CAFÉ ZINETTE: ALFRESCO DINING IN GENEVA
by Melanie Goodman Daniels
Following a pleasant coffee morning with friends in the courtyard of Cafe Zinette, I booked for a “date night” with my husband for the following week.
The former auberge dating from the 19th century is located in Grand-Lancy, just around the corner from the Mairie.
Upon arrival the welcoming barman greets us with an explanation of the various Absinthes and Absinthe paraphernalia which he had to sample. Wishing to actually make it to the table to sample the food, I go with his alternative suggestion of a Provençal rosé. Fruity, summery, a great start to the evening.
Cosy, but not twee
This cosy café opens out into a small but attractive courtyard (tip: wear mozzie protection if you get easily bitten), adorned with colourful climbers and fairy lights. Just enough to provide ambiance without venturing into twee.
Plentiful plates, perfectly cooked
The menu is short but varied, catering to most tastes. They pride themselves on offering a combination of traditional and ‘creative’ choices:
A frothy gazpacho amuse buche precedes tasty starters: My husband enjoys his mackerel, although he found the herring sorbet a step too far. The chef was clearly embracing the cool summer vibe as my pea soup with goats cheese sorbet is similarly iced, well seasoned and delicious. Our main courses of rack of lamb and seared tuna are perfectly cooked, plentiful plates, clearly planned by the chef to excel in colour and presentation.
Interesting dessert options
The dessert choices are appealing including some interesting options such as roasted apricots with speculoos sorbet and financier (a type of sponge cake) with raspberries, olives and rocket!
We decide to pass on the final course in the end and the chef – patron takes no umbrage directing us back to the till to settle the bill. With starters averaging CHF18 and mains at CHF40, it’s not the cheapest option, but for classy food without trekking back into the centre of town, it’s a great choice. I might even make it to dessert and absinthe next time.
Café Zinette, Route du Grand-Lancy 45, 1212 Grand-Lancy, Genève.
Telephone: 022 743 12 00, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open: Mondays (lunch only), Tuesday-Friday (lunch and dinner),
Closed: Monday (dinner) Saturday (lunch) Sunday (lunch and dinner)