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Domaine de Chateauvieux - a very good French cuisine around the canton of Geneva

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In the beginning of this millennium, when we talked about top chefs from Switzerland, we would mention Phillipe Rochat, Gerard Rabaey and Philippe Chevrier. Among these 3 people, Chef Chevrier is the only one who’s still active today though he never got the 3rd Michelin star. I was lucky enough to have visited l’hotel de ville and le pont de brent when those 2 legends were still behind the stoves in ‘08. In late March this year, I finally managed to visit Domaine de Chateauvieux during our short visit to Geneva.  

 

Domaine de Chateauvieux is located in Satigny (a vineyard region, nearly 20 min to the west of Geneva). The surrounding is supposed to be pretty, but since we went there during dinner in the late spring, we could not really appreciate the sloping vineyard and the hill view overlooking the Rhone. The restaurant’s architecture and its interiors were designed as if we’re in the 16th/17th century. The dining room was clean and most furniture was still in good condition. We’re escorted to our big table after passing through an open kitchen in which Damien Coche, the active head chef, was busy preparing dishes.

 

There were 3 different tasting menus and in particular, I was interested in the morel / asparagus degustation menu. However, we opted for the a la carte instead since my parents would not be pleased to have a long dinner in the middle of nowhere. While waiting for our appetizers, the kitchen gave us a few small bytes & amuse-bouche such as: celery+green apple, a spoon of meringue+black rice crispy, creamy duck liver terrine with quince marmalade as well as lobster crispy ball with coral sauce. The foie gras and lobster ball were the better ones

 

-For the appetizer, I had poached egg (having perfect runny yolk) with salty & high qualities Oscietra caviar, crunchy green asparagus and flavorful morels. The sauce was the rather intense morel cream – overall, a very good dish  

-For the main course, I shared spit-roasted (and well-seasoned) Bresse chicken with my dad. It was served in 2 ways: the breast part was fragrant with crispy skin, tender meat and excellent sauce (tarragon cream + morel emulsion). Somehow, I liked this one more than Frechon’s legendary chicken dish. Then come: the leg part; it was juicy and covered with plenty of herbs. It came with good mashed potatoes and morels. It might not be too sophisticated, but really well executed and used top quality ingredients. My father loved this dish too – ever since he tried a chicken at l’Ami louis; whenever possible, he likes eating Bresse poultry.

-3 of us shared two desserts: sweet Coconut sphere with fruit mousse and passion fruit sorbet. I expected this to be refreshing dish with some balanced of sweet and sour flavor, but unfortunately the sweet aspect was a bit more dominant. Secondly, we had chocolate dessert – a mixture of some chocolate in different forms (more milk choc. than dark ones), pistachio marshmallows and pink praline ice cream. Mix them altogether for better experience: contrast in flavor, texture and temperature

 

My parents shared Norwegian scallop with coral butter main courses as their starters. The liked it and had no problem to finish it. My mother had grilled blue lobster with morels and artichokes in yellow wine sauce for her plat principal. The portion was generous, the lobster was tender and meaty, the creamy sauce was very rich – I would’ve preferred to use a little of it had it been my main course – nevertheless, she managed to eat almost all of the lobster; she generally loved crustacean.

 

It was a good dinner; the food was better than I expected – about on par with my dinner at Rochat’s temple. The cooking was undeniably French but perhaps lacks a little punch or meticulousness that caused this place to miss the red guide’s highest accolade. Anyway, I would not be too picky about it. The service was amiable and slightly relaxed; the restaurant manager spoke good English, was confident and very skilled when carving our chicken dish. The younger ones were fine. Philippe Chevrier returned to the restaurant only after 9 PM – it was the last working day before the Passover weekends. He was enthusiastic when explaining his cooking; he also loves travelling and diving. There were several special guests/friends of the house in which Chef Coche cooked several lighter dishes for them in the ‘living room’. Any (French cuisine) lovers should stop by this place whenever you’re around the Geneva region – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed; a deserving 2-star establishment

 

Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/albums/72157668760494132/with/26784237674/

 

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