Schaffhausen/Stein am Rhine Restaurants
Café Badstube Restaurant
In a 15th-century former bathhouse near the ship landing, guests can sit in old tubs converted to booths and look at painted scenes of men and women in their weekly (or monthly) ritual of bathing and scrubbing. The dining areas were nicely renovated earlier this year, but a solid sense of history remains: sturdy beams, original stonework visible through plaster walls, leaded glass in the windows, and a 1630 price list for bathing (that will be three kreuzen for bath and shampoo, please). Guests can also dine outside, either in a small courtyard under the Witches' Tower or on a terrace between the town's defensive wall and the Rhine promenade.
Service is prompt, friendly and multilingual, and the overall dining experience is relaxed and pleasant.
Prices are reasonable, especially by Swiss standards, with few items topping CHF 20. Fresh fish from Lake Constance and the Rhine are specialties, as is Rösti, the traditional hash browns, served here discus-size in a black skillet. Among the many varieties, the Urschweiz is especially flavorful, with ham, cheese and fresh mushrooms. For CH 7, you can add a trip to an ample and fresh salad bar.
Contact: Café Badstube Restaurant, bei der Schifflände, CH-8260 Stein am Rhine, tel. +41 052 741 2093, fax 741 5114
Rating: Quality 12/20 Value 13/20
The Schlössli Wörth, a tiny palace built on a rock promontory jutting into a basin about 100 feet downstream of the Rheinfall, offers the likes of risotto with wild mushrooms, pan-fried trout with scallions and beurre blanc, and imaginative desserts - coupled with a perfect vantage point for one of Europe's most glorious natural sights.
Entrées average about CHF 18-20, especially reasonable given the location. Call ahead and reserve a table next to the long row of windows facing the falls. While sipping local wine, having lunch, or savoring a rhubarb tart, you can enjoy a stunning panorama.
Rating: Quality 15/20 Value 15/20
From outside, the Schützenstube's fountains, gables and decorative façade are interesting and inviting.
Inside is just as inviting, from the relaxed, upbeat atmosphere, rustic setting and friendly, fast service to the variety and quality of cuisine.
Choices include beef carpaccio with wasabi sauce, breast of duck in honey-sesame sauce, banana curry and lemon grass on basmati rice, and wild mushroom risotto.
Entrées are in the CHF 19-24 price range with some creative salads at CHF 14-18. Most guests were regulars, and the chef came out and chatted. In winter, the restaurant presents variety shows, which explains the stage, curtain and spotlights.
Contact: Restaurant Schützenstube's Schützengraben 27, CH-8200 Schaffhausen, tel +41 052 625 4249, fax 624 3719
Rating: Quality 14/20 Value 14/20
The oldest restaurant in Schaffhausen, Zum Frieden offers two dining experiences: a casual one in the rustic downstairs "Stube" and a more formal one in upstairs rooms. Each has a separate menu, but only the upstairs menu is displayed outside.
Although the Stube was empty and the upstairs nearly so, the waiter refused to serve an "upstairs" appetizer in the Stube. It was either choose from the high-priced snack menu downstairs or to head upstairs, where a larger hunger and broader budget might have appreciated choices like lamb medallion provençale, calves liver with risotto, and veal steak, priced from CHF 28-40.
Upstairs one finds rose petals strewn on starched white tablecloths and place settings fit for royalty, while "below decks" the scene was more rustic and, once the ordered salad was delivered, devoid of service. The upper restaurant surely offers better food and service, but ratings are based on actual experience.
Contact: Zum Frieden, Herrenache 11, CH-8201 Schaffhausen, tel +41 052 6254715
Rating: Quality 8/20 Value 5/20
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