The capo, Francesco, is very entertaining, very energetic, and very young to own such a respected and lovely restaurant. "When I am little I used to come here with my grandfather and my father like maybe 30 years now and in 2011 I bought the restaurant. I love it. Here I have only 4 people working including me. Two chefs, one young and crazy and very innovative in his exotic and modern approach to the Mediterranean flavor of the menu, and one older and traditional who creates that way," he says. "The kitchen is totally Mediterranean and we specialize in fish that is brought every morning from the biggest and most important fish mercato in all of Europe-Milan."
Tartare di salmone selvaggio dell’Alaska con crema di avocado e mandorle tostate
Tartare di tonno rosso, sesamo bianco, limone e soja
Tartare di manzo tagliato al coltello, basilico, cipollina e prezzemolo
Il filetto di salmone alla griglia, salsa all’aneto
Il polpo alla brace con crema di mozzarella affumicata, pomodoro secco e friarielli
Emme: Do you have a chance to sit down and chat with each of the people or it is just hi how is everyone at check in and check out and that is it?
Roland laughing, "If they're nice I chat with them! Just joking. I try. It depends on the guest. You know some like to talk and tell you stories and some invite you to dinner and some just hi and by."
Emme: And the most challenging thing about the job that you do?
Roland, "Hmm... Probably the exchange rate. People always compare hotels and 3 stars to me when they come and they say I only paid such and such for a 3 star in Florence but you have to compare that to the big rooms we have and the buffet service at breakfast and the exchange rate is 50 swiss
to 40 euros. They always complain about the exchange rate as if I am the one responsible for it."
Emme: And I heard that the Swiss government is a little different?
Roland, "There is basically 7 people that make up the government's ruling sector. Every year each one of these takes a turn and rules for one year.\But the cool thing is that every person while they don't vote for these 7 they can if they receive 150,000 signatures submit a proposal into parliament to vote on a new law. It can be any person and it can be any law. The really ridiculous laws they of course won't vote in but they can propose any one."
Emme laughing hysterically: Seriously? Any person and any law?
Emme: Could I say that from now on every tree must be trimmed and that all the grass must be mowed and kept tidy?
Roland, "Well you could propose that but you have to submit a budget and who is financing the tree and grass proposal and who pays for it. For instance
if I want solar panels on all houses and every roof top I would have to show the budget for that and how much energy we would save and show that the state has to pay for it. "
Emme laughing hysterically putting her head on the table: O My God. That is hilarious. Can you imagine it would be a solar city.
As I interviewed Roland his wife joined us...
Emme: Hi It is very nice to meet you. Roland told me how you met each other. Is it love at first sight?
Roland and Ai laughing. Roland, "For me it was definitely love at first sight. For her I think it took a little longer."
Ai, "Aaa I got to know him. When we came to Switzerland it was difficult for me because I didn't speak Italian."
Emme: How long have you been in Switzerland?
Ai, "About 17 years."
Emme laughing: I am sure that you speak Italian now right?
Ai, "Not really. I am very lazy when it comes to languages. I speak a little English and I speak Japanese with my girls."
Roland. "The girls laugh at me when I talk Japanese. I can speak Japanese the way that she speaks Italian. Very badly. The girls talk English with me."
Emme: You're kidding right?
Roland, "Nope. We all speak different languages."
Ai, "To me it is difficult since when I came to Switzerland they weren't used to Asian people and everyone stared at me in Lugano. The other places were okay but Lugano was really difficult. Geneva is used to International people and so is Zurich but the others are more closed."
Emme: Wow. At America everyone is all mixed races and I guess that aspect of it never occurred to me. I guess I thought everyone would be that way.
Roland, "We have the UN at Geneva and everywhere that you walk in that city you see international people but here at Lugano there is mostly Swiss
or Italian and German and a little French. Now it is better."
The oldest girl joins us (her name is Manami) and I ask her if she feels more Swiss or more Japanese and she says, "Swiss. I talk Japanese to my mom but Swiss."
Roland, "That's good!"
Emme: And at school is it a mixture? Does anyone ever make you feel uncomfortable?
She laughs, "One time a kid asked me if I was Chinese! I said that I am Asian. I have a German and a French and Italians in my class though"
Emme: And I hear that one of you is 18, 17, and 16. Does anyone have a car yet? (They all have beautiful names: Manami, Lena and Julie)
Roland, "No and they're not getting one!" He starts in on a "DAD" talk... and as he points up toward the central town he says, "We live 5 minutes from the train station and there isn't any reason why they should have a car. They can take the public bus the way everyone else takes the public bus. They all have bus passes for one year and they take it everywhere. They don't need a car."
The girl laughs and says, "A scooter would be nice."
Emme: O You all have scooters?
Roland, "No they don't have scooters and they're not getting scooters!"
Um...Okay... Does it sound familiar American families!
via Paolo Regazzoni 8 (41-0-91-910-0808)
The family of Galliker-Hinrichs run the boutique hotel with a friendly and courteous manner and the staff is all kind and helpful.
It has a little fitness room with whirlpools and saunas and a lovely dining room open at lunch and dinner and of course the complimentary breakfast with all the tables numbered with your room in the morning as if you're a guest at a wedding and they do a seating chart! It is very gracious and sweet.
I had a chance to interview the Cucina who's name is Thomas and happens to be one of the two brothers that manage the Federale the other is Roland.
They're as different as night and day in looks but in mannerisms they're very funny and informative and totally smart.
The reservation line and beautiful representation of the Cafe Sass can be seen on the website. Here is one of the many creations that, "The recipes are all mine and traditional and it is my menu, yet I brought on board Andrea 3 years now and he is the master of the modern approach to my vision."