Category: Geneva

This Saturday we decided to get all together and have dinner at Cipriani downtown. My brother and his wife couldn’t make it, but my Lady Fleur, ma Rose Bon Bon with her man (the Diamond guy), the Russian (or Ring Ding for close friends), my Gal, and the Carlyle Group (Gros Minux and the Photographer) were there.

In NY, there are several Cipriani’s and my favorite is the one in Soho… I know New Yorkers consider it as a eurotrash spot, and there are lots of dady’s kids and show off people… but guess what I like the food and I am a eurotrash after all ;) and between us I think people who don’t like Cipriani are the ones who cannot get a table.

Normally even if you have a table, you might be waiting a long time to be seated . Thanks to the Russian Ring Ding, who is a very good customer, we didn’t wait that much. What can I say, besides; it is beneficial to know connected people ;)

To start with, we ordered some grilled artichokes, tuna carpaccio, artichoke salad with shaved parmesan and avocado, and calamari to share… it was yummy, and the food disappeared in seconds.

To continue we wanted they famous “Radicchio Risotto”, unfortunately, they couldn’t make it that night. So we ended up taking a “Risotto al Pesto”, their “Rigatoni Alla Genovese” and “Tagliata of Prime Beef Sirloin”. My least favorite was the risotto and i died for the rigatoni, and the meat as usual was great quality!!!

Sorry no pics available this time cause I was busy sipping on my grey goose on the rocks when the food arrived.
Yes I know, no bubbles for once… but we all know my other favorite drink is vodka (especially Grey Goose) on the rocks.

The place was packed as usual, no celebrities (besides us) people waiting at the bar were not quite happy with us, because we were taking our time; finally, we decided to head to B.E.S. for a last drink.

You know B.E.S. is my new favorite place: for dinner or for drinks… It feels like home, and the fact that my new sublet is a block away really helps 

Let’s say I had a very looooong night… one of those when the following morning you regret bitterly, and no alkazelser really cures  but it was damn worth it, I had a blast!!!

We finally decided to meet up with my chica last night, we thought we will give a shot at Gramercy Tavern, even a bite at the bar…

Well that was delusion… when you arrive with no reservation; you have to put yourself on two lists: one for a table, and it was an hour and a half wait; the other one for the bar, where you couldn’t even access. So we decided to go to Craft bar, which is a block away and usually easy to find a spot at the bar.

I guess I keep forgetting that it is the holiday season and everybody is out for dinner… Craft bar was packed as well, but after a 30 minutes wait and a short fight with a poorly dressed chick, we finally sat at a table.

The menu is composed of several small dishes to share… we decided to share few cheeses, a salad and risotto balls. The risotto balls are apparently the star dish… how they cannot be: some rice, lots of cheese, breaded and deep fried. I mean it just missed the key element of all successful dishes in NY: truffle oil or bacon

The dinner was delicious, but they were out of tartatin… but when you think about it, we saved some calories 

After dinner, we tried to have a drink at a bar… Funny story, the restaurants are over packed and the bars quite empty… Believe me we tried a lot of them, Breslin, Ace hotel, Tao, Monkey Bar, Lever House… ended up going to the Whiskey Blue bar at W hotel on Lexington.

Now that was particularly entertaining, the bar was full… full of drunken businessman and special ladies… and they even thought that we were there for some business as well. Lol, that is a first for me…

So it was a great night, and I almost did some pocket money at the end of it ;) ahhh New York, you will never stop surprising me!!!

My brother and his wife are in New York for Xmas shopping. He loves meat, I guess it runs in the family… we are all carnivores, you should see my niece.

Anyway, whenever he comes to NY he loves going for lunch at “Del Frisco’s Steakhouse”, and told me I have to go and try it. This steakhouse opened it’s doors the first time 20 years ago in Dallas. It is an institute for great meat… and come on even Gerald Butler asked for it as his last meal in “Law Abiding Citizen” ;)

We decided to meet for lunch, and my NY girl,who is known as Lady Fleur, joined us. The place is huge, two floors and we sat upstairs.

So while you check your menu, they bring you a warm delicious bread. After you eat your bread you start listening your waiters’ speech. Ours name was Paul: I have never seen someone talking so fast without taking any breath.

We ended up starting with crab cakes that are real crabs, not the food processed crab meat, followed by filet mignon. My brother and I love our meat rare, almost alive. When the meat arrived it was rare ok, but was cold.

When I told Paul about it, his first response was well you want it rare, so we didn’t cook a lot… I agree it cannot be boiling, but it is not my first rare meat, and I never had it cold. So he took it back and brings it back warm (I guess it works so why not bringing right the first time????)

