Tag Archive: geneva restaurants


Hello everyone, I know I know it has been a while that I didn’t give you news. And believe me there are lots of news to give. First of all thank you to all my friends for their wonderful messages for my birthday!!! You know it is really good to be me ;)

Now let me tell you what I have done the last few weeks. I enjoyed the sunny weather and went out a lot in Geneva. I did a crazy week-end in Milan, and I had an amazing week in Sardinia.
I will talk about my trips later; but for now let me talk to you about my birthday, and what I did …
Last year I did a big thing in Istanbul, so this year wanted to go mellower and I wasn’t really in the mood of organizing a big party. This year my sister, who kept asking me what I wanted to do, decided to stop waiting on me and called some friends and organize a small dinner at the Hotel President Wilson.

Hotel President Wilson is situated by the lake on the rive droite, and has a great lounge/terrace around the pool, and a restaurant called “Bayview”. This summer they do every Thursday night happy hour and they bring little canapés from their Lebanese restaurant, “Arabesque”. I never managed to go to any and I really wanted to try it, so I could talk about it.

The place is really beautiful; you have a great view of the lake. The only inconvenient; and this is more for the hotel guests, the “pool” view is actually “room” view. The pool is built in the middle of the building, so one side of it has the rooms with no tinted windows. This basically means when you ask a room with lake view, you have the pool and the restaurant view as well. And you have the opportunity to offer a peep show to the diners ;) Joke aside I think it is a pity to have a beautiful view, but never enjoy it because you keep your curtains closed as you are scared people might see you in your room’s intimacy…

At my table I was sitting pool/room view side as I know how the Leman Lake looks like and I am more curious what happens in the rooms…
You can chose between two menus and a la carte dishes; as we like to be complicated, my mother asked the Maitre d’ to talk to the Lebanese restaurant and that we wanted some food from them as well. Yes yes I know, the apple never falls to far from the tree, why do you think I became whom I am :)
What I like about the restaurant is that instead of giving us the typical answer “oh we cannot do that, house rules”, they right away called someone from the other restaurant so we can be happy. Believe me, it might seem so what to some of you, but in Geneva, it is a big plus.

We ended up sharing few appetizers from the Bayview restaurant, and few dishes from the Arabesque restaurant. The food was quite decent, we had bubbles to celebrate. I think the only thing that I can criticize would be the service. They are all lovely but they should come and check on us more often. We ended up doing our own Champagne service, as we would have died of thirst waiting for them to pay us attention. I am happy that they were not like my water filler waiter (the one from La Finestra) but come on, find the middle. Especially when you consider that the income of a restaurant is based more on the drinks than on food….

Oh well, I had a good evening, great company and the most important great gifts ;) and if you are still curious, no peep show from a hot guest, just someone who was very into dental hygiene (he brushed his teeth for at least 6 minutes)…

Thank you sis to organize, thanks mom to invite and thanks guys to be there!!!!

“Roberto” is one of the known restaurants in Geneva center. It is situated near Rive, and attracts a lot of business men when they want to impress their client. My mother always would say, you know the quality of a restaurant by looking at their flower arrangements, and if you follow her logic, Roberto must be among the best.

I hate to criticize everything (I know it doesn’t look like) but I don’t agree; I would put it as one of the most expensive not the best. I gave so many chances, and 99% of the time I left broke and disappointed. So when my friend invited me to join them, I was more excited about the fact to have some material to write than the food…

I cannot deny, the atmosphere is beautiful and the place is packed, and the service with a smile. I ordered an artichoke heart, followed by scaloppini al limone (veal escallops in lemon sauce). So after 20 – 25 minutes I received two big hearts of artichokes and two green leaves with one little carrot in the middle… no dressing or vinaigrette. I completely understand that they let you dress it your way, but propose me vinaigrette on the side and let me chose.
Anyway the problems started with the entrees… They came exactly 1hour and 15 minutes after we sat. I had what I ordered, but my friend who ordered a grilled sole had a meuniere (cooked in a pan with butter); we had 4 orders of soles and only received 3. And instead of dividing them among four, they filled up three plates with the fish and the poor fourth person had a quarter of a sole.

