It’s haute cuisine at your friend’s apartment. It’s intimate and familiar yet calculated. It’s L’Appart – the newest restaurant in Lausanne which has struck a perfect balance between ambitious and accessible cuisine.
Just off the bustling and cobblestoned Rue de Bourg is a lit entryway with illuminated fuschia signage nodding to Il Corso, a pizzeria that has since closed its doors. As you scale the steps to the next floor, you encounter a green door with a brass knocker with the words “BIENVENU-E-X A L APPART. HEURTEZ. ON ARRIVE.” And with a simple tap, your culinary journey begins.
Chef Luis Zuzarte and head of service Nicolas Bernier know a thing or two about creating an innovative and inviting dining experience. They both may be young, but that’s all the more reason to be slightly awe-struck by what awaits you at L’Appart. There’s no set menu here; instead, Chef Zuzarte creates dishes based on what he finds that day from local producers. This means that every meal is a delightful surprise, and the chef is constantly challenged to come up with creative and innovative dishes.
On the menu for us? Firstly, it’s important to know that they use every part of each ingredient, honoring the products and minimizing waste. This focus on sustainability is not only admirable but also results in dishes that are both delicious and conscientious.
The edible plants and vegetables were a showstopper for us—in all honesty, we (carnivores) did not miss the meat at all. We tried oyster leaves for the first time, which actually tasted like oysters fresh from the sea. The “compost” bouillon made from discarded kitchen scraps poured on hazelnut butter and finely peeled leek was a revelation. And the celeriac ravioli with a beautifully reduced jus of leek, followed by the savory oyster mushrooms, and its sunflower praline on germinated lentils were both simply divine. Many courses later, we indulged in an unusual dessert where we were asked to guess the main flavors – while our palates were suggesting notes of cinnamon, it simply blew us away when we were told that we were eating thinly sliced brioche with hay cream and a black garlic ice cream.
Despite the highly skilled kitchen and beautifully presented plates, the atmosphere at L’Appart is relaxed. The chef walks around and converses and laughs with diners, and the team led by Nicolas is knowledgeable about the food and wine while being thoroughly approachable.
At the end of the evening, we got our coats and stood by the door chatting with Luis and Nicolas; lingered conversations that felt reminiscent of leaving a friend’s place after a delightful meal. With stunning views of the Lausanne cathedral from the dining room, it’s the perfect place to watch the sun dip behind La Cité and take a culinary journey that is thoughtful, deliberate, and delicious. No more apartment envy – this appart is to be shared with everyone.