Let me tell you it was worth the wait… the meat literally melted in my mouth. One of the best filet mignon that I had for a while.

To complete our light lunch, Paul proposed us their signature dessert: Lemon cake… imagine a several layers of lemon, lemon cream, lemon frosting cake, every bite worth 1000 calories. I would have taken a picture but the minute it landed on the table we jumped on it.

We all were a little disappointed about it: not enough lemony, too sweet, too dry…. All the reasons were present to not eating it, but don’t know why we cleaned the plate, lol.

So to resume, I need to thank my bro for the good address, and if you are in New York and want to have a good steak (and not go to Peter Lugar in Brooklyn), go to Del Friscos Steakhouse.

It is a block away from Saks Fifth Avenue, and definitely worth it. Here is a good tip, eat there, and walk a block for retail therapy.

My friend from New York came to Geneva with her family for few days. They were staying at the hotel La Reserve, which is slightly outside Geneva center.

I decided to meet up with ma Rose Bonbon (it’s the nick name that I gave her) at the lounge of the hotel for drinks and dinner.

Hotel la Reserve is very popular in summer thanks to their beautiful pool area. It is also “The Spot” for Sunday brunch in Geneva, as you have a DJ, and let’s be honest there are not many other options.

It used to be my hangout a year ago, but I got burnt out of the same place, same people and same food….

I was nicely surprised to see that it was also busy on a rainy Monday night. We all know, Geneva crowd stay home when it rains or it snows … I guess they are afraid to melt.
Between us, it is better, because they suddenly forget how to drive when it rains or snows….
Another person who didn’t care about the rain was the Swedish model Victoria Silvstedt and her pocket boyfriend Maurice Dabbah. They came for a quick bite… she is very tall and he needs a stool to be able to kiss her.

The service was excellent, and I think my friend being a good client was a significant factor in that.

The food… well the problem at la Reserve is that the menu never changes… The same old burger, with the same old club sandwich and the same steak …

So the food was nothing extraordinary. This time I started with marinated salmon and took the sea bass as a main plate. It was good, not great just decent.

The best part? To see my friend in Geneva, and finally spend some quality time with her… Would I start going back there again? Probably not, unless they eventually change their menu, or ma Rose Bonbon comes back and stays there ;) ))

On Thursday night, we decided to meet up with a friend and catch up. Before dinner, we passed by the Hotel Beau-Rivage for their Christmas party.

The moment we entered the lobby, a strong BBQ smell hit us. Once we collected the name tags we entered “the party” room. The theme was Latino, but besides the great band reminding me Socialista Social Club, and the welcoming staff member dressed in a white suit…. It could have been a backyard BBQ for bankers.

It was also a celebration of chocolate as well, and the most impressive part of the night was the sculptures and dresses made out of chocolate.

They offered us bubbles at the entrance, don’t want to be negative but they were warm and not fizzy enough. They had a cocktail bar where you could find mojitos and daiquiris. The wine and spirits bar were installed outside, at the terrace… where people could also smoke.

The BBQ stand was outside also; I know that our society tries to punish smoking people, but to fume them with stinky bbq smell, I think it is pushing it too far. What is gonna be the next step? Inking them with a smoker sign????

In the mean time, if you wanted another glass of champagne, you had to hold on to your glass (even empty) and hope that someone with a bubble bottle will pass by. I made the ultimate mistake and left my glass. When I finally found someone with a bottle, instead of him trying to get me a glass, he asked me to go and get an empty glass…. so I had to go around look for an empty glass.

Off course once I had the empty glass, I had to look again for the bottle man … all this for my second warm glass of bubbles…

Wait a second? Isn’t Beau-Rivage a 5 star hotel? So correct me if I am wrong; shouldn’t the service be impeccable? As the smelling BBQ and the service were bad, I guess they invested their total budget on the music band …

So, after spending an hour at the stinky latino place and chasing warm bubbles, I decided it was time to get my dignity back and leave.

The burnt meat smell was so impregnated on me that even dogs on the street looked at me like a giant piece of meat… and usually that look is exclusive for men ;)

Quirinale was full, and as always they first told us we couldn’t eat at the bar….and as usual we ended up eating at the bar.

It was calmer than a regular Thursday; there were the usual suspects: “estheticians” (the special ladies that refuse to admit they want your money in exchange of favors) and men looking for them… My friend and I ended up chatting with two man: a romantic and a metrosexual. They had a better dinner experience at “Patara” (the Thai restaurant of the Hotel Beau-Rivage)than our party.

Ohh… and guess what? I ordered a bottle of champagne, and finally had my crispy fizzy bubbles that I was craving all night!!!