And for the sides, no one got what they expected. Someone had ordered his dish with french fries, but as his plate was full of fish, only six sad fries made it. come on, when you pay around 70 USD for a plate of fish, you expect first to receive it, then to have the right side order and you also expect some visual… Don’t we say that we first eat with the eyes… well at Roberto they don’t know the concept, not only you are not satisfied with your food, your plate look sad as well…

There is a saying: “don’t judge a book by its cover”… well don’t judge Roberto by its flowers and decors and prices, it just doesn’t deliver what you expect from it. Nobody leaves the restaurant satisfied… but due to the lack of choices for a business lunch, they keep going.
It is sad because Roberto has all the elements to have satisfied customers, they just need to put it together and stop taking them for idiots!!!

In Geneva, when you say “Auberge de Dully” everybody starts salivating thinking about the chicken, and the rostis and the yummy warm shortcrust cream pie….
Dully opened its wine house in 1840 and housed a lounge with only five tables and fifteen stools. It is only in 1964 that the chicken and lamb legs started to be served. So over 40 years, this Auberge owned by the Charriere family, situated between Geneva and Lausanne serves their customers. Growing up in Geneva, I used to go there a lot; first with my parents, then with my friends, and now with my friends and their kids…
It is not the first choice spot for the evenings, because it is 20 – 30 minutes from Geneva, and you need to take the highway. In a city small like Geneva when you stay in your car more than 10 minutes to arrive to a restaurant, it is considered far, and with all the police controls, you have to be careful with your alcohol intake…
This week-end we decided with a friend to go there and enjoy the chicken, and I honestly was craving more about the pie ;) As usual the place was packed, and as usual the place was too hot. I had the feeling to sit near the sun… The décor is very rustic and full of pictures of formula one and especially Ferrari as they are big fans. Normally we could park just in the front, and it was always a big chaos as everyone would leave there car at any empty spot. Now they have closed it, so you have to be creative and park along the road or use the open air parking a bit further away.
The chicken was juicy and the rosti crispy. I don’t even talk about the pie, because I finished it almost by myself… The service was as usual quick and efficient. The crowd was composed of few people that I knew, few families, few couples, and few groups. There was one woman whom I was happy not to sit in front, she had so many surgeries that she reminded me of a mild version of Jocelyn Wildenstein (you know the socialite in NY who did so many plastic surgeries that she looks like a cat… although that would insult the poor cats). Thanks god the person that I was sitting looked good, therefore my appetite was intact, lol
So a great night after all, great food, good vibe, funny people to watch, great company and the good point was that while I was eating, due to the heat I was in a mini sauna; so instantly losing weight ;) the negative point, when I left, I smelled like a roasted chicken myself… could be dangerous when you walk by a dog….

What to do on a rainy day… sorry rainy week in Geneva??? Big dilemma as it happens very often in our lovely town. Why do you think everything, including some people are so green? We have so much rain that even humans started to grow leaves ….
So I have spent my days home, working and let’s be honest planning my next trips. I finally decided to leave my castle for a meeting, followed up with a lunch. My friend proposed me “La Finestra”, near Confederation Center. Never heard of it so was quite excited to finally discover a new spot. It is a small Italian restaurant with maximum 10 tables. I would more go there in winter than in summer, but then again these days it is quite chilly in Geneva. I would also advise that spot for romantic lunch or dinners. I am sure at night you have lots of couples. The menu is great but I decided to go ahead with the daily special. Let’s say if I am very hungry I would need two daily specials as the portions were tiny.
The service was good, we received the appetizers very quickly and the entrée came soon after. But I had one big complaint. I know I know I always do. The waiter had one main mission…. To never let my water glass empty … Every 55 seconds, he would come and top it up… and this even if I didn’t drink it… I seriously hate that. First of all you cannot have a conversation as you keep being interrupted and also, it creates a panic in you. You feel obliged to keep drinking, so there is enough space on your glass…
This reminds me the fish restaurants in Turkey; beside the water battle, I seriously believe they work on commission about the plates they change. The waiters have this compulsion to take away your plate even if you had a little bread crumb on it. And I spend my lunch or dinners fighting to keep it….
Finally we told him that we could take care of the glass filling, and ordered our coffees, and enjoyed the caramelized almonds brought to our table. Between us, the coffee was so bitter that we really needed something extra sweet.
So after all, if you want to have a calm or romantic lunch/dinner, good Italian food, you should give a shot, but tell your waiter to leave your glass alone ;)

