Two of the successes of any restaurant, outside of the obvious items such as food and service, are views and ambience. A good meal in a great city with grand scenery is what we crave. In Geneva, there is a plethora of dining spots with views to Lake Geneva, the iconic Jet d’Eau, the Alps or Jura Mountains. These following spots somehow combine this dining trifecta, creating a most glorious outcome.
Hotel President Wilson, A Luxury Collection Hotel’s contemporary restaurant, helmed by French chef Michel Roth, offers beautifully crafted and elegantly presented fare. While it is open for lunch and dinner, the establishment seats just 40.
Most noticeable about Bayview, aside from Lake Geneva and the Alps just off in the distance, are the artsy suspended table at the entrance and the 800-bottle wine cellar set in a glass cube with pulsating LED lights.
Additionally, on the last Thursday of each month, the restaurant partners with various local food purveyors for a special dinner. The regular menu is mostly seasonal and, therefore, limited, but the Brittany sea scallops and the venison appear year round.
La Perle du Lac
Located in the Park Mon Repos, La Perle du Lac, which was established in 1930, is a throwback to older times — you’re mere steps away from the lake, with a small gate that leads down from the chalet-styled structure to the water’s edge. The outdoor dining in the spring and summer months is unparalleled; given your proximity, you can hear the water lapping on the shore. A small hedge and mature trees add to the lakeside scenery.
Pan-fried prawns with absinth, foie gras, and mushroom risotto with local tomatoes are consistent best bets to be savored in the serene setting.
Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva has several restaurants, all with stunning vistas, but steakhouse Le Grill serves up a classic modern bistro feel and large glass windows that put Lake Geneva front and center with the Alps shimmering in the distance.
The open kitchen allows patrons to watch chefs transform simple meat-and-potatoes dishes into sophisticated culinary displays typical of Switzerland. The beef Carpaccio is excellent as is the tableside-prepared Caesar salad and grilled filet with timut peppercorn butter sauce.
Parc des Eaux Vives
An 18th-century villa resting in extensive grounds overlooking Lake Geneva, Parc des Eaux-Vives is that most graceful of dining institutions. The restaurant, located on the first-floor terrace of the building, is the ideal spring and summer dining spot for delicately seasoned cuisine meant to be enjoyed while appreciating vistas of the verdant lawn that sweeps like a carpet to the foot of the alpine lake — even though the left bank-situated establishment leaves your back to the Alps.
Almost as breathtaking as the panoramas, the menu delights with items like sliced duck with foie gras and fresh Mozzarella pesto. Local in-season fruits round out the dessert offerings (see: molten chocolate cake and poached pears). If you’d care to take your food out onto the stunning natural landscapes, Parc des Eaux-Vives makes picnic baskets as well.
Auberge du Lion d’Or
On the top of Cologny Hill (Geneva’s Beverly Hills), Auberge du Lion d’Or offers a seasonal menu with one of the best views of the city. The terrace, laced with white umbrellas, shields you from the sunshine as you peer across the water and see views to the Jura Mountains, opposite the Alps.
Popular since the 18th century, the restaurant offers a classic combination of innovative cuisine and sweeping panoramas. The opulent Louis XV setting is formal, but the service is more contemporary.
You’ll find seafood specialties, including pan-fried local fish from the lake and favorites such as tartare of beef, and quinoa salad with legumes, goat cheese and olives.