Last week we had a tremendous snow storm. The life in the city froze for a day: no more public bus for half a day, airport closed and roads not cleaned.

In New York as soon as there is a snow storm, every store and building cleans in front of their area and snow machines clears the roads in the city.

Off course in the States one can be sued for anything; in Geneva nobody has such a fear so no one cleans the snow and the city of Geneva prefers spending our tax money on more significant duties such as keeping it in their pocket.

No need to say nothing stopped me and my Natmobile, but we got stuck in some traffic, slipped on the road and even had a mini accident….

On Thursday, the city was more functioning. I had lunch at the restaurant “L’Armoire” with my mom. Do you remember my positive review about them a little while ago? Well I would like to correct it….

I asked for a “filet mignon” with spinach instead of the french fries. The first waiter looked confused and send me his colleague who literally answered me: “we are sorry we have a new policy; as every dish has it’s own design, we cannot change the sides”.
I answered: “this is ridiculous. I won’t eat something that I don’t like just because the cook’s design will change”.

Correct me if I am wrong, but a cook is creative and if I want spinach instead of carrots, don’t you think he should be capable of doing the exchange? Maybe I should send my niece to help him.
I know you eat with your eyes before your mouth… but if I want just to look and not eat (because I don’t like or I cannot or I just don’t want), I will go to a museum….

I ended up taking a fish, because its vegetables seemed appealing and asked them to remove the mashed potatoes… and off course I got my overcooked fish with vegetables and the mashed potatoes.

Oh well, “L’Armoire” is back to “not really into it” category…
Sorry guys, I know you love the place and it is your hangout, but this restaurant just doesn’t work for me.

When my friends called, to ask me to join them at the chef’s table at Rochat, I was the happiest person in the world. Lol I know again happy because of food… you will think something is missing in my life ;)
But come on, we are talking about Philippe Rochat; the disciple of Freddy Girardet; the chef that collected more stars in a culinary world than a kid, in a sugar coma, from candies collected at Halloween.

My friends who organized the dinner told us (the girls) to not have a décolleté, or a mini skirt as we were going to sit in the kitchen where there are 20 men and only 2 women cooks…
In other words as my sister said, “I should cover my boobs for once, so I don’t distract the cooks”.

When we arrived at his restaurant situated at Crissier (near the city of Lausanne), we passed straight from the entrance to the kitchen.
The kitchen reminded me of a bee colony: a huge hive with lots of drones and two bees dressed up in their white cook outfits with their white hats delivering amazing dish after dish. And the Queen of the colony (although I should say the King), Philippe Rochat, giving orders, and checking every plate that leaves the kitchen …
You have to be there to feel the energy. I believe it is the fantasy of every woman and gay man…. A room full of males and yummy food ;)

We decided to take the Fall menu which consists of 11 dishes accompanied with exquisite wines. What can I say, besides that every dish was better than the previous one. Now I understand what Rochat means when he says “No need to overdo the ingredients to bring out the best in a product, just serve three flavors at a time”.

The dishes were tasty but light, and not drowning in sauce … My palate was nicely teased with every new dish. My favorites were the chamois, the turbot and off course the truffle dish that was simply not big enough….

We also had the honor to meet Petula Clark who was having her drink on our table when we arrived. I hesitated to ask her to sing “Downtown” for me.

And the cherry on the cake was to have Phillipe Rochat hanging out with us. He was all serious to start with and I don’t know why he refused that I accompany him to visit the tables, lol. But once the restaurant got calmer, he finally relaxed and let me tell you, this incredible chef is a big charmer as well ;)

I don’t know if I need to say it, but the night was exquisite… The company was great, and I loved every minute of the experience.

And thank you again to my friends who organized it…

Money Lisa 2009 - acrilique on 12 American original banknotes

Money Lisa 2009 - acrilique on 12 American original banknotes

My friend, who owns Minerva Fine Arts, organized a great exposition of one of her artists, “Antonio Natale”. He is known to paint on banknotes that are not in circulation anymore, and I love every single piece of it. And after seeing his success, I guess I am not the only one who likes this talented artist from Puglia.

We decided that after the exposition we would all go and have dinner at “Luigia”.

As you all know by now, Luigia is the new happening restaurant of Geneva. You can find from teenagers to jeweled up Geneva ladies, passing by the hip crowd having dinner side by side. You will think that not being able to book for a table (so sometimes even waiting for 45 minutes), would stop the flow… in the contrary it seems that every time I go, there are more people waiting for a table.
I guess the great food and ambiance helps a lot; as some people would say: “you have the feeling to be in Italy”.
Some complains about the noise, but again… although it is the “to go” place, it remains a pizzeria. If you want a quit spot, go to an Auberge.

