Category: Geneva

Last night with my three ladies I went to try out “Les Trois Verres” (The Three Glasses)… I guess that makes me the bottle, lol.

This restaurant is one of the latest additions in Geneva’s food industry, and I always heard very good comments about it.

After our “short” happy hour at Capocaccia that finished at 10pm, we were all happy and ready to eat something.

In Geneva, the restaurants tempt to close quite early, I guess people don’t need to work that much… To my good surprise, “I Tre Bicchieri’s” kitchen is open until 11pm and guess what, it wasn’t empty at 10.30pm. When you don’t live in Geneva, this sounds a normal thing, believe me in our city, this is a big deal.

So after spending 10 minutes choosing which table we wanted to sit (my three ladies are as demanding as I am), we found our happiness.

The menu has lots of variety; several kind of salads, lots of pastas, fish and meat.

We have all started with Tuna Tartare. I am sure by now you know I don’t eat onions and every time it is a deal breaker to ask them to prepare my tartare fresh with no onions. Well, good news, their tuna tartare with mango, doesn’t have onions, and it is delicious.

For my main courses, I opted for a Filet Mignon. I eat my filet rare; the instruction seems easy, but very often I receive it either overcooked or not enough cooked (where the outside of the steak is burned and the inside cold).

I am sure they hate me when I send it back, but a good cook should know how to make it.

At the restaurant “Les Trois Verres”, the cook made it perfect on the first go, so I give him a big A+

Overall, it was a great success. We ate and drank well, and we laughed a lot.

I will highly advise this restaurant and apparently you need to check it during happy hour. You have a lot of wine choices by the glass, and also a lot of single choices… I guess by the look.

I will probably check that in winter, so I could sit inside and enjoy their nice décor, wine and men.

Le Bistrot Dumas, is one of those neighborhood restaurants that attract not only customers living around, but also customers who appreciate a great Bouchon Lyonnais.

A bouchon is a type of restaurant found in Lyon, France. It serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, which is quite fatty and heavily oriented around meat.

At the beginning, it was owned by Patrice and Marie Baleno, who decided to sell it in 2000 in order to visit the world in their bike.

The new owner, Herve del Puppo, kept the same menu for several years. Only in the recent months he decided to change it with his new chef Habib Ajroudi.

Although I loved the old menu, let me tell you, I adore the new one.

Last week, I went with my Italian friend who recently moved to Geneva. He knows all the new and hip restaurants, but I like to take him to the old and real spots in Geneva. Where the quality of the food stays always excellent, and we have no risk seeing it closed if we go the following week or month.

I was on a diet, and planned to eat light. All my plans collapsed once I entered the restaurant. Diet what?!? With the smells coming out of the kitchen, I was simply starving.

I took the “Octopus Carpaccio” to start with, he went with the “Snail Cassoulet”. Now I know that some people have reservations when it comes to snails. But as you know it is not about the snail, it is about the sauce that they cook the snails. Generally it is with garlic butter, at Dumas they added some cream and white wine.

I dipped my bread in his sauce; I can confirm it is simply delicious and “very light”.

For the main course, I had the “Classic Beef Tartare”, and he had “The veal chop with Dumas Butter”. Just to keep in mind they have four different kind of tartare. Mental note: When I stop pretending to be on a diet, I need to try the tartare with the Dumas butter.

The Bistrot Dumas has a great wine list. We opted for a bottle of St Estephe (a burgundy).

Once again, I left happy the restaurant, and if I am not wrong I brought them a new client, as my Italian friend is thinking to return and bring his parents 

Bistrot Dumas can be a neighborhood restaurant, but believe me even if you don’t live around, it is worth the trip.

You know in your life there is one restaurant where you feel home. Well Auberge Communal d’Onex is where I feel that.

The first time I have been there I was around 10 years old. At that time, I was in boarding school in Lausanne, and my parents would come often to visit from Turkey.

I still remember the first time I saw the restaurant, it looked like a cottage. When we entered as the owner, Valentino and his wife (now ex wife) welcomed us at the door.

I genuinely thought we were going to dinner at my parent’s friends’ house… beautiful house.

Valentino and his staff (that never changed) saw me grow up throughout the years. Every time I go I have a feeling to be back home. They are also happy to see their once grumpy little girl becoming a woman.

