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.
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?
La TerrazzaRoute de Florissant 51, 1206 Geneva. +41 022 345 56 00. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
I discovered this almost hidden Swiss-style café-restaurant many years ago on my treks back and forth to the Beaulieu clinique.
Mr. Borella started as waiter at the Lion d’Or during its golden age. He later set out on his own and has been in this same location for about 25 years. Mrs. Borella cooks and Mr. Borella serves. They are from the Dolomites, so they cook hardy, traditional dishes, as well as some well turned-out Swiss classics.
The price is about as right as you can get, and they buy all their ingredients from local producers. The tomatoes taste like tomatoes and the salads, well they come straight from Chapuis.
Nologo RestaurantRue de Fribourg 11, 1201 Geneva. +41 022 901 03 33. Open Mon. thru Fri. lunch and dinner, Sat. dinner only. Closed Sundays. email@example.com, www.nologo.ch
This is Japanese food like you eat in Japan, not adapted for Western tastes. Wonderful mixtures of unusual flavors and ingredients like you’d never find in your regular, standardized-menu sushi bars.
Don’t count on them being friendly, just think about what’s on your plate. Tiny space so reserve well ahead.
I was the first to review David and Anna Jewell’s gem of a restaurant when it opened last November 2008 in Australian fusion cuisine comes to Vaud: Cookie! David and Anna were so thrilled that they sent a copy of the review back home to all their friends and family in Australia.
I discovered this restaurant 2 days after it opened and have followed its evolution with both astonishment and delight. Since November 2008, when it was a small chalet bar converted into a cozy but contemporary restaurant with a beautiful view, things have come a long way, and for the better.
David Jewell is never lacking in ideas, and he’s not afraid to tackle any project hands-on to make his dreams come true.
On 29 July 2009, I was amazed at the huge, elegant terrace overlooking the Miroir d’Argentine (see Breathtaking View: Miroir d’Argentine) that he put up with his own hands in the matter of a couple of weeks. Since then, he has added a large wine cellar, so they can start building up a fine selection of wines from all over the world, and this winter, structures resembling something between an igloo and a Bedouin tent on the terrace, where you can eat fondue and raclette, along with other traditional Swiss specialties. (Don’t worry. They’re heated!)
Eating in the igloos is an amazingly beautiful and a magical experience! And the addition of the igloos, just one more proof of Jewell’s incredible talent and ingenuity. What lies in store for us next?
Brasserie Lipp Geneva: a model for all brasseries
The Brasserie Lipp in Geneva even tops the one in Paris. Some may say that’s not difficult to do in a sleepy, provincial town like Geneva, but it is not so simple as that.
It’s l’ensemble, the “package” with all its details, that makes it work to perfection: the top-notch French-style service, the professionalism, the decor, the reliability of the food, the atmosphere, its late opening hours, even on Sunday.
You can watch them in action on their site!
I love their site, which gives you a glimpse of all the qualities above through a short video.
New terrace for outdoor lovers at Cookie in Vaud
Cookie café and restaurant in Gryon in Vaud has just opened a beautiful new terrace that seats 60 people, with an exquisite view of the Miroir d’Argentine mountain.
Hiking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, mountain biking: no loss of things to do around the Miroir d’Argentine
The area around the Miroir d’Argentine is highly frequented during the summer months, thanks to the well marked hiking trails and breathtaking setting, including rocky mountain crags, green valleys with rare botanical varieties, and numerous mountain streams. It is also popular with rock climbers, spa lovers, and mountain bikers.
The café is open all day, so it is a nice place to take a break and soak up the view, or to take in the sunset after a long day of hiking or climbing.
Click here for more detailed information about summer activities in the area.
Take advantage of these nice long summer days while you can!Photo courtesy of Randonature.
The newly renovated Auberge de Pont-de-Nant we reviewed on 19 June was not able to open on 27 June 2009 as planned.
Renovations had already lasted longer than planned due to the long, snowy winter. Then on 19 June, a fire ravaged the interior of the inn, destroying all the new installations and decor.
The Grand Muveran mountain is still there in all its majesty, with its rich botanical reserve and hiking trails, but check the restaurant site regularly for re-opening. Experts are still assessing the damage, so unfortunately, we may not be able to benefit from it this summer of 2009.
In the meantime, their catering service is still functioning normally.
Auberge de Pont-de-Nant
1888 Les Plans-sur-Bex
Tel.: 024 498 14 95 – Fax 024 498 34 90
Sylvie and David Berger’s restaurant and hostel is in an idyllic albeit isolated setting well worth the drive. Located 10 kilometers from Bex, at the foot of the breathtaking Grand Muveran mountain, they offer standard snack fare as well as gourmet meals.