As we were going to be around 20, I booked upstairs, the private section. So this time we didn’t wait long, just the time to set the table.
Before everybody has decided for their main plates, we ordered some “Chiacchiere” (fried pizza dough) for the middle with cold cuts and buffalo; unfortunately they were out of mozzarella, so they replaced with other yummy cheese.
As main course, some took pasta with aubergines that looked to die for, some went for pizzas, and I took the “Veal Marsala” (sweet wine from Sicily). The veal was tender and the Marsala sauce was really delicious.

Although we were upstairs (so easy to be forgotten), we had an amazing service. My only complaint would be that we had to leave around midnight; I wish Luigia had an annex for after dinner… because everybody was in a great mood, and we would have stayed longer.

So my Italian evening was a success, great expo, great food, great service, and beside some people who were on a bad mood, amazing company!!!!

Some of my friends in Geneva, love the restaurant l’Armoire to a certain point that we know that when we will meet with them, we will be there for dinner.
It is a decent restaurant, but I am not a big fan… but last night I promised them to give another shot and it was also the only restaurant that took a reservation for 6 at the last minute. Good to have friends who are their best clients ;)

No one really wanted to have starters so we ended up ordering some appetizers to share. The foie gras was particularly delicious…
My friend who ordered a green salad, had on her plate only “frisee and escarole”. I agree that they make part of the green salad family and look pretty on the plate, but they also make the dish impossible to eat. Because you keep trying to look fancy while you chase the salad leafs with your fork. I think restaurants should always add some romaine, so we have something to put under our fork, lol.

As a main dish I ordered “Beef Steak Tartar”… and as usual without onions, shallots or any of the family. I asked my tartar to be very spicy. It came with no onions, but not sure about the spicy part, unless the chef considers ketchup spicy.
It was too sweet but some Tabasco drops, pepper and salt kind of arranged the flavor.
I agree, better adding the spice than having too spicy, but don’t kill my beef with ketchup… I am not an American teenager who believes that ketchup is the sauce for everything.

My friends took the “Cote de Boeuf” (T-bone steak), it was delicious. Some found the risotto on the side too salty but I didn’t mind. Otherwise their French fries were quite crispy and tasty.

There is one thing that I can say about l’Armoire restaurant, their products are prime selection… they have to just work about the seasoning to not ruin the taste.

The service was great; I guess being with the VIP clients helped a lot. And I think the restaurant looks much cozier at night than at lunch time. They have to just be careful with the heating:
I know that I am not a reference, but when we arrived it was so warm that I had the feeling to be a roasted chicken in the oven…. and this time I was not the only one.

I am happy to give another shot to l’Armoire, and as I always say the company is very important, and I had a great one!!!!

You will think, life stops when you come to Geneva… let say it is a little calmer than the rest of the world, but we still have amazing restaurants…
And I have to say “Le Vallon” is one of them. I am never disappointed when I eat there… The food is savory and the presentation is great. As we always say you eat first with your eyes.

So today after doing the famous Geneva market searching for fresh vegetables and fruits… we decided to treat ourselves with a nice lunch. Normally “Le Vallon” is closed on the week-ends… like most of the Geneva restaurants. It is always a challenge to find a lunch spot on the week-ends outside the city center. So after looking for few restaurants, to our big surprise Le Vallon was open. Apparently this new hours are for the last 4 months, no need to say I am shocked that no one told me, lol ;)

The restaurant was quite full, with I have to admit not very hip people… it seemed a little bit like 3rd age convention. They were offering a business lunch menu that was quite complete, including an appetizer, a main dish and desert, to a reasonable price (for Geneva at least) of 55CHF.
I took my salmon raviolis, which are actually smoked salmon in a shape of ravioli, filled in with ricotta followed up a steak tartare. My appetizer was to die for, and the presentation was beautiful.

The tartare was good, but too much ketchup in it for my taste… but the secret weapon was the shoe string French fries. How can I describe it, not oily cause was cooked in the oven but yet so crispy… just warm potato chips in the shape of matches…
Someone took the menu, and chose the beef carpaccio to start with; she complained that it was too thick and too cold. But her main dish was a fish on an olive risotto. I have to say this was my first olive risotto, and won’t be the last. And she had this desert which was all around red fruits. You have to taste it, but first you have to see it…

Considering all, beside “the rock’n’roll” ambiance, the service is great, the food presenting is great and the food is quite delicious. Yes I admit it is a little pricey, but in Geneva even pizzerias are pricey… so you should give a shot.

I might go back on Saturday a last time before New York ;)