The restaurant serves Italian food. When you sit they bring you several bowls right away of stuff the nibble. You have the parmesan cheese, tomatoes, radish, olives or anything that is fresh from the market.

Then you order your food. My favorite dish there is the “orecchio d’elefante”, literally the “elephant ear”. First time I was scared to see a real elephant ear on my plate, but quickly discovered that it is actually a veal Milanese, battered so thin that it becomes huge and looks like an elephant ear.

In winter, we have the chance to taste all the plate with white truffles, my favorite from far is the risotto with truffles.

What I like about Valentino’s food is that he looks what is fresh in the market, and you don’t need to open the menu. He simply tells you what are his latest market purchases and makes you a fresh salad of puntarella or artichokes.

The after dinner treats at Auberge d'Onex

The after dinner treats at Auberge d'Onex

When you finish your main courses, they bring you several jars of candy (candy that reminds you of your childhood), amaretti; bowls filled with of chocolate, fruit, chocolate mousse; plates of cannoli (Sicilian pastry dessert and my sister’s favorite), éclair and so much more…. And if you still need some more sweet, they have their dessert cart.

How can you not feel home with all this? Not that at home I have all those jars and bowls of sugar coma ;)

When you look around, you see that most of the patrons are like you, usual suspects. Valentino and his staff know each and every of them.

For the price, well it is not cheap and they don’t accept plastic (so no credit cards), so you better pass by a cash machine before going. Although lately I saw few clients paying with one… but worst, he takes your address and sends you the bill home.

We all have hectic lives, between kids, work, traffic, tv, internet, blackberry, or i-phones each of us try to find a moment of peace for ourselves.

I first discovered Insens with my friend “disco girl”, we went for lunch. The minute the elevator opens, and you enter you feel great. Coming from the city noises, traffic and chaos… suddenly you find yourself in silence and calm.

They offer massages, Yoga and Pilates classes also lunch.

I have never tried the massages as I have the best massage therapist, who comes home; but my mom did, and she loved it.

I had lunch there few times. When you book for lunch, you have to choose between the vegetarian and the protein dish (the only two options). This time, we have opted for the protein dish. It was a tuna cooked black and blue with its vegetables, a tomato soup and black rice.

The presentation was as good as its taste; simply delicious.

It was so silent, that we had to talk with our inside voices; you know the voice you use when you want to chat in church, lol.

It was just a perfect moment to relax, eat well and feel just great. After lunch, we were ready to attack the afternoon with full of energies.

So if, you also need to escape your daily life chaos for a little moment, I highly advise you to go to Insens. You won’t be disappointed!!!!

When I was a kid, every Sunday we will have family lunch. My father will keep a booklet and put grades on all restaurants. He loved to make new discoveries, and we will return to the ones we liked.

Those days, I wished I was hanging out with my friends, but now I wish he was still around so we could make the discoveries together…

The other high point of our Sundays was to be lost on our way to the restaurant. Off course, the GPS didn’t exist then, and let’s admit my father didn’t have a great sense of direction… I guess now we know from whom I inherited that quality ;)

This week-end with my mom we decided to give another shot to one of my father’s restaurant. Auberge Communale de Presinge. This Italian restaurant revives so many child memories, and the food was always very good. The owners finally decided to retire and sold it to an adorable couple.

Our first surprise was to arrive there, without getting lost… Thanks God I have my Tom Tom (GPS); even though she annoys me sometimes, and we have fights…. I have to admit she is very helpful.

The last time I was at that restaurant, my nephew wasn’t even born, so at least 6 years… So I was nicely surprised that the place didn’t change at all. The menu, well it actually changed a little. I didn’t see their famous risotto.

I decided to start with the beef carpaccio and my mom with the smoked salmon. I continued with the beef tagliata, and she took the sea bass again. I hate writing this but: “it was really bad”. My carpaccio was cut very thick, it seemed it was bought from the cheap super market. My mom’s salmon was not good either, it seemed to come from a package.

My beef tagliata was good beef quality, but had no taste what so ever, my mom’s fish was ok. We ordered a lasagna and gnocchi to go for my sister, she said they were with no taste..

The worst? We paid a lot for this food. I am sorry that the food doesn’t happen there anymore: they are a lovely couple, the terrace is great, and the restaurant is full of souvenirs. Such a shame.

