GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – “Floris” in Anières, canton Geneva, and “Mesa” in Zurich, are the newcomers to Michelin’s list of Swiss two-star restaurants. Floria is headed by Claude Legras and Mesa by Marcus Lindner. They bring the number of eateries with two stars to 18.
Switzerland now has a total of 96 restaurants with stars from the famed French guide, more than any other per person among European countries. The new edition, 520 pages, is on sale in Switzerland, Germany and Austria 17 November, for CHF33. It includes hotels as well as restaurants.
Just two restaurants have three stars: Philippe Rochat and Benoît Violier’s “Hôtel de Ville” in Crissier, canton Vaud, and Andreas Caminada’s “Schauenstein” in Fuerstenau, Graubuenden.
Seventy-six one-star restaurants make up the bulk of the list. Eight restaurants lost their stars for the 2012 Guide which is available Thursday 17 November. Eleven new retaurants joined, with one star.
The other two-star restaurants the Lake Geneva area are:
- “Le Domaine de Châteauvieux“, Philippe Chevrier, Satigny, Geneva
- “Georges Wenger“, Georges Wenger, Noirmont, Jura
- “Le Cerf“, Carlo Crisci, Cossonay, Vaud
- Beau-Rivage Palace, Anne-Sophie Pic, Lausanne, Vaud
- “Le Pont de Brent“, Stéphane Décotterd, Brent/Montreux, Vaud
- “Denis Martin“, Denis Martin, Vevey, Vaud
- “Hotel Terminus“, Didier de Courten, Sierre, Valais.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Here are some of the items on three special Geneva restaurant menus the third week of August, to tempt your palate: courgette/zucchini flowers stuffed with Provencal vegetables, tandoori roast crab gratin, honey and ginger carmelized Dombes duckling. Special wines by the glass are available, as well.
Three of Geneva’s best restaurants are joining together to promote what they hope will become an annual event that could catch on in the area: Restaurant Week, 15-20 August, where you can pay CHF50 or 65 for a two- or three-course meal, at lunchtime or in the evening, and discover the city’s haute gastronomie. The week is designed to offer those who usually dine in lesser establishments a chance to discover, at an affordable price, three very different restaurants with excellent reputations.
The idea originated in New York in the 1990s, the brainchild of Tim Zagat of restaurant review fame and restaurant owner Joseph Baum. The basic idea is simple: introduce people who are new to contemporary fine dining gastronomic menus for relatively affordable prices, for a week.
Le Chat Botté at Hôtel Beau-Rivage hosted a first Restaurant Week in February and it was a clear success. This time it is joined by Rasoi and Windows.
Windows restaurant, Hôtel d’Angleterre
Panoramic views of Geneva’s boardwalk and the Jet d’eau with the Mont-Blanc in the background, dishes prepared by chef Philippe Audonnet, with the accent on Mediterranean cuisine, where the accent is on fresh produce and flavours. Superb wine list. Details, reservations and telephone: +41 22 906 5514
Rasoi by Vineet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Indian restaurant Rasoi is one of the best-known in the Geneva area. The “evolved” Indian cuisine created by chef Sandeep Bhagwat is accompanied by a spectacular presentation, says the restaurant, a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. Details, reservations and telephone: +41 22 909 0006
Le Chat Botté, Hôtel Beau-Rivage
Le Chat Botté boasts the creative, contemporary French cuisine of its notable chef Dominique Gauthier. The restaurant has a wonderful terrace with good views of Geneva’s lakefront area, the jet d’eau and the mountains. The restaurant assures us that diners during the Restaurant Week will be offered a number of hard-to-find wines from its famed cellar, one of the finest in Switzerland. Details, reservations and telephone: +41 22 716 69 21
NYON, SWITZERLAND – Nyon has just become endowed with a three-in-one lakeside food spot that promises to be an excellent addition to the growing town’s quality food options. One of my favourite restaurants from the outside (I never ate there, oddly enough) has long been the bright orange and blue Cafe Latino at the east end of the city centre, near the dock.
Owners Santiago Wegmann and Benoit Rol have renovated the building, and it’s now home to three eateries run by the company O’Les Terrasses du Lac.
The pair two years ago renovated and recaptured Lausanne’s love affair with the old Pizza Mario on the rue du Bourg in Lausanne.
The top floor is now Le Deck, a 90m2 lounge bar with a wonderful view of the lake, available for private and corporate parties but otherwise open to the public.
The ground floor houses begood, the third restaurant in a chain whose first one opened near Paris. Its second restaurant is the Outlet in Aubonne, in canton Vaud. Begood, with 70 seats, has four families of menus that are centred around affordable, tasty and healthy eating: befit, for longterm weight loss, becoeurful for low-cholesterol eating, bezen for easy digestion, and betonic for a vitamin boost.
The main restaurant, on the first floor, just above the lake, is O’Restaurant, which specializes in fish, especially freshly caught Lake Geneva fish, although meat-lovers will find they can also order lamb fillet, grilled steak or a tartare de bœuf.
The restaurant complex gives back to Nyon one of its historic treasures. The building dates back to 1820. It was home to the Hotel Odelet in the 19th century, famous for its “feet in the water” terrace directly on the waterfront and shaded by two giant chestnut trees. The idyllic situation changed in 1904 when a second phase in the construction of the city’s quais cut the hotel off from its waterfront.
New owner Santiago Wegmann has recreated the building’s old love affair with the water by making a terrace on each level the focal point. Thirty-two of the 80 seats in the main restaurant are on the terrace, for example.
Open daily from 08:00-01:00, 7/7. Reservations: +41 22 994 4000.
I just wandered through a list of how to tip, how much, where in the world, on the blog Political Calculations, which borrows from some previously published travel and food gurus to create a chart. It seems pretty accurate to me, based on my own travels. One thing is often overlooked in discussions about tipping, though, and it confuses visitors to a country. It’s the business of small change.