On my quest to find the best terrace for lunch in Geneva, I decided to give a shot to “Riverside Café” in Geneva. It used to be “Le Bleu Rhone” when I was living in Geneva couple of years ago and the food was correct. The beauty of this coffee is that you are directly sitting by the lake, and quite far from the traffic. The new decoration is beautiful, the chairs more comfy. My sister told me that she heard about their famous burgers, although I decided to stick to my filet de perches (perch filets).
The young girl serving us was all smiles and sweet; we placed our order in 5 minutes and had our appetizers in 10… while lunching we saw two another friends, who joined us. One of them took the burger and the other one the filet de perches like me. The waitress told me that unfortunately we won’t all receive our dishes at the same time, which was normal.
After 45 minutes I started to lose my patience and asked her if the cook went fishing my perches? She said that I was so right that she has already asked him 4 times. Finally after 55 minutes I receive a plate where the fish looked still alive, the fries soaked in oil. Tried to taste it, not only it wasn’t cooked but had no taste. My sister, who had ordered a cheeseburger, had a piece of cheese thrown on her ground beef.
I guess you all know what happened after. Called her and told her to take away this, cause I couldn’t accept a raw tasteless fish after waiting that long. My friend also said to cancel her order. And we both took burgers instead. Finally we got all the food, some salads missing, some salads we wished were missing cause they looked really tired. My burger off course with onions (that I told at the beginning of the lunch that I cannot eat) and tasteless. Thanks god the spot is nice and I was with friends because I would have returned everything and leave that place right away.
I think it is unacceptable that because a restaurant has a terrace, they have to hire incompetent cooks, incapable of cooking fish in 55 minutes. And the worst, the restaurant was almost empty, what would have happened if it was full? We would have never seen any food???
So Riverside Café has definitely capsized, and don’t think there is any hope to save it from sinking.

