Monday, February 8, 2010

Pre-Gastronomy in Paris: Lion D'Or in Geneva

with the Lange Owners Group

A. Lange & Soehne, the top end luxury watch brand hosts a dinner every year at the Salon International de Haut Horologie (SIHH) for a collector's group where I am Founding Chairman...the Lange Owners Group (LOG). As a tradition, we have held the dinner on a Tuesday evening at the Auberge du Lion D'Or. The Lion D'Or, or the Golden Lion has 1 Michelin star, 17 GaultMillau points and situated in the prosperous district of Cologny in Geneva.

We take our usual place upstairs from the main dining room, which by the way has a spectacular view of the Lake Geneva. Our little private enclave upstairs can sit up to 25 diners in comfort, but we had the luxury of only having one long table sitting 20.

As is typical of Lange, we started with conversations lubricated by champagne (Laurent Perrier Brut). We talked about everything on earth, from watches (of course!), to suits, to shoes, to roasting coffee at home.

And eventually, we settle down for the food and wine. After the amuse bouche was served, the appetizer of foie gras was presented:

The duck liver tasted very good...freshly made pate, smooth, creamy. Nice flavour. Ably supported by the chutney and crispy bread.

Other than the champagne, the white was superbly matched to the foie gras. This is my first taste of Domaine Vacheron...curious in a watch have wine with the domaine name which is the same as Lange's stable mate in Richemont: Vacheron Constantin. This Sancerre was typical of the region's prized wines...medium bodied, with floral notes underlined with a hint of truffle. 2008 was quite a nice year for Domaine Vacheron.

The main course was medallions of veal:

Veal is meat from suckling cattle...who have not started to eat grass or grain, but fed only with their mother's milk. So the meat is rather pinkish, and considered a white meat, rather than red meat of beef. Typically very tender, and not flavourful, this meat is quite popular in Switzerland.

This veal was no different. Tender and mild tasting. It went well with the rice fritters and the light sauce which accompanies. The wine coupling was with the magnificent Les Pagodas les Clos St Estephe 2004. This was a powerful Bordeaux...strong violet hue. On the nose, blackberries and a hint of raspberