THE BEST PLACE TO TALK SHOP OVER LUNCH IN GENEVA
by Chené Koscielny
Photographs by Caroline Blackwell of Caroline Blackwell Photography.
A memorable business lunch can clinch a deal and cement a partnership, but mediocre food, loud noise and shoddy service can torpedo an agreement and leave you with egg on your face.
What you need is a venue that shows your prospect how professional and knowledgeable you are with amazing food, impressive service and just the right ambiance for talking shop.
What you DON’T want is an over-the-top, overly formal venue that will make you look desperate to impress and may make it hard for your client to relax.
Of course, you’ll be watching your expenses, particularly in Geneva, where being ripped off and underwhelmed by restaurants is common. Also read our article: Tired of being ripped off by restaurants in Geneva. CLICK HERE
THE BEST BUSINESS LUNCH IN TOWN
Our recommendation for the best business lunch menu of the moment has to be Le Flacon in Carouge.
This Michelin-starred restaurant is guaranteed to soften up your toughest client with great food, excellent service and a 3-course business menu.
The best part – is that you get to impress the designer socks of your client for only CHF39 – less than the average price of a main course on local menus.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
Hidden in a quiet street in Carouge, the restaurant immediately suggests class – first impressions count! A maître’d will welcome you and take your coats.
Exposed brick walls and high ceilings create a feeling of openness and understated elegance, without giving off stuffy five-star hotel vibes.
What adds to the charm is the immaculate open kitchen, allowing you to observe the chefs at work.
We are strategically seated among small clusters of men and women in suits engrossed in discussions, but we don’t feel squashed in and never have to raise our voices to be heard.
The waiters are expertly trained to appear just at the right moment to refill a glass or remove an empty plate and they know not to interrupt at a delicate point in the negotiations.
THE BUSINESS MENU FOR CHF39
The business menu changes every week in line with talented Michelin-starred chef Yoann Caloué’s inspirations. Read more about the history of the restaurant and the chef in our previous review here. CLICK HERE
You can, of course, also order from the á la carte menu, which offers many more delicious options – for more picky clients.
We start our business lunch with an exquisite salmon and leek ravioli served on a sweet onion mash with green peas.
We also tried the local féra (fish from Lake Léman) served with bacon, puntarella and kumquat from the à la carte starter menu: CHF28.
THE MAIN COURSE
On the day of our visit the main course option on the business menu is super soft sautéed veal served with parsnip, carrot and broccoli and a lemon confit. It is superb!
For the à la carte option, we choose:
The tenderest Swiss beef entrecote served with Carciofini artichoke, chicory and creamy mashed potatoes with the consistency of fluffy clouds. CHF65 and worth every cent.
The presentation is arty and perfect and the generous portions won’t leave your client starving. It’s also worth noting that there is no danger of squirty tomatoes or stringy bits stuck in your teeth in either of these dishes.
The wine menu is impressive too, but be sure to fill your client’s glass more often than your own – to ensure you stay alert and professional.
SWEETEN THE DEAL
If, by now, your client is not ready to sign, the dessert options should do the trick.
We order the chocolate mousse – but what we get wildly exceeds our expectations: White chocolate mousse, milk chocolate pannacotta and dark chocolate sorbet with baby meringues.
We also try a mango coulis mixed with a milk chocolate cream.
If your client or prospect is STILL not ready to commit after a business lunch at Le Flacon, you may want to question whether you really want to work with someone who is that hard to please. It doesn’t bode well, does it?