There’s a scene in a movie called Big Fish, where after the protagonist has traveled down many harrowing paths, stringing the audience along in several suspenseful encounters, he finally stumbles upon this little idyllic town with soft grassy knolls and warm bulbed lights strung just above the main street. The town provides some much needed respite in the movie; a haven, a slice of paradise, a gentle reminder that there are pockets of peaceful places when you need them the most. This past weekend we found our version of this place: Le ContreTemps.
Le ContreTemps sits wedged between the base of a mountain and the shore of the lake in a little town called Territet just a stone’s throw away from Montreux. Of course there are lots of wonderful spots along the lake, but Le ContreTemps stands out because of its hidden nature. It has an air of whimsy, as if you’ve stumbled upon a special secret; we cannot count how many times we used the words ‘dream’ or ‘dreamy’ when discussing our impressions of the restaurant.
The restaurant has four owners: Martial Chevalley, Laurent Decrevel, Ludovic Schmutz, & Thierry Baehler, all who have local roots and are passionate about showcasing the best local products. From artisanal bakers to local butchers, the team behind the restaurant want you to enjoy gourmet regional food, whilst soaking in its regional beauty. While sitting on the terrace of Le ContreTemps, the only sounds you hear are the lapping of the water against the rocks, the songs of the birds in the trees, and the voices of children playing in the lawn.
The chef, François Campisciano (otherwise known as Petit François), is nothing short of an artist. When thinking about regional food, the terms “gastronomic” or “elegant” aren’t normally the words that come to mind. But at Le ContreTemps, each dish that arrived was almost too beautiful to eat…almost 😉
From the presentation to the combination of ingredients, we were blown away by the quality, the freshness, and the flavors. Even the “child’s menu” chicken brochettes with quinoa & freshly cut fries were phenomenal (we later asked the chef how he prepared the chicken, though we aren’t so confident we could replicate that flavor–we’ll just have to return again…and again).
Chef François Campisciano
It was also nice to have so many healthy options on the menu–a lot of fresh vegetables and side salads, quinoa, roasted potatoes, and grilled fish & meats. An option for every taste, packed full of flavor, and on the lighter side.
The interior of the restaurant is quite small, so diners are mostly served on the terrace or in a beautifully appointed tent. The terrace is shaded with umbrellas, has a large lawn for kids to play, as well as a playground right there. Seriously…perfection for families. In the evening we imagine this would be one of the most romantic places for a date–sitting right next to the water watching the skies turn to pinks and purples as the sun sets on the Alps, sipping on rosé and enjoying the regional gastronomic offerings.
The restaurant is conveniently located right next to the Territet station, otherwise you can access it by car (with plenty of parking), by foot if you happen to be in Montreux, or, our preferred method would be by boat 🙂 The old steamboat Vevey conveniently stopped in Territet right around lunch-time…seriously how perfect would a morning ride on the lake followed by an idyllic lunch be?
Le ContreTemps is a destination in and of itself–the name means “hitch” or something that stops you from arriving on time. Indeed this is a place where time stands still, where you could easily lose an afternoon without realizing it. It’s the sort of place you want to linger, to hold on to each moment, each ray of sunshine, and each delicious bite.
Rue de Bon-Port 2, Territet 1820
021 963 50 50
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