Posts tagged ‘Geneva’
A meatless diet is wrong. To counterbalance the religious zeal with which Vegans advertise their lifestyle I’d like to reiterate some proven facts about meat eaters:
So I treat myself to meat (preferrably organic) on a daily basis. The Relais de l’Entrecote seemed a great place since the only question I was asked was saignant, à point or bien cuit ? I ordered a medium rare (à point) entrecote. The dining room is extremly busy and the waitresses wearing very classic black and white uniforms are busting their balls to keep up. A small salad with a very classic french salad sauce was placed in front of me and I tucked in. After that the entrecote was served in two helpings. To me it was a disappointment, mainly it was a tad chewy and boring. It was lacking the high quality I’d have expected from a place which is famous for entrecote. The sauce was advertised as special and it was, the amount of tarragon (Estragon) was overwhelming. The fries were so so, again not quite what I’d expected. The best part of the meal was the profiterol, they were filled with vanilla ice cream together with the chocolate sauce it was a great dessert. If you want to get a glimpse of dining like it was in 1935, this is the place to goto. If you’re looking for a decent entrecote, go somewhere else. Prices:
On the same day I enjoyed a light lunch I had a dinner reservation at the Le Buffet de la Gare des Eaux-Vives in Geneva. Now “buffet de la gare” reminds me of train journeys with grandparents as a kid and basically quick meals in between changing trains. Spiez and Olten are two towns in Switzerland which only seem to exist because they had a Bahnhof Buffet. So I was kind of doubtful as to what place this was going to be. Boy – was I in for a surprise. Arriving at 7:30 the place was empty and we were the first people to arrive. A nice cart was wheeled to our table (which was the second nicest in the back corner of the restaurant) and we we’re asked if we cared for an aperitif. Being the thoughtful people we are, we cared and decided on a Blanc de Blanc (only later did I notice that a glass was charged at a whopping 24 CHF). A small ball of rice with some trufle infusion was the appetizer. A nice twist of simple and luxurious. Also the application of the truffle infusion had a playful twist, since there was a plastic squeezable container you could use. Amuse-bouche was a bit mixed, not a great fan of the foie-gras bit but the soup was lovely. Pumpkin soup and layered on top truffle foam, a nice combination. Next course was a Pithivier (a type of pastry) with mushrooms – the french description was lengthtier and sounded better. It was a terrific pastry, beautifully arranged and all the accompaning components worked with it in a harmonic way. My main course was slow roasted pork in three different pieces with some crunchy onions, some sort of potato, a bit of sorbet and smudges of roast juice, pesto and caramelized cider. Too give it a nice appearence, brussel sprout leaves were strewn over the plate. I like plates where you can take little bits of everything and combine them into different compostions to taste and this was a lovely combination. For dessert I tried a pear and olive combination. After a let down at Greulich with Olives for dessert I wanted to see if it would be better here. The olive and pear worked nicely giving an interesting flavor combination. The only thing off was the Hüppen (cigar shaped pastry), it was chewy and tough. What really excited me about the whole meal is the beautiful presentation of all the dishes. The plating was exquisite, delicate and vibrant. The only downside is, that if just four hours earlier you already had a gourmet menu with cheese and dessert, you feel a bit stuffed after a second one on the same day. Still this has become one of my places of choice in Geneva. The financial hit is steep:
Carouge offers a large variety of places and we were in the mood for chinese. What had caught my eye, was a place called le canard intelligent. It sounded like a great name for a chinese place, but I ended up a bit disappointed. It was your plain old boring chinese place to go for dinner. I greatly enjoy the pancakes filled with crispy duck, leek, cucumber and plum sauce, but the place here served a half chewy duck which tasted like tuna fish and the plum sauce was too thin. Too top it off, a guy walks in with his guitar and wails some french or portugese songs. Come on waiter – chase him out the door before the sauce sheds on my plate. But no, it’s even worse, the german tourists behind us smile and pay him a couple of francs and now he’s smiling at me. I used the same principle as with the guy in the tram asking for money and a smile (he’d seems to prefer the money though) and turned him down, otherwise this I’ll soon be enyjoing musical company everytime I eat my dinner. Back to the subject at hand. The main course was Beef Sichuan, Chicken with scallion and ginger and fried rice. The sauces were too thick, the sichuan boring and not spicy. I don’t even want to write about it, I might as well have stayed in Zurich at Suan Long, a truly horrible place in my opinion. The name raised my expectations greatly and I was expecting avant-garde chinese-french fusion cuisine, instead I get less then average chinese grub. Bill
Just off the market place in Carouge, there’s a cafe / bakery Martel which is opened on Sundays. I really like being able to choose among all kind of nice tasty pastries (sweet and salty) and then eat them right next door in the tea room. I am in danger of commiting the sin of gluttony on a regular basis, so this is my personal heaven. I chose a small crusty croissant with butter, two canapes with crab meat, a meat pastetry, a mocca eclair, a chocolate eclair, a cheese pastry (I asked for a chäschüechli, but actually it’s called ramequin) and a millefeuille. Nothing to complain about a breakfast of this magnitude and I was feeling very good about myself. The only thing which really got me stinking mad, was the dog which was in the cafe. This is something which pisses me incredbily off about my countrymen in Geneva, their blind, ridiculous love for dogs. I like animals, cooked in a tasty sauce on my table – otherwise animals do not belong in restaurants, market places, grocery stores, butchers, etc. Price was 40 CHF, for Ovomaltine, espressso, coffee, 5 sweet and 5 salty pastries
Carouge, a village right next to Geneva, is reachable by tram from the main station in about 10 minutes. It has a very italian, rustic feeling to it, completely opposed from the rest of the Geneva. Just off the tram station “Armes” is a place called Equinoxe. Now Geneva is much more dirty and run down than the swiss cities towards the east of the country. It’s more shabby chic, than sleek chic, but the Genevois are rather a left-winged lot and like a good bit of patina. So standing in front of Equinoxe, I’m not quite sure what I was to expect. It’s a small cafe-like interior with the menu written on the walls. No idea why smoking indoors was banned in Geneva, I’m guessing the owner is no fan either, since he’s running out of the door every 30 minutes to restack some tables and grab a cigarette. I had foie gras on a salad mesclun and lamb a la tapanade, followed up with a tarte tatin. The salad was served with strawberries, green apples, sprouts, grapes almonds and of course foie gras. It was a delicious experience combining different pieces of food with each other and tasting the different flavors and textures coming together in my mouth. The lamb was served in a light batter, vegetables, a potato-pumpkin mash and some sauce in a separate glass came along as well. The lamb was overcooked – but the vegetables and the mash were a great combination. Especally the sweetness of the pumpkin gave it a lovely twist. The apple on top of the tarte tatin were nice and together with the cold and sweet vanilla ice cream, this combination is always a winner. I’m used to prices in Zurich and I almost had a shock when I got the bill. It was cheap, where do you get an espresso for three swiss francs or a salad mesclun as an appetizer for six ?