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.
Michelin-star Vertig’O's pastry chef: Emmanuel Lebled
The Vertig’O restaurant in the Hôtel de la Paix in Geneva has a Michelin star and a 16/20 in the respected GaultMillau restaurant guide.
Vertig’O also has a great pastry chef in Emmanuel Lebled.
Every month or so, the restaurant publishes a leaflet which includes a recipe from the restaurant. This recipe for cinnamon pear crumble is adapted from their October 2009 leaflet, but it is still seasonal as we anxiously await the fruits of spring.
I’m sorry not to have converted the quantities this time around, but it became extremely complicated, so I dropped the whole idea. I think it’s high time we all bought a set of metric scales! If all else fails, refer to my post about metric conversions. For equivalents of the weight of specific foods such as butter, almonds, and different kinds of flour, you can also consult Recipes4Us.
The recipe is in three parts. Start by making the crumble topping. Poach and then caramelize the pears. Finish off by arranging all the ingredients in a baking dish and baking. Timing is important, since the crumble is best served warm.
Recipe: Cinnamon pear crumble
1. Make the crumble
Mix all the above ingredients together. Knead with hands until it forms a crumble.
2. Poach the pears
Ingredients:5 large ripe pears 2 liters of water 300 grams of sugar 1 stick of cinnamon Peel of one orange, grated
1 star anise Peel of one lemon, grated
Mix water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and boil slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it forms a syrup.
Add star anise, orange peel and lemon peel to syrup.
Peel pears. Remove core and any hard parts. Over low heat, poach them slowly in the syrup.
When soft (but not falling apart), remove them from heat. Leave pears in the syrup until the they cool off.
3. Sautée and caramelize the pears
Ingredients:40 grams of light brown cane sugar Small knob of butter 30 grams of white raisins Rum Shot of pear liqueur
Pour enough pear liqueur over raisins to cover them. Leave to soak.
Remove poached pears from syrup. Dice.
Put sugar in saucepan. Heat over low heat until it forms a caramel, stirring constantly and being careful that it doesn’t burn. Add butter and pears.
Turn heat higher, and caramelize, stirring constantly and making sure pears do not burn.
Add raisins and rum. Flambé.
Remove from heat. Cool at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 150° C.
When pears are cool, put them in a baking dish. Cover with crumble.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt sorbet.
Recent tweets @RamblingEpicure and @SwissFoodies
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.
This week’s foodie overview
I spend a lot of time reading, researching and tweeting about food and restaurants these days, so I thought I’d jot down my tweets from the last few days. These are from both The Rambling Epicure and Swiss Foodies and should give you an overview of what’s going on in the foodie world this week, in Switzerland and around the world.
Sometimes I couldn’t resist writing about the snow and skiing conditions, because that determines how a lot of us in Switzerland plan our weekends, and therefore what restaurants we go to or what recipes we cook up. And of course occasionally, watches and wine . . . and this week, the Vancouver Winter Olympics and those cute wooly pigs you see in the photo.
The wooly pig, which gives some of world’s most juicy and flavorful meat and fat, raised using special Austrian techniques, is one of the latest food trends. It is in fact correctly called the “Magalitsa pig, also known as the ‘curly haired hog,’ and is a breed of pig that originated from Hungary and the Balkans known for its thick wooly coat,” according to Pub Sub.
You can taste wooly pig tonight and tomorrow, 23 and 24 February, at the Chalet-des-Enfants in Le Mont-sur-Lausanne.
The complete menu, including dessert, goes for CHF 59. Reserve by calling +41 021 784 44 80 or +41 076 565 31 58.
The Rambling Epicure’s 2010 Manifesto: Mindful Eating and more
The Rambling Epicure on Facebook and Twitter
I’ve started two Facebook groups: The Rambling Epicure, for our worldwide followers, and Swiss Foodies, for those who are more focused on what goes on in the Swiss food world. These groups include the GenevaLunch posts, as well as reading suggestions for food- and restaurant-related articles from news sites and blogs, with a short introduction by The Rambling Epicure.
The addition of the Facebook and Twitter feeds lets you follow “breaking news” in the food world. I will from time to time gather the highlights of these one-line inroductions into a Foodie News letter, like the one last week, so you can get an overview of what’s going on the food and restaurant world in Switzerland and abroad.
I am American and I do read Michael Pollan, but I’ve been on this ecological, healthy eating, organic food kick since I was a child. I was raised on homegrown food and Wendell Berry, so all the things we’re reading these days just seem like common sense to me. I’m just a hillbilly in a red silk dress, after all.
This being said, I want to encourage the movement toward buying local products, cooking homemade food and general awareness of what and how we eat. The rising rate of obesity in children in the Western world makes me think it’s time we all take a look at exactly what we eat and how we teach our children to eat.
A lot of this information comes from studies and literature in the U.S., so it may seem overly American at times, but just be aware that this is because Switzerland is a small country with numerous languages so we just don’t have the means of having the wealth of literature they have in the U.S.
