Auberge de L'Union
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!"
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.
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!
from the Menu
sur Salade, Entree CHF 15, Plat principale CHF
Entrecote de Boeuf aux Morilles et Champignons
de Paris, 2 people, CHF 66
aux Champignons - 2 people - CHF 40
Canelloni masion CHF 16
maison CHF 16
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.
Auberge Communale et de l'Union Jean-Louis et
022 366 13 87
Closed Sunday and Monday
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.