Tag Archive: food

Last night I went with a friend to the terrace opening of Hotel Le Richemond in Geneva. At the beginning I thought they were opening a new terrace and was really wondering where it could be, as although the hotel is beautiful, it doesn’t have that kind of space.
And off course with my luck it was pouring outside….The hotel has a valet parking, but only for expensive cars. And as they refused my little Fiat Panda last year, they lost me as a client, and normally I never go there.
Last night wanted to give another chance, and also was quite curious to see the opening of a terrace under the rain.
After struggling for a parking spot we arrived at the hotel. The Terrace opening was obviously happening indoors, and the “Terrace” is actually the little patio of the restaurant where they put normally 3 tables. They just organize this drink, to announce the summer, and the BIG opening of their terrace, which is between us smaller than my terrace at home.
The minute that we entered two people asked us if we would like to coat check and a third one offered us a drink, then we started to circulate sipping our bubbles, tasted few appetizers walking around. For me the hit was “the filet de boeuf” bite with Bearnaise sauce (unfortunately saw it only once).
The crowd was different than usual Geneva crowd, I actually believe that these people were there because they were the hotel clients, and wanted to make connections and not the usual crowd who enters because they see the light and they want free booze and food.
When we finally decided to leave, two ladies who were behind a flower stand, gave us a little bag with red and white paeonies, which was a nice touch.
I really liked the welcome and the good bye, made few connections, so it was a good night after all. I guess Le Richemond really wanted to announce the summer; it is just the Geneva forecast which was against it…

Last night a friend of mine organized a dinner a “Brasserie des Halles de L’Ile” in Geneva. We were all gonna meet up there; check out the photos exhibitions of New York than have dinner. I have been there last year the day they opened. We were a big group and it was a disaster; bad service and bad food… and they gave us the excuse of this is a test night. Well let me tell you I was happy to be there for that “test” night instead of the official opening night where a woman had been sexually abused in the restrooms. And apparently the aggressor, who was one of the guests, continued drinking at the bar after the attack. I guess I don’t need to add more, all these events didn’t really inspired me to go back there.
So when my friend proposed Les Halles de L’Ile, I was really hesitant at first, then decided to give another chance, and promised myself to not drink too much liquid so I won’t need to go to the restrooms ;)
It is located between Rive Droite and Rive Gauche, on the lake. The place is beautiful, it is owned by the city of Geneva, and the prices are not expensive at all. When I arrived, the outside court was full of people… the crowd??? hmm hard to explain, beside some homeless passing by, I saw few bankers, some artists and was particularly amazed seeing a bunch of young boys who were dressed to impress. One of them was wearing his bowler hat, and smoking his pipe… it looked like a low budget remake of “The Avengers” with the 12 year old boy as John Steed….
I finally sat at the table. The dining room is huge with lots of tables; it has a cafeteria feeling, with techno music on top. So no need to say very very noisy. Our waiter, who was a sweet man, was totally lost and definitely had hearing problems. He was running from one side of the room to the other side, like a headless chicken. We all knew that we had one chance to place our order, cause once he will leave our table; no one knew when he will be back. So we decided as a group to get really ready for our order before calling him. When he came everybody said what they wanted, and too bad for the ones not ready, who missed their chance to order appetizers. We right away ordered several bottle of wines, so we won’t be short on that side, and believe me to survive to that banging music you needed lots of liquids.
Food started to come, and they missed one appetizer, which was off course mine. When I finally got it, I was impressed by the quantity, my salmon petals were more like a salmon tree, and there were sooo many of them.
The main courses followed later and everybody seemed happy. So I must say the food got better, the service, giving the circumstances was ok. The price was cheap. Between cocktails, appetizers, main dish, desert and drinks, we pay per head, what you normally pay for a main dish in most of Geneva restaurants.
The restrooms? Well I kept my plan, and never went there, no need to take the risk. Would I return??? Not on my own initiative, but wouldn’t be totally against it if a plan comes along.
Apparently they have a great brunch, do I risk trying it…. Would let you know. In the meantime have a great week-end all

Today I met a friend at “Senso” restaurant in Geneva. I have chosen the location, because been at their lobby several times for drinks and really liked it. I had dinner once in winter, the restaurant was empty. I know that they have a terrace and wanted to try it, so I could add a new restaurant with terrace in my city center list.

