Sunday, August 22, 2010

Luigia - Keep it Up

Before going out for a meal in Geneva, I usually make my peace with the fact that the experience will be lacking in some way, the food might be great, but the service sub-par, or the food and service may both be excellent but the atmosphere drab... wherever you go, it seems something will necessarily fall short of your expectations and make the overall experience a little less than memorable.

However, the occasional restaurant will get everything just right, and the client will be in for a treat: great food, great atmosphere and great service. I recently came across such a restaurant. Luigia, an Italian restaurant located by Rive, is one of Geneva's newer establishments -- in fact it's still in its soft opening stage -- but its pizza is as good as the staff is friendly and helpful, not to mention the restaurant's simple yet modern interior design and lively atmosphere which make for a unique and memorable experience! Oh, if only Geneva had more places like this one.

Luigia's pizza is different than any other I've tasted in Geneva, the crust is charred and blistered to perfection and the mozzarella and tomato sauce complement each other beautifully. If you're craving something sweet -- and rich -- after dinner, I recommend the Nutella pizza, only if you're planning to share it with several other people though, it is highly unlikely one person could finish it in one sitting.

Naturally, it is difficult to judge a restaurant before it's been around for a while, but if Luigia keeps up its current standards, not only will it get an A+ as far as I'm concerned, but it will raise the bar for other restaurants in Geneva, many of whom currently seem to feel they can get away with lackluster efforts because they have no real competition to keep them on their toes.

Keep it up, Luigia!

Pictured below: a margherita pizza followed by a nutella pizza


Carouge is home to many of Geneva's restaurants, the trendy spot is popular among all generations and walks of life, it seems to offer a little something for everyone, well, especially people who enjoy French or Italian cuisine! A recent visit to Boccalino was the perfect opportunity to try some more of the neighborhood's Italian chow. Their focaccia and spaghetti with pesto was quite tasty though it is best to go to Boccalino when one is not in too much of a hurry for the wait can be a tad long at lunch.

Road Runner's

Many a Genevan believes Road Runner's makes the best burgers in the city. This seems to be especially true in the expat community. I feel it depends what you're comparing it with, given my strong distaste for fast food chains, I think the Chêne-Bourg located burger joint certainly provides an excellent alternative to those. However, if you're comparing it with some other restaurants, my preference may not necessarily go to Road Runner's. However, to their credit, they do seem to understand that a cheeseburger calls for a type of cheese other than gruyère.

Sampling the pasta at Forno a Legna

Located in Servette, Forno a Legna is another one of those nice, small neighborhood restaurants I enjoy visiting from time to time. It is no Point du Jour or Chez Nina's but the food is consistently good and the staff quite friendly. They make very good pizzas but on a recent visit, I decided to try one of their pasta dishes, penne del vesuvio, a house specialty consisting of pasta topped with mushrooms, shrimp, crabmeat and bisque, baked in the oven and covered with a pizza crust! The result is interesting and tasty, though very rich as one might imagine.

Pictured below: a garden salad followed by penne del vesuvio.

Bon Génie's restaurant

Want to grab a quick bite while you're doing your Saturday afternoon shopping in town? Bon Génie's fourth floor restaurant might be the ideal spot for a quick lunch break or an afternoon snack, the menu includes a variety of salads, pasta dishes and even burgers. The club sandwich certainly seems to be a crowd favorite and it is rather good indeed. If you order the burger, you'll be served two mini hamburgers -- no cheese. Also fairly good, not to mention kind of cute!

Pictured below: a Caesar salad, two mini hamburgers and their famed club sandwich.


If you have a sweet tooth, right now in Geneva, I don't believe there is any greater food indulgence than Ladurée's sinful macarons (and perhaps gelato from various other places, but that's for another post). Ladurée's delicate macarons come in a variety of flavors ranging from the traditional to the highly unexpected. My personal favorites include vanilla (a classic), mint and rose petal.

Point du Jour

There is nothing quite like the simple pleasures life affords us, playing with your beloved pet, spending a rainy day curled up at home watching a sitcom on DVD, spending an evening chatting and laughing with a dear friend, or enjoying a meal in good company at a favorite neighborhood restaurant. It seems to me that wherever I go, whatever new places I discover, my favorites seldom change, and I often find myself longing to go back to Point du Jour -- and a couple of other places -- for a hearty meal and a warm welcome from the friendly staff.

Pictured below: a goat cheese salad, a scrumptious dish of spaghetti pesto and a veal schnitzel (which came with a side of pasta with marinara -- not pictured).

Burgers at Kempinski's

A recent visit to the Kempinski hotel was the perfect opportunity to sample their burger. Overall the burger was good, but it is high time for establishments here to stop topping their burgers with gruyère cheese -- the combo just doesn't work for me!

Café Papon on a Warm Summer Night

One of the great joys of living in Geneva is enjoying one of its many terraces in the summer. As far as I'm concerned, the experience is all the more enjoyable if the terrace in question happens to be in the Old Town. That is probably why on a recent summer night, we decided to have dinner at Café Papon, a French restaurant located right at the top of Old Town, opposite the city's longest bench.

Café Papon's tasty French cuisine, its beautiful terrace and its ideal location make it a great choice for a summer meal but it is probably best to reserve before going.

Pictured below: a puff pastry starter topped with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, goat cheese and mixed greens, a cold tomato soup and lamb chops with sides of vegetables and mashed potatoes