Will I return, I seriously doubt…

As I am still craving for the filet of perches, I decided to go to the last place where I had the most amazing ones: Le restaurant du Lac in Versoix.

This restaurant situated by the lake has a great terrace, and you never get disappointed with their food or with the service. The sunny day made it even better.

The main inspiration of the menu is fish; although they offer an amazing selection of meat as well… All products are seasonal and fresh. We decided to start with red label smoked salmon marinated with citrus fruits and virgin oil. Then the sea bass and off course, I took my filet of perches….

OMG (oh my god) they were so good. You’ll tell me with that amount of butter even a shoe sole will be delicious… lol.

They brought French fries and veggies next to it. Normally I don’t like the French fries, but they were damn crispy and good. The sea bass looked very good and fresh, but I wasn’t into grilled healthy fish… I was more into buttery delicious mini fish with French fries ;)

We finished the lunch with a crumble to share…. Ahhh where is my chica ? My all time “crumble” partner ;)

The service was perfect; I guess our waiter noticed that we had some Lebanese blood in our veins, because he tried to bond and started to put Arabic words in his sentences, lol. I don’t speak Arabic, so his efforts were worthless.

The restaurant du lac is not cheap, but is worth every penny… I will definitely return there, actually I have a feeling it will be my summer great lunch spot ;)

With the beautiful weather that we had, the week challenge was to think to restaurants with nice terraces. Most of the classics like the restaurants in place du Molard were fully booked, so one had to be creative.

We opted for “Le Lacustre”. For the ones who don’t know it is situated just by the parking of Mont Blanc across the lake. The parking elevator is at the door of the restaurant… so not much for a walk to digest, lol.

Le Lacustre, makes part of Molino pizzerias, so you have all the pizzas and pastas… but you have a great selection of fish, as well. I was dreaming about the filet of perches; unfortunately, they didn’t have any.

After long hesitation for a pizza, I opted for the beef carpaccio, so I could take “la torta de la nonna” as a dessert. The others had the fish.

The service was very slow; they managed to take our order only 25 minutes after our arrival. Our waiter was lovely, but didn’t speak one word of French. You know I love Italian, but don’t you think it will help the communication if he could speak French… in the Frencg speaking part of Switzerland????

We are not in Lugano, but in Geneva… and even though sometimes it gives the charm of the restaurant when they throw you few words of Italian… People are at Lacustre to have a quick lunch before going to work… so they cannot pretend to be on vacation in Italy and lose their time in communication…

Thanks God, I don’t work in an office and I speak Italian… but my poor sis left without eating as it was too late for her.

She missed a good lunch. The carpaccio and the fish were good. My torta della Nonna was yummy. The best? We had the beautiful sun smiling at us…

So if you are looking for a great terrace with decent food in town, Le Lacustre is your address… just bring your Italian- French dictionary if you don’t speak Italian ;)

Geneva is a city where everybody likes to go to their same old places to eat. The classics never die… Everybody says they want new, but let’s admit we rarely give a chance to the new spots.

For few months now, I hear about this new Italian restaurant called “Asseyez-Vous”. The general idea is, the food is great (everything organic), but overpriced.

I finally decided to try it out; it was for the birthday of Patou. B & B girls, meaning my mom, sis, Patou and her mom are like me good restaurant critics, and let’s admit very harsh critics, lol. Whom else I could chose to try this new spot ;)

Although everybody is disappointed with the décor, I personally liked it a lot. The good thing is the menu changes every 2 -3 days; which shows that the cook gets inspired by the fresh products he buys. On the down side, when he decides a dish, you have no chance to change it… or our waitress is scared of him cause every time we asked for a minor change, she kept saying, “the cook won’t accept”.

We started with a cold salmon soup, and I think from far it was the best dish I had there. I liked it because it was very original and tasty. For the main course, we all asked for the pastas. We had the option between two pastas, spaghetti with lobster, and squid ink ravioli filled with mussels and grated bottarga on top.

We wanted to share both dishes and asked our waitress if she could split them and off course she refused… apparently it won’t go with the cook’s dish concept…

I opted for the one with lobster; it was too salty and garlicky for me. I tried the other plate which was a bit too dry and waaaay to salty as well. They say if the food is too salty, it means the cook is in love… actually it was right, because the cook’s love interest works there as well, and they don’t hide their affection ;)

They somehow caught up with the desserts; much better than the main courses, tiramisu and panna cotta.

