges American and Swiss palettes with a melody of flavors. The dish joins Swiss classics like chicken liver pâté served with a fig chutney (made from figs picked out of Chef Fritsche’s backyard), cheese flowers featuring Tête de Moine cheese artfully shaped into rosettes and served with pear bread, among other traditional starters.
Stable’s venison loin, a not-to-be-missed entree, pays homage to Europe’s hunting season which begins during the fall. The lean yet tender venison is served alongside traditional accoutrements: spaetzli, braised cabbage and caramelized chestnuts, the sweetness of which helps balance out the flavor of the rustic dish.
Options from the sea include seared Maine scallops perched atop cranberry knödel (dumplings popular in Germany, Austria and other parts of Eastern and Central Europe), served alongside a butternut squash puree and a light fennel slaw.
Although the menu tends to lean heavier on the meat dishes, Kraemer says having seasonal vegetarian options which are equally warm and comforting, while still holding true to Swiss flavors, was something important to the team as they developed the seasonal menu.
The fall salad is similar to a French lyonnaise salad, but with a vegetarian makeover: frisée is studded with braised portobello mushrooms instead of the requisite bacon, and topped with chopped egg and crispy fried onions. A quintessential butternut squash soup capped off with rosemary-garlic croutons and pumpkin seeds also joins the lineup of vegetarian-friendly fall dishes. From the seasonal entrees, meatless options include a homemade fettuccine pasta with mushroom ragout and Belper Knolle cheese: a peppery, garlicky Swiss delicacy made from unpasteurized cow’s milk.
Five new boozy additions join the drink lineup from Kraemer, which infuses Swiss flavors and liqueurs with D.C.-made spirits and autumnal ingredients. In the Down South cocktail, smoky mezcal is mixed with Montenegro amaro, a housemade Swiss cherry liqueur (Stable Röteli) and lime. The Trail Mix taps into flavors from Austria with imported Pfanner hard cider, along with locally-sourced spirits, including civic vodka from Republic Restoratives and nocino from Ciccio & Figli (another DC-based purveyor) mixed with a cranberry-cinnamon simple syrup. For something light and herbaceous, the Pera Verde is a seasonal take on a gin and tonic featuring Pear Williams and cucumber water.
Guests can opt for a table on the covered streatery overlooking H Street, the dining room with views of the open-air kitchen or in the private dining area with decor which serves up ski chalet charm. The cozy alpine cottages (built when the restaurant reopened in November 2020 after a brief in-dining hiatus), are decked out with wood paneled interiors, red checkered napkins and design accents which transport guests to the snow capped mountains of Switzerland.
Stable is open for weekend brunch and dinner, Thursday through Saturday.
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