Buying local, buying Swiss
Since I live in Switzerland, local means Swiss, so you might feel I’m pushing Swiss products down your throat. I’m not.
Buying local is not only healthier; it also creates a local economy. I encourage everyone, wherever they live, to do the same. We’ll not only eat healthier, but we’ll also support our local businesses and provide jobs.
It is also more ecological to buy products that were produced just down the road from your house: less pollution, less fuel consumption.
It means being mindful of what you buy and what you put in the your body. It means being mindful of the effect it has on the environment and on your health.
2009 was my first year of doing this blog, and I had a lot of ground to cover. This year I will devote more time to searching for restaurants for all budgets, restaurants that are in line with my Mindful Eating Manifesto (to be published soon here on GenevaLunch), and just interesting places to eat.
Every meal doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal. If your products are good quality, you don’t even have to do a lot to whip up a tasty meal. So restaurants that use good ingredients will have a place right alongside gourmet restaurants.
This week’s foodie overview
I spend a lot of time reading, researching and tweeting about food and restaurants these days, so I thought I’d jot down my tweets from the last few days. These are from both The Rambling Epicure and Swiss Foodies and should give you an overview of what’s going on in the foodie world this week.
This week was the countdown to Valentine’s Day, so I listed oodles of Valentine’s dinners, weekend packages at hotels and chocolate shops. You can find the Valentine’s venues I tweeted last week in the 20 Valentine venues, posted earlier this week.
Sometimes I couldn’t resist writing about the snow and skiing conditions, because that determines how a lot of us in Switzerland plan our weekends, and therefore what restaurants we go to or what recipes we cook up. And of course occasionally, watches and Alinghi . . .
Remember, these are just tweets
Remember these are just tweets, so they are short and sweet. They are not particularly orderly; I just tweeted the information as I found it.
I suggest you skim over the headings, and if you’re interested, just click on any of the links that interest you in order to read the detailed article.
Who knows, this might even tempt you to start tweeting yourself!
This week’s tweet list
20 Valentine venues: restaurants, chocolate and hotel packages for the “big day”!
Valentine’s events in La Gruyère.
Valentine’s package at Bernard Ravet, CHF500, hotel, champagne, 9-course dinner, breakfast for two, Relais & Châteaux.
Restaurants in French-speaking Switzerland w/ Valentine’s specials; just click on your canton! NOT TESTED BY THE RAMBLING EPICURE.
GenevaLunch: Lake Geneva Valentine’s cruise.
Ramada Geneva offering Valentine’s Day brunch as well as candelit dinner.
Hôtel des Armures in Geneva: special Valentine’s package, rooms, champagne, breakfast and chocolate.
Valentine’s package at Hotel Royal Geneva. Le Duo, chic delish restaurant & brasserie, chef trained by Bernard Loiseau.
Jamie Oliver’s Valentine’s Day menu, along with recipes and tips for a romantic feast.
GenevaLunch: Valentine’s for the “older” crowd.
Vineet Bhatia, the Bombay-born chef who first got a Michelin star at his Chelsea restaurant Rasoi, and another one a few months ago at his Geneva restaurant Rasoi By Vineet in the Mandarin Oriental, is now off to Abu Dhabi, reports Perpetual Traveller Overseas.
Bhatia changed the face of the Indian culinary scene in London, where practically every restaurant served the same old same old, by breaking out of these boring boundaries and changing it into something modern, innovative and competitive. The number of modern Indian and Indian fusion restaurants in London, from budget price to upscale, has increased significantly as a result.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is sponsoring its annual 15-day culinary get-together of starred chefs from around the world, starting on February 5. The meals will take place in Abu Dhabi’s most prestigious restaurants, with the guest chefs, who have twenty-two Michelin stars in all, working with the resident chefs. It is a real meeting of East and West.
Bhatia will be working with the chefs at Yas Island Rotana, a restaurant serving both North and South Indian cuisine, from 16 to 19 February 2010.
For more information, contact Gourmet Abu Dhabi.
Fine dining, Rudolf Steiner style
The Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner was the inventor of the spiritual movement anthroposophy, a kind of intuitive ethics which has thrived in Switzerland, chiefly through the Waldorf schools and through foundations and communities inspired by his teachings. This seventeenth-century castle, Le Castel, was bought by the Lausanne branch of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation in 1989.
The current community living on the grounds of Le Castel practices biodynamic farming, quite in line with Steiner’s view of humans’ relationship to the world. These products are used in the restaurant.
Restaurant de Bois Genoud “Le Castel”: gourmet, and it’s organic!
The Restaurant de Bois Genoud is organic, but don’t think that means boring. The dishes use daring combinations of ingredients and variations on classic themes, such as duck breast with Sechuan pepper and orange sauce, or a warm goat cheese pastry served with apply chutney, pear caramelized with honey, and orange- and ginger-flavored carrot sauce. Does that not get your taste buds going?