For as long as we’ve lived in Lausanne, we’ve always been charmed by La Grappe d’Or simply for its exterior. The pale pink facade with the gold and green accents is one of the most iconic (and Instagrammable) buildings in the city–nestled at the base of an equally charming cobble-stoned street.
But this building is more than a beautiful face; it’s the setting for stories of romance and intrigue, a vessel of Lausanne history. Grace of Monaco allegedly dined here; David Bowie had his favorite table; and it was between these walls that Queen Sophie waited while her (Ill-prepared? Seriously, dude) fiance, Juan, the future king of Spain, hurried up Rue du Bourg to buy an engagement ring.
Until the early 90s, la Grappe d’Or was considered one of, if not THE, best tables in town. Its sleepy decline has often made us wish that someone would come and restore it to its former glory. Then suddenly, we heard rumors of a revival. For what seemed like years it sat empty, its counters collecting dust, its fireplace cold and ashen, its kitchen void of any warmth or energy. Until two weeks ago…
Ladies and gentlemen, she is alive and well.
Cozy, charming, warm, elegant, and let’s not forget: freaking delicious. When you enter you’re greeted by a long wooden bar with gorgeous modern glass bulbs suspended from the exposed wooden beams of the ceiling. The lighting is low, accompanied by flickers of candlelight as well as crackling flames in the beautiful original fireplace at the heart of the dining room. Plush red velvet chairs and white tablecloths create an air of sexy sophistication, but don’t worry, at its heart it boasts the familiar and friendly Italian vibe that lacks pretension.
The menu is Italian, with a focus on roasted meats, cooked over a spit in the kitchen. And we’re obligated to tell you to order the arugula ravioli with prosecco and pecorino sauce. HEAVEN.
They’re also specializing in gin and tonics, with several varieties available. Gin and tonic may not follow the Italian format, but who wants to follow formats anyway?!
So who is behind her re-emergence? You’ll be reassured and excited to hear that the same team who’ve brought us the Great Escape and Le Lacustre have partnered with Chef Théo Bioret from Le Cinq to create an elegant menu and a comfortable, relaxed vibe. It’s upscale without a doubt, but with Laurent Bigler from the Great Escape at the helm, you can be sure that the experience is anything but stuffy.
We’re excited to say that la Grappe d’Or is back, and once again one of the best tables in town. Here’s to another glorious chapter for this Lausanne icon!