Arzier's Auberge de L'Union
Fresh wild herbs and mushrooms add special flavor to the cooking at this cozy country inn

Jean-Louis Genova has a way with herbs. The ail de l'ours (dark green bear's garlic), serpolet (wild thyme) and other special leaves and flowers that give dishes at Arzier's village inn their unique taste are hand-picked in the countryside by the chef himself and his wife Ursula.

"Every week, on our days off, we go to the Valais or to other regions depending on the season, to gather herbs," says Jean-Louis. "It gets us out for a walk, and we are happy when we find them because we know they're completely natural. Not treated. When you buy things today, many of them are too forced. But fresh wild herbs have a completely unique flavor!"

In the evening the auberge serves a plat du soir for just CHF 15.50!

Jean-Louis Genova hails from the Lake Maggiore region of Italy ("Ghevio di Meina, behind St. Carlo's statue") and the northern Italian influence can be detected in his cooking. A regular feature on the menu are the baked Canelloni, filled either with beef, or in the summer, with a savory wild herb mixture. But the Auberge is above all a seasonal restaurant, serving tasty meals inspired by the produce of the moment. "We do things a little differently each time, depending on what we find," explains Ursula. Daily specials are indicated in chalk on the blackboard in front of the restaurant.

Situated on winding road that leads down from St. Cergue to Gland, the Auberge makes a perfect stop after a hike or cross country ski run in the Jura.

Word has gotten out that Genova is a master at preparing wild game, and fall is one of the busiest seasons here. Many regulars come for the wild mushrooms, which the couple also gather themselves. "I've got secret places in the Jura that it's taken me 20 years to discover," says Jean-Louis with a proprietary twinkle in his eye.

In the summer, Genova prepares fresh fish from the lake such as Omble Chevalier, sprinkled with a julienne of fresh vegetables, spring onions and herbs, or ocean catch such as Loup de Mer grilled with fennel. And don't miss the dent de lion (dandelion leaf) salad, another handpicked house specialty!

Examples from the Menu

Chanterelles sur Salade, Entree CHF 15, Plat principale CHF 18

Entrecote de Boeuf aux Morilles et Champignons de Paris, 2 people, CHF 66
Nouilles aux Champignons - 2 people - CHF 40
Canelloni masion CHF 16

Crespelle maison CHF 16

CHF 30 menu
Terrine Maison
Canelloni Maison

CHF 41 menu
Terrine or Crespelle
Escalope de Veau aux Morilles et Champignons de Paris, Nouilles Maison
Dessert aux Choix

Sans entree - CHF 33

In addition to the regular menu, the Auberge serves a "plat du soir" at the same price as their luncheon menu: 15.50 CHF. "This is a family restaurant, and we want people to feel at home here," says Ursula. "People don't always want to pay a fortune when they go out to eat in a restaurant."

The restaurant interior is welcoming with its exposed stone walls, beams, copper pots and antique farm tools. When the weather turns warm, ask for a table on the restaurant's small balcony (5 tables) which has beautiful views out over lake Geneva to the Alps beyond.

Above the restaurant is a modest hotel with 8 clean but simple rooms (shared showers and toilettes in the hallway). Price: 90 CHF for a double including breakfast. Special rates including demi-pension for a week or more.


Café, Restaurant
Auberge Communale et de l'Union Jean-Louis et Ursula Genova
1273 Arzier/VD
022 366 13 87
Closed Sunday and Monday

The restaurant is within walking distance of the Arzier stop on the Nyon-St. Cergue train line. Walk straight up hill from the station. The auberge is around minutes up on your left on the main street that runs through the village.