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Geneva Report

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My wife and I spent 3 nights in Geneva using the city as a connection to Avignon and Provence in France (see the France board for a report on our dining in Provence). In preparation of our trip, I did the usual searches of guides, blogs, etc. for dining recommendations in Geneva and found that for the most part, there are few, if any, good values in Geneva and also few restaurants were consistently recommended. We normally try to find more obscure places to eat at, but not finding many good recommendations, we ended up choosing to go to more branded/international places in Geneva. As a result, I didn't have high expectations for eating out in Geneva, but I was pleasantly surprised by what we found.

We had lunch on our day of arrival in Europe on the terrace Le Chat Botte at Hotel Beau-Rivage (a fantastic hotel and I highly recommend it). It was a beautiful day and looking out onto the lake from our table provided a great setting. We both went for the 3 course set lunch for 70CHF which they happily modified to accommodate my wife who is a vegetarian. The menu started with a torchon of foie gras with figs and had a main of cod with artichokes and finished with a version of tiramisu. We also received canapes, an amuse bouche and mignardises as part of the menu. Everything we had was was presented and executed and when one considers the extra bites, the setting, and the wonderful service, my wife and both felt that while not cheap, the set menu offered good value. I'd definitely recommend Le Chat Botte for a nice meal while acknowledging dinner may offer much less value.

We had dinner later that day at Patara, also associated with the Hotel Beau-Rivage as we figured we'd keep things easy due to having had little sleep and wanted to shake things up in terms of flavors before a week of eating French cooking. We don't eat Thai food often, but found the ingredients to be of good quality and thoroughly enjoyed our meal here. Dinner with 2 glasses of wine and 2 mains came to 100 CHF for the both of us. Definitely the most I've paid for Thai food, but we received good service and would return here again if the occasion arose.

After returning from France, we had two more dinners in Geneva. For the first night, we went to Brasserie Lipp. I had low expectations for this meal, but we had a lovely meal outside on the patio and received friendly and efficient service. I had a pumpkin soup, braised lamb (so, so good) and the ubiquitous molten chocolate cake. Three courses of food with a bottle of wine, came to 165 CHF for both of us.

For our last night, we tried Le Sud in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. At this point, we were both kind of tired of restaurant meals, but we still had a decent dinner. I had a grilled chicken and a caprese salad (both fine, but not great) while my wife had the saffron risotto and a tomato soup. The service was extremely welcoming and friendly which helped make the night enjoyable, but the food was only ordinary. Total cost for 2 with 2 courses and 2 glasses of wine- 150CHF.

We also did an afternoon tea at the Windows restaurant in Hotel d'Angleterre. This was quite the treat and was definitely a meal in of itself. Four different kinds of sandwiches with two of each kind, plus three additional plates/trays of sweets made it the biggest afternoon tea we've done (we've done afternoon teas at 3-4 good places in London). The scones and little desserts were all very good and the tea menu provided many options. This was a fun indulgence and a very nice way to enjoy an afternoon in Geneva. Definitely recommend.

Geneva is definitely a tough dining town in many ways, but we thought the city was beautiful and enjoyed our visit.

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  1. Thank you for this report! Am going to Geneva in a few months and am worried about the difficult food scene.