The city of Geneva, tries to discourage drivers to take their cars. All the outside parking spots (that are always full or closed for construction) can be used between 30 and 90 minutes. And believe me the city uses so many people to control it that if you are late 10 minutes, you can find yourself with a minimum fine of 40 USD, up to 160 USD. Sometimes I am thinking that those people are either bitter from life and it is their way of revenge, or they are like sales assistants, they work on commission. So unless you find an outside parking and/or you have a quick errand to do, you park in the closed parking. In the city Center, we have “Parking of Mont Blanc” and “Parking of Rive”. They are almost more expensive than the fines that you collect outside, so don’t know what the cheapest option is. And to top that Parking of Mont Blanc, is on construction to make our lives easy. What they do is they keep one side open, while they redo the other side.
It has been months that it started, and I don’t see any difference, the parking spots are so small that if you have a big car, it is a challenge to fit it. And on top of that, the parking is full of noise and dust, so make sure to wash your car when you leave….
I guess there is no way to get fresh air right now in Geneva; we have the ashes of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull outside, and the dust and smoke of the construction in the parking.
Anyway, finally I parked my car to join my friend at Senso. It is a located in place du Molard, and if you don’t know exactly where it is, you have big chances to miss it. Because it is hidden inside “the Passage du Rhone”. The decor is really nice, and the garden is cozy. It has a bar where you could imagine sipping your wine at night while waiting for your table. They have a great list of wine; the food menu is ok as well. So we sat and the hostess came to tell us the specials and left. The restaurant wasn’t that full, and she kept passing around and looking at our table but never came back. After 25 minutes, I lost my patience (and you know for me it is a record), and asked her if she mind taking our order finally. When I asked again about the specials, she answered me with arrogance, don’t bother we don’t have any left. Oh well I guess they made only 2 plates of that special, and off course it would be finished after 25 minutes wait.
We finally placed our order, the food came in 15 – 20 minutes, but they forgot to bring the drinks… My dish was ok, but my friend who ordered a fish suffered. Already it looked like a hospital food, and she said the fish was cold, and between us I don’t think it was cooked enough.
We finished our dishes and they got collected quickly, but had to wait another 10 min before the hostess decided to come and see us, and ask us if we wanted to see the desert menu…
Seriously, I think we should have left after waiting that much to place our order. The service used to be good, but today it was a disaster. I wished, I have seen the manager, because I would have few words to tell him about the service…

My friend told me that when they opened few years ago, you had to book 3 days in advance, no need to say that it is not the case today, and we all know why….

Last night I was invited by friends to a “blind dining experience”. The concept is simple, once you arrive you wear a mask that completely block out all light. And you eat a five course dinner, and sip a different wine with every dish. During the whole process, you have a blind person who is present and helps you go through the adventure.
One of my biggest fears is to lose my vision, when they put me the mask, I completely panicked, I felt that i was claustrophobic and hoped that it would end soon. Someone helped me to walk through my seat… believe me thanks god I wasn’t wearing my 10 inch high heels. I was walking like a baby who just learned how to walk. Once seated, I started to listen who was seating where, and with my hands felt where my plate, cutlery and glasses were. I felt a bottle of water, tried to fill my glass, happily noticed operation was a success.
The food started to come, the first appetizer was easy cause used my hands and had a tooth pick, the second dish “after touching it and smelling it”, was a “foie gras” with toasted bread and salad, I was really tempted to eat with my hands. I guess my plate was a massacre, at a point found a piece if foie gras on my lap, used all the knifes cause kept losing the one I had on my plate, ate a lot of air… thanks god this was a blind dining and not a blind date, cause I guess my date would have left me on the spot…
Then came the risotto where I felt like a champion, the only problem was to cut the scallops (honestly as everyone was blind I didn’t care so instead of the hassle showered the whole thing in my mouth), and we arrived to the chicken with polenta puree, I was done trying, cut the air few times, managed to catch few bites to put in my mouth…
For the wine, I mastered a system; every wine that I didn’t like pushed it away, and kept the ones that I like close to me.
Funny facts, as we were blind, everybody felt the need to talk louder, and apparently everybody had their head up (now I understand Steve Wonder when he sings), and some people lost the track of time, believe me I didn’t was really waiting to be over and recover my sight.
Finally in the middle of desert we all decided to take the masks off, looked at the room, my sensation wasn’t that wrong about the room and the shape of the table. Looked every persons plate and glass settings, the glasses where all over their plates, and looked at mine… oh god, where is my sis who will tell I am a control freak… on my right side three glasses of wine were ranged one after the other on a perfect line, with open eyes I couldn’t do that perfect. On my left side my glass of water, with the bottle ready to be served.
After all it was an incredible adventure, I recommend to everyone to try it once, everyone tries it to experience the quality of their palate, and I was 99% right about every dish. My observation was on a different level. The first one is we have to thank god every day to have our vision, damn it is hard and although the blind person seemed to be well adjusted to his life (he even owns a restaurant in the dark, where he serves), when I asked him what he misses, he replied my autonomy, I would love to be able to drive, and also see people’s eyes when I talk to them..
The second observation I had is different. Girls I am telling u, leave the South Beach , Atkins, or any other diet… just try the blind dining, you will definitely lose weight, as you exercise your arms when trying to eat, and basically eat more air than food, I am telling you this is gonna be a new diet book!!!!
Joke aside, it is an incredible adventure and I urge everyone to try it, yes for the gastronomical level it is interesting, but the real experience is to live, even for a short time, what blind people live every day…