I wrote an article on tipping in France several years ago, when I lived in Paris, for an American Express magazine. Officially, no one tipped there, because under French law the service is included in the price of the meal. That hasn’t changed. Nevertheless, I invited a group of French people to meet in a cafe at the time and discuss tipping, since every visiting American asked why French people always seemed to leave something. Did they or did they not tip?
The cafe group was happy to discuss it generally, but none of them wanted to openly discuss their own practices. A woman from a well-respected old family took me aside and explained that while tipping was included in the price, and therefore no one tipped, most people would leave some small change, but getting that right was a delicate question. Was the party large? One person treating? Did they stay a long time? Was it a quick cuppa by yourself? Did you need to impress someone at the table, in which case you had to work out an amount that was not too small, not too big.
Switzerland is simpler. If your bill says CHF50, you can pay exactly that and no one will expect more. If, as I did yesterday, you invite someone to lunch and linger because you’re having a business meeting, leaving some small change is considered polite, but not necessary. To be precise: our lunch in a small cafe was CHF53 and I left CHF2 in change. This isn’t a percentage, but a gesture of appreciation because we took up table space for longer than the average customer. Dinner for four in a nice restaurant? I would pay the bill I am handed, no more.
Credit cards are part of the problem, because the international form often leaves a space for service, or tips. Leave it blank when you’re in Switzerland and copy the total. Don’t worry about looking cheap, as this is the correct thing to do.
What happens if you do leave a tip? It depends, again, on the place and the situation. In some restaurants, they will insist you take it back, assuming you aren’t aware that service is included. Swiss guests might do the same. In other retaurants, they will accept it, but be uncomfortable. And if the waiters are foreigners, they might be quite happy with it, but the owner will worry that you’ve left thinking the restaurant is more expensive than is really the case.
Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The CGN boat company’s summer schedule goes into effect Sunday 13 June, which means the tourist cruise boats will be operating fully. Among the special offers are fine dining cruises, with wonderful meals from the Geneva port prepared by the kitchen staff working under one of the region’s best chefs, Geneva’s Philippe Chevrier (four-course meal CHF98, three courses for CHF85) and from Lausanne by the Beau-Rivage Palace.
You can dine at noon or in the evening.
Anne-Sophie Pic, Michelin-star chef, to hold special Emotion dinner
Anne-Sophie Pic, the Michelin-starred chef at the Beaurivage Palace in Lausanne, is putting on the spread to welcome in summer on Tuesday, 29 June.
This fairytale dinner will be held on the terrace, if the weather permits.
It starts with a cocktail party at 18H30 in the wine cellar, at which time the evening’s menu will be announced by none other than the chef.
The “Emotion” dinner, as they refer to it, will start at 19H30, and will be accompanied by wines selected by the head sommelier.Price: CHF 400 per person. Beaurivage Palace Lausanne, Place du Port 12, 1006 Lausanne. Tel. +41 21 613 33 33.
Lausanne’s prestigious hotel management school EHL is holding a blind wine tasting dinner on 2 June 2010 at 19H30 in its gourmet restaurant, Berceau des Sens, which is run by the EHL students.
The hotel manager and students have chosen wines to go with each gourmet dish, but all wine tasting is “blind”.
The person who guesses the name of the most wines will win a prize.
The dinner goes for CHF 150, including wine. Reservations are necessary.
Contact EHL for more information.
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Lai Thai is in an elegant setting. The owner went to Swiss hotel school, so you are always greeted like a king or queen and the service is impeccable. A wide range of Northern Thai dishes you don’t ordinarily find in hole-in-the-wall type Thai restaurants, such as the special Thai rice and fish fritters with a delicious dipping sauce, as well as great massamans. Set menus go for CHF 55, 65 and 78 and the servings are generous. Located in what was formerly a Geneva institution, the Café Gothard.Rue du Gothard 11
1225 Chêne-Bourg Tel. +41 (0)22 348 48 17
Traditional Italian cuisine in a chic contemporary decor, located in Plainpalais near the Musée Patek Philippe. The bar serves tapas with the cocktails and is a hangout for young people.Avenue du Mail 15bis
Tel. +41 (0)22 328 07 01 Site.
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THE RAMBLING EPICURE Dining in France: reviews by professional food writers.
THE RAMBLING EPICURE Theosophical dining in Crissier.
THE RAMBLING EPICURE Lake Geneva Region restaurant listings.
THE RAMBLING EPICURE Loads of info about restaurants, recipes, food, etc. in last week’s tweet list.
Les 5 Portes
French cuisine.Les 5 Portes, rue de Zürich 8, 1201 Geneva, tel. +41 022 731 84 38. Open Tues. through Fri. 09H00 to 02H00, Sat. 17H00 to 02H00, Sunday 11H00 to 20H00.
American-style Sunday brunch, with mimosas, Bloody Marys. Nice price.L’Alhambar, rue de la Rôtisserie 10, 1204 Geneva, entrance through Parc Pélisserie. Tel. +41 022 312 13 13.
Saturday and Sunday brunch from 10H00 to 18H00, including scrambled eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, muesli, bread, croissants, brioches, etc. Garden terrace in summer.Calm, rue Ancienne 36, 1227 Geneva, +41 022 301 22 20.
Le Cheval Blanc
All-you-can-eat buffet for CHF 22. Buffet includes bread and jam, pastries, birchermuesli, various kinds of eggs, as well as quiches, original mixed salads, cheese and sausage. Also a selection of desserts. Reservation advisable.
Le Cheval Blanc, Place de l’Octroi 15, 1227 Carouge, tel. +41 022 343 61 61 from 11H00 to 15H00 on Sundays.