TREAT YOURSELF TO A MICHELIN-STARRED SUMMER LUNCH IN GENEVA
by Chené Koscielny
If you love eating out as much as I do, you’ll know a good meal from a mediocre one.
As you know Geneva restaurants can be hit and miss when it comes to quality and value for money. However, when you eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant, you know you’re in for a treat. We recently revisited one of our old favourites, Le Flacon (1 Michelin star) in Carouge, after lockdown to try their new SUMMER LUNCH MENU and we were not disappointed!
The menu changes every week – and is at the discretion of the chef – let yourself be surprised!
7 reasons to treat yourself to the summer lunch menu at Le Flacon
THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCTS
This goes without saying, but the quality of the products is one of the main criteria in the rewarding of a Michelin star.
How many times have you eaten in a restaurant and tasted something a bit suspect – possibly a tomato or salad leaf that’s seen better days? This happens to me a lot.
NOT In a Michelin-starred restaurant!
Whether it’s fish, meat or vegetables, you’ll never taste something that’s not 100% fresh and of superior quality.
Our starter at Le Flacon this time round was homemade ravioli with melt-in-your-mouth and full-of-flavour veal served with a caviar of aubergines and the fluffiest, mashed potatoes you will ever eat.
MASTERY OF FLAVOURS AND COOKING TECHNIQUES
When it comes to so-called ‘creative’ menus, we sometimes feel at the mercy of chefs, who concoct the most bizarre combinations, leaving us wondering what they’d smoked the night before. Some things were not meant to be combined!
In a Michelin-starred restaurant, however, you’re in safe hands.
The chef is a master at combining flavours and in cooking techniques, so there is a subtlety about the flavours that will surprise, but never shock or overpower!
Our main course at Le Flacon this time was the most delicate seabass smothered in a lemon sabayon (a lemon, egg and wine sauce) served on a bed of still firm coco de paimpol (French white beans) with a bit of confit de tomate and artichoke. The result is a very subtle, yet perfectly harmonizing medley of fresh summery flavours. Simply delicious.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
When you can enjoy a three-course lunch menu, including amuse bouche – a mushroom rissole (pastry) with a hazelnut salsify puree, without feeling that you need to lie down afterwards, you know it’s more about quality than quantity
Don’t get me wrong, you won’t go hungry if you order the summer lunch menu at Le Flacon, but the emphasis is on offering just the right sized serving to make you enjoy all 3 dishes and not on stacking your plate or stuffing your face!
For dessert at Le Flacon, we had mango and red fruit sorbet served with berries and crème de Chantilly. Again, there is nothing too sweet and the portion is not overbearing – but it hits just the right spot after the other two servings.
FINESSE WITHOUT BEING POMPOUS
This is not actually a criteria for Michelin-starred restaurants, but we think it should be. It’s in the little things. It’s in the way the waiter pulls out your chair just so or discreetly fills up your glass and in the exceptional presentation of each dish – which immediately sets the whole experience apart from your average restaurant. There is a delightful art In the presentation that is almost as pleasing as the taste itself.
You will feel like you’re in a fine dining environment – which doesn’t mean it has to be posh – there is a difference!
Le Flacon is more relaxed than most of Michelin-starred restaurants we’ve been to, which makes us love it even more.
CONSISTENCY – IT’S NOT HIT AND MISS
You know this about Geneva – you go into a restaurant once and think it’s OK, but when you take your friend another time, the food is terrible or the service is shocking.
NOT in a Michelin-starred restaurant!
Consistency is one of the criteria of earning a Michelin star and every time we’ve been to Le Flacon – probably around 5 in total, we’ve had an absolutely exceptional experience.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Eating out in Geneva is expensive and many restaurants are totally over-priced – read our article: TIRED OF BEING RIPPED OFF BY GENEVA RESTAURANTS here.
However, one of the criteria for a Michelin star is value for money.
This doesn’t mean it’s cheap, but simply that you’re getting a very good meal for what you’re paying. This goes a long way in Geneva.
The 3-course Le Flacon summer menu, which includes an amuse bouche costs CHF55.
(Not bad for Geneva!)
PLEASE NOTE: The menu varies every week and is at the discretion of the chef but let me reassure you once again – you’re in safe hands. Let yourself be surprised!
THE PERSONALITY OF THE CHEF IN THE KITCHEN
Having observed French chef Yoann Caloué numerous times in the very visible kitchen – I can understand why this criteria is so important for Michelin chefs.
The atmosphere seems totally relaxed, yet everything is spotless and there is never any sign of panic. If you didn’t know Yoann, it would be hard to know which one is the head chef. He is unassuming and efficient and manages his team in this way.
He always comes out to greet everyone with a smile towards the end of the meal. Not something that can be said of many restaurants in Geneva!
45 Rue Vautier, Carouge