Something interesting happened in Geneva; this week-end … the sun was out. Don’t laugh it is a big deal for us sun deprived Geneva people. So everybody was out on the streets or near the lake. I have asked on my facebook business page, what was the people’s favorite spot for a sunny lunch. Sadly the best spots advised were Hotel terraces, their own terrace or Brasserie Lipp. I think it is sad that in a city around a lake we don’t have more terraces. Of course there is “Bain des Pacquis” that I call “Mare aux Canards” which literally translates by “the Duck Pond”… a tiny space with so many people that you can barely move. I agree the spot is great, we even did a private party for charity there couple of years ago, but for me sitting in a terrace and enjoying the sun should be a pleasure, not a torture where everybody sits on top of each other..
Anyway, so on Saturday I decided that I should stay at my apartment and enjoy my terrace, but as my terrace was literally cooking and I had no breeze, I ended up in front of TV, shades down, air on… On Sunday I decided that it was time to leave the apartment so I met a friend for tea at the Brasserie Lipp. Effectively it is a nice terrace, no cars passing buy, nice and quite spot… our tea lasted few hours until they came and asked us to leave cause our table was reserved for dinner.
I left my friend and met another one and we went to “La Nautique” for dinner. It is the Marina and Yacht club of Geneva built in 1872. This selective Geneva Club is membership only, and you need to have a boat and I think be sponsored to be able to become a member. My friend, have the membership card, it was a good thing because the minute we sat someone came and asked to see the card, and we had to put it on a little stand done especially for our table…. He told me that the cook finally changed and that finally the food is getting good. I never had a great food experience there, so I was quite happy to taste again.
We were lucky because it wasn’t over packed; I guess the tempest announced the weather channels scared more than one person… but not us ;) we even sat outside. The crowd was composed of families with lots and lots of kids, and people of a certain age, whom I believe were here before even “La Nautique” existed… The menu was quite big, but I had to change 3 times my appetizers because they had onions in them and as the food is prepared in advance, they cannot take it out. Now honestly I think it is a bit shocking coming from such a “selective club”. I am not a cook, but how much time it will take them to add the onions at the last minute? And leave that, now that I am thinking it was a quiet night… so it means that if someone wants a fish carpaccio or a fish tartare, the following day for lunch, is the club gonna give them the left over from the night before (or even before that) with all the ingredients in it, which means all the tastes confused??? Hmmm… I guess I am lucky that I didn’t eat that. When you see the price list, you expect fresh food, but I guess people don’t really mind. Anyway, my second course was “Filet de perches”. It is a “Filet of Lake Perch”; one of Geneva’s summer specialty dish. After they put some flour on the perch, they cook it with butter until it gets gold. Most of the time, they add some lemony butter on top as well, and you have to eat it with fries. Ok I am officially hungry again :)
Joke aside it is a great dish if the perch is fresh, because in winter they import from Canada, and off course they are frozen, and you can taste it. This one was really good, and the great part was the fries. They were crispy and tiny and delicious. I am not a French fries girl, but those didn’t stay long on my plate.
To finish our dinner we took a warm chocolate fondant cake to share, not really impressed as well, no chocolate was coming out of the not that warm cake. So conclusion, if you go to la Nautique to eat, just stick to the “Filets de Perches”.
For me it was a good way of finishing a week-end, good company, found a good dish and enjoyed a nice bottle of Chateau Minuty Rosee…

Woke up this morning, happy to be back to a sunny Geneva, which is rarely the case… As it has been a while that I am rarely home, had to do the boring stuff, like invoices, grocery shopping etc… But I had to catch up with friends as well. So decide to have lunch with “wifey”. She is my high school friend that I know for 25 years now. We studied and lived in Pensionnat Valmont, Lausanne. It is a school where the Marcelline Sisters devoted themselves to the education of young women, in other words, a girl’s boarding school governed by the nuns, with so many restrictions that we end up … well we end up like me, free spirited. So my friend that I call wifey was there as well, and she did her part of globetrotting and we end up both in Geneva… no need to add which kind of special bond we have.
So as we both keep traveling, we try to catch up whenever we are both in town. And this time we decided to go to “l’Armoire” (literally means the closet) for healthy food. Although last time we had lunch there, we both had burgers with fries. L’Armoire is a restaurant that opened in Geneva for few years now. The food is always quite decent, and what I like about is that, beside the familiar faces I always see there, while waiting for your food you can read little inscriptions on the walls about funny citations. The lunch crowd is a mix of business people and ladies catching up, and the dinner crowd is composed of the usual suspects, getting ready for a long night out. They have a little terrace which is literally on the street, so it is nice to be out but if you sit at the edge you basically inhale all the cars smoke and survive through the roads dust. I prefer the tables near the sidewalk where it is a little healthier. So we sat on our table, I ordered a beef tartare, and wifey took a seafood ceviche. It was a good food, great company, and not overpriced like most of Geneva restaurants. So I highly advise to give a chance if you r in town and not looking for the perfect terrace.
After lunch I went and did some shopping, because all the private sales started, girlzz and boyzz, get ready in Geneva the sales has started as well. And I am the proud parent of two new Lesputains (Louboutin) for the ones who read me the first time) …
and now so happy to be home and chill. You know me; never go out at nights on the week-ends :)