The menu changes every day or so, so there are no daily specials in the traditional sense of the word. For the gourmet meals, starters average between CHF10 and 20, and main courses between CHF20 and 35. I strongly recommend calling ahead, especially if you are going in a group.
Groups are welcome, and reasonably priced, dormitory-style lodging is available.
Pont-de-Nant is not accessible by road during the winter, so they will be opening on 27 June 2009. It is also a bit difficult to reach, so study your map before you take off.
Other sites that may be of interest in planning a weekend or even several days in the area are listed below.
Their own site gives even more ideas for children.
Refuge de Solalex
Tel. 024 498 27 09
The Refuge de Solalex has about as good a raclette as you can find. Jacques Chesaux makes all the condiments straight from scratch, and he doesn’t skimp: pickles, pickled onions, pickled mushrooms, pickled cabbage, and viande de Grison (spicy dried beef) all come with the cheese, grilled in front of an open wood fire.
His tomato fondue is about the best around, as are all the other fondues, thanks to the quality of the cheese as well as to his grandmother’s recipes. Jacques buys 700 to 800 kilograms of Valais tomatoes every year, and vacuum packs them for use year round for his tomato fondue and tomato soup.
The Mont d’Or is roasted over a wood fire, and comes with a large assortment of Jacque’s condiments. The wild mushroom tart and wild mushroom and tomato soups are also a pure but rich delight, along with the curry salad dressing and delicious traditional local desserts made by his partner Valérie.
You can sit inside in the rustic chalet, or outside where you have a splendid view of the rocky Miroir d’Argentine mountain.
In summer, it is easy to get there by car or on foot. It’s basically up the mountain from Gryon.
In winter, the road is converted into tracks, so Jacques and Valérie drive people up the mountain in a snowmobile. Children and adults alike love this, especially on a starry night after a fresh snowfall. Reservations are strongly recommended, and imperative in winter.
Daily special CHF18. Fondues CHF22 to 25. All-you-can-eat raclette CHF32. Possible to stop in for just a drink or a snack after a long hike.
Open non-stop. Closed on Thursdays and usually from mid-November to Christmas.
Auberge des Vieux-Chênes
Tel. 022 756 12 07
This family-run business knows how to meet family needs.
It is extremely child-friendly, in every way. They offer children a variety of smaller portions of dishes you find on the regular menu, but without the “weird” stuff kids often don’t like. And the staff knows how to talk to children and tend to their personal needs.
While you calmly sip your wine on the terrace that gives on to an enclosed garden, the children can play in the playground or with the rabbits, ducks and dogs, just as if they were at home in their own back yard, all within your view.
The food is mostly traditional, with some modern and interesting twists now and again, such as a summer-style pot au feu, served cold with a remoulade sauce. It is not gourmet dining, but good food in a good atmosphere, where your children are welcome with open arms.
The Auberge des Vieux-Chênes is a perfect place for a Sunday summer jaunt into the nearby Geneva countryside.
The average price is about CHF75 for adults including wine, and CHF35 for children. They have a good selection of drinkable local Geneva wines served by the deciliter.
Château des Avenières
Tel. + 33 (0) 4 50 44 02 23 – Fax + 33 (0) 4 50 44 29 09
A 20-minute drive from Geneva, the Château des Avenières, located on the Salève mountain in France, offers panoramic views and a luxurious setting.
Make sure and request a terrace table and ask about the weather conditions before going. If the weather is bad, don’t worry. The dining room is more than worthy of any château.
Fixed-price menus run from 58 to 88 euros, and business lunches go for 29 euros. The restaurant is new, so we are yet to try it, but you will not be disappointed by the view and the exquisite site.
The website gives detailed driving instructions and maps, as well as how to access it by public transport.
The castle also offers 4-star hotel package deals with pool, spa and luxurious rooms, more appropriate for couples seeking a romantic weekend.
The Salève offers numerous activities, which can all be started from the cable car or “téléphérique” in Etrembières. Once you’re up there, there is literally an outdoor activity to suit every age and taste: hang gliding, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and botanical and geological paths and tours. There is also a picnic area and lots of places to snack.
The 17 June 2009 edition of L’Illustré magazine features six great chefs’ favorite restaurants with terraces. All 66 restaurants are located in the French-speaking cantons of Switzerland.
6 rue du Prince
+41 22 310 06 70
Affordable restaurant that often serves as a gathering place for young people before they hit the discos, yet oldies like myself who eat earlier have no trouble fitting in. Seasonal, affordable menu offered by chef Rachid Fadili, offering light fusion cuisine with hints of Asian and Italian, along with more classic dishes like carottes Vichy, sole meunière, and their great specialty, the Metropolitan Truffles Burger with homemade French fries, all in a sleek, contemporary setting. Small terrace. Daily special CHF21. Open until 22:30 and centrally located off the rue du Rhône, across from the Ecole-Club Migros.