The banking capital of Switzerland, Geneva is viewed as a business destination for international clients. After my two-day visit to the city by the lake, I can say that they may be famous for serving the financial world, but cooking up some incredible culinary delights may be the city’s best asset.
Two of Geneva’s greatest eateries just happen to be located inside boutique hotels along the river. Restaurant Izumi, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine (called Nikkei), is situated on the rooftop of the Four Seasons des Bergues. Given the amazing views of Lake Geneva, the décor is aptly nautical with teak wood furniture and bar and leather captain’s chairs at each table.
The menu is quite eclectic, with a wide range of spicy and salty dishes that reflect the influences of both the Japanese and Peruvian cultures. Tapas-sized portions provide an opportunity for dining companions to order several options and share in the tasting of the innovative cuisine. Dassai Saké was the perfect complement to accompany the meal.
Café Calla is on the first floor in a glass-enclosed terrace at the Hotel Mandarin Oriental in Geneva. Healthy options for French, Swiss, and Italian food lovers await diners. Of course there’s always room to fatten up with traditional pastries for dessert, too. My welcome amenity, a laundry line of homemade chocolates, was oh-so-clever and delicious! Up-and-coming young chef Nasser Jeffane’s specialty is lemon preserved Fegola (Sardinian pasta).
Though towns like Lucern may be high on your Swiss bucket list for their charm, beauty, and landscape, Geneva is just as likely to win over your heart — and your appetite.