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
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 18
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
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 Ursula Genova
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.