I seriously don’t know if we made the wrong choices; the “cote de boeuf” (T-bone steak) looked amazing.

But let me tell you something, everybody is right… it is way too expensive. For a cold salmon soup and a pasta dish, with a bottle of wine and 2 desserts, we paid 100 usd per head. I guess if we had the t-bone, it will have been even more expensive…

I was so excited to try this new restaurant, but will I return there? I doubt.
I think the cook, should continue his love affair, but slow down on salt and be a bit more flexible…

Thanks god with the B & B girlzzz we always have a great time, so made the best out of it… Patou I promise you, next year I will make a better choice ;)

We decided to celebrate my mother’s birthday at Chateauvieux with some friends. Unfortunately, the  chef’s table was already booked, so we opted for the second best solution, in the main room.

You have to know that The Domaine de Chateauvieux is in Satigny which is near the airport of Geneva. Even if it takes you 15 minutes for the airport, it took us almost 45 minutes to reach there (basically the time to go to Paris by plane). I mainly blame my Tom Tom (or the slut in the box) for that. I have suspicions that her job is to show me the “longest” way….

Chevrier, the owner and cook of Domaine de Chateauvieux has several restaurants under his belt. Café des Negociants and Le Vallon are only two of them. I love what he did with Vallon, but not such a fan of afé des Negociants. I tried twice since he took over and got disappointed.

Anyway, back to the birthday dinner…
When you enter the restaurant, you can see the kitchen as it is behind glasses… so all the cooks are like fishes in an aquarium; when you look at them, they get curious and look back at you, lol. The main fish, Philippe Chevrier, was very happy to see us (go figure why).

The main dining room is beautiful and spacious; quite busy I have to add…

No need to say, but just in case, if you are on a budget, don’t go to have dinner at Domaine de Chateauvieux. The appetizers start at 80 usd, the main courses go up to 230 usd (the lobster) and the tasting menus starts from 300 usd …

The wine list on the other hand starts at 290 usd…

We didn’t choose the tasting menus, some of us have started with the “Seared force-fed duck liver “foie gras” on stewed mango with lime and pepper caramel sauce”, and continued with the “Simmental filet of beef, braised shoulder, watercress with chanterelles and onion sauce”.

Some others took the “Ancelin n°2 oysters slightly cooked with vodka, sea water jelly flavoured with ginger and apple”, followed by “Pan fried filets of red mullet with baby squid and sea urchin sauce”.

Everything was delicious, but between us, I preferred the “amuse-bouches” they brought us before. I knew I should have taken the surprise menu and let Chevrier be inspired for my food!!!

No need to say it was an amazing evening; the company was delightful and we laughed a lot. On our way out, we finally met Chevrier who was charming and told us they will love to have us dine in the kitchen next time….He said the kitchen is a male’s world, and they always appreciate ladies eating while they cook for us

He just forgot to mention that you need to book way in advance to get that famous chef’s table, will keep you all posted when I will finally eat inside the aquarium 

I know that I am late for some posts, but now that I am back to Geneva, let me write you a little about it, before adding my NY Food Festival experiences.

This time the return was harder, as I am still jet lagged. Yesterday it was the birthday of my friend that we call the President, so we decided last minute to get together and have a drink at Capocaccia. I have told the Yeti (girls he is the new guy in Geneva, yes we have fresh meat in town, lol) to join us as well, so he could meet some of my peeps.

After few drinks, we were all hungry so headed up to Quirinale… The last time that I was at Quirinale was the night before my trip to NY, and it was a long night. Everybody was there including Metro and my Greek girls. The night ended very late at the new B Club, and I only had an hour to pack before going to the airport… still drunk, lol.

As usual Quirinale over packed, but haven’t seen that many people that I know… even the special ladies were not there!!! What’s happening in Geneva? I leave the city for a couple of weeks, and everybody changes their habit????

Ok we got it; it is the new year, so everybody has a resolution such as quit drinking, quit smoking, quit eating…. bla bla and bla. We all know that these resolutions won’t last long. WE are in Geneva, how do you wanna survive to the winter depression without drinking? Anyway, nobody was in the “party” mood… so we lost basically everyone. The last man and woman standing were the Yeti and I…

Fun night, fun discussion… but I seriously need new places to discover in Geneva. I know it is gonna be a challenge, but my 2011 will be dedicated to that.