Three recommended eateries in the Swiss heartland near Sachseln.

At Gasthof zum Kreuz in Dallenwil, about 20 minutes by car from Sachseln, the atmosphere and food find a perfect middle ground between elegance and simple country. With a fine veal chop fetching CHF 49.8 and a lovely rack of lamb (small portion) at CHF 38.5, zum Kreuz is a bit of a splurge. Add to the main dishes a first course and dessert, and one must figure on at least $50 per person without beverages - still good value at the price. Get a bit more for your money by choosing the four-course menu at CHF 67. Gashtof zum Kreuz, Städtlistrasse 3, tel. +41/041/628 2020.

The welcome is especially friendly at Schlüssel, a brightly-lit, modern restaurant in the center of Sachseln. Salads from an attractive, ample buffet of fresh ingredients, main dishes of veal Cordon Bleu with Pommes Frites and Reh Geschnetzeltes (chopped bits of sautéed venison served in a rich wine sauce), all accompanied by local Eichhof beer and followed by a shared Coupe Denmark, constituted a better-than-average meal of familiar Swiss dishes. The salad buffet is CHF 7.5 and the main dishes are in the CHF 30-35 range. Restaurant-Café Schlüssel, Sachseln, tel. +41/041/660 3646.

Gasthaus Engel, a convivial place with simple food, stands slightly below the Schlüssel in price and quality, and several steps down the culinary ladder from zum Kruez. Still, it's a friendly spot. Brünigstrasse 100, Sachseln, tel. +41/041/660 3646.