Last I went to dinner at “Bistrot du Boucher”. Everybody knows about it in Geneva, either because they ate there or simply they saw the big caw outside the restaurant. I used to go a lot in the past and got few disappointed dinners so stopped. But few weeks ago my brother and sister tried again and they couldn’t stop talking about it. So last night was the redemption night. We went without booking so they gave us the “last” table which was by the door.
We all ordered our food, and finally got the appetizers, my salad with “chevre chaud” (warm goat cheese) could have been described as “few green leaves swimming in oil with burnt goat cheese filos”. I told myself well it is a steak house after all, so let’s wait the meat to really judge.
I was lucky, ordered a Steak Tartare, and it was delicious, and although I am not a French Fries girl, they were quite perfect; thin, long and crispy. Someone took a well done burger, one side of the burger was the way she ordered, well done, the other side was as raw as my Steak Tartare. And finally the bouquet was for the person who ordered the Filet de Boeuf cooked Medium. It was literally burnt outside, impossible to even cut it. She sent it back, to receive when we were all done with our food, two pieces of meat so cooked that they looked and tasted like oily shoe soles.
When the owner, a lovely lady came and asked her, how was it this time; my friend said that this time it was overcooked and as she waited so long that she wasn’t hungry anymore. So the lovely owner, instead of telling her, sorry I won’t count this dish on your check, told her, oh sorry to hear that, at least is the beef good quality? Let me put it in an aluminum foil, so you can bring it home and eat later. And generous that she is, told her that she would like to offer her a desert.
So here we are receiving 3 of their famous chocolate and pear cake, one free, and an aluminum foil with 2 pieces of beef.
I don’t even know what to say, I mean if she had ordered pasta in a steak house, I would have told her, don’t get so high expectations… but who cares if it is a good piece of meat, if they don’t know how to cook it properly.
Lately I am getting addicted to Hell’s Kitchen, so I wonder where is Chef Ramsey to fire that cook?????
After leaving a great amount of money, we all left the restaurant unhappy, my friend gave the foil to the waiter and said actually you can keep it, cause won’t eat that beef. Would I go back? Definitely not; our table was placed in neverland of waiters and service, how many times do you need to reorder a drink to finally get it??? and disappointing food…
At the entrance I saw they were “Guide de Routard’” choice until 2005, I guess there is a reason why they stopped choosing this restaurant as an advice to travelers!!!!

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

In Geneva you have two main restaurants for seafood. La Brasserie Lipp and Cafe du Centre.
They both have great terraces, although at Lipp; located in Cofederation Center; the terrace is more private, whereas at CDC, located at the Molard square, you can sit and watch all the bankers getting out of their banks for lunch or shoppers leaving Globus (Grand Passage for us old Geneva people)… But at the end of the both of them have the same clientele.
If you compare the food, I personally prefer Lipp, cause I think they have a bigger choice and the food is tastier. Their mussels are great, much better than the CDC one where there is so much onion that I need a day to digest and wash my hands all day long to take out the smell. So highly unadvised if you are planning a hot date later that day.
The service, well you can be sure that at Lipp, during your lunch or dinner, someone will break something, I guess it makes part of their tradition, but at least they all speak well French and English and are professionals. Whereas in Cafe du Centre, they keep hiring these interns, who are not very capable, and don’t really speak French or English.
And although I agree it is a brasserie, but at Lipp, it is so noisy that you cannot really talk (unless you seat on the terrace in summer which becomes the winter garden in winter). At Café du Centre you don’t have this problem, the closed area is much calmer and outside is happening.
If we talk about the crowd, well both attract the same people, lots of tourists but lots of locals as well. They both serve all day long, and Lipp serves until late night, so great spot to have dinner after a show or a movie.

This week I had lunch at both of them, I am trying to be healthy and eat fish… but I have to admit the potato gratin next to my salmon was yummy compared to the artichoke puree next to my sea bass… But if I had to pick overall… summer nights or winter lunches at Brasserie Lipp the terrace, or the winter garden. Quick bite for summer lunches Café du Centre… but I guess you need to taste both of them!!!