Tag Archives: bistro

A little bit of Paris in the heart of Zurich – The Franzos

It is true that you find tons of Italians, Thai and others, but almost no French restaurants or bistros in Zurich. It was actually by chance, that I noticed the Franzos (Swiss word for Frenchman), walking through the Niederdorf the other day. Intrigued by the unique atmosphere caused by the sunset shining through the bistro and bathing it in a warm romantic light, I kept thinking about the place and what it was all about…

IMG_3025Only a day later I went back to check if the sunset was the only thing that created the atmosphere. What I found was a little piece of Paris in Zurich.

The owners Raffaele and his brother-in-law Marc-Antoine opened the Franzos one month ago and have managed to create a unique French feeling in a small and intimate setting. They are very attentive and charming hosts, who both worked on the set-up of the Franzos, from the menu to the interior design of the Bistro. The Franzos displays an immaculate taste in the way it presents itself to the public. It has an unpretentious look and feel with small wooden tables on iron feet and wooden chairs with an antique feel, that were probably individually selected. The picture frames along the white wall are filled with artistic sketches or photos of famous Frenchies like Brigit Bardo and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Even the bar is simply painted in a lovely old pastel blue. Low chansons are playing in the background.

The Franzos proves once again that less really is more.

“Vraiment spectaculaire”

4_Franzos_Pics Wall

Raffaele is a marketing professional formerly on the board of Globus as head of interior design, as well as Big Zürich and others. He already has quite a bit of experience in the gastro and club sectors, mostly as a concepts consultant. With the Franzos, he has finally created the next gastro concept for his own Bistro.

Marc-Antoine really fits the Bistro garçon description complete with a charming French accent. He is, however, much more attentive and courteous that any garçon I have ever experienced in France. This speaks for both of them, Raffaele and Marc-Antoine as well as for their support staff, two young ladies.

The menu at the Franzos is contemporary bistro cuisine. The Petit-Déjeuner, served Monday to Friday until 11:00 and Saturday and Sunday until 14:00, offers the choice of baguette, butter, jams and white cheese for only 8.50 CHF, which is indeed a very good price for Zurich. You can also choose from other favorites such as œuf à la coque (boiled eggs), pain au chocolate, croissant and brioche.

Lunches are served from Monday to Friday between 11:30 and 14:00. You have the choice of a soup du jour, salad with warm goat cheese, croque monsieur (toasted cheese and ham sandwich), home made terrine (excellent!) with salad and quiche, either vegetarian or Lorraine. We tri7_Franzos_Quicheed the quiche végétarienne with salad and were more than happy. The size for a lunch meal is perfect, the taste excellent and freshly prepared. Meats are either Swiss or French.

The apéritif, Monday through Saturday until 22:00 and Sundays until 19:00 offers a platter with a portion of one choice from the following – cheeses, cold cuts (meats), black and green olives, and rilettes (kind of pâté). You can also order vegetable dips, the croque-monsieur or soup of the day.

The deserts, served at any time of the day include tarte tatin, fondant au chocolat, truffe au chocolate, cherry liquor and ice cream with whipped cream.

The wine menu has French whites and reds including my all time favorite for the name, Whispering Angel, a 2012 Château d’Esclans, Côte de Provence, Grencache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes. According to Raffaele and Marc-Antoine, this wine is always suitable – to everything.

The Franzos can be summed up by the words they write on the first page of the little bistro’s menu:

«A dangerous love affair he is, the Frenchman. Steals flowers and steals hearts. Knows to enjoy life. Lives with categorical nonchalance. Beams when he invents or plots something new. And he often does. The cheekiness suits him well. Let yourself be wrapped around the finger: Bienvenue au Franzos! »

Address:
Limmatquai 138, 8001 Zürich
Telephone: +41 44 542 46 33
bonjour@franzos.ch

Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday: 08:00-23:00
Friday: 08:00-01:00
Saturday: 10:00-01:00
Sunday: 11:00-19:00

Special Thanks to Meri for reviewing the Franzos with me 🙂

Meet little Max in Winterthur

Visit Max’ Bistro and if you are lucky you might even meet the little fella in person on Fridays.  His grandparents Zuzana and Urs Böni named the Bistro after 4-year-old Max, and managed to make guests feel like they are sitting in a living room, comfortable and cozy, surrounded by the good smell of freshly cooked meals and coffee.

Max might still be a little one at 4 years old, but in Winterthur he’s actually quite big.  Especially since his grandparents named their new bistro after him!

In October 2013 the bistro Max opened its doors to the public. The place, where 4 tables and a bar occupy the room, used to be Urs Böni’s landscape architecture office. You can feel Zuzana and Urs attention to detail in the bright, lovely colors decorating the Bistro, the low music playing in the background, and the fresh flowers sitting on the bar.  You will feel very welcome, comfortable, and cozy, but not only because of the environment.

Don’t be surprised when you find Urs sitting next to you presenting the dishes from the menus as well as the daily specials. Made from local or regional ingredients, the choices include stews, fish or vegetarian dishes and funky specials like green potato soup that for sure won’t leave you hungry. The sizes of the meals are rather overwhelming, but no less delicious.

Since January 2014 you can even have a regular dinner, a birthday party or a romantic tete-a-tete at the newly refurbished little cottage, sitting in the garden behind the building. A wood oven heats up the room and the little windows make you feel like you are in a fairy tale.

Max is open Monday to Wednesday from 7:00-18:30, Thursday and Friday from 7:00-23:00 and on Saturday from 9:00-17:00.

You can rent the Max for private parties, Apéros or cooking classes.  And in case you are having a late dinner and feel you won’t make it home, there are 2 b&b rooms upstairs.

http://www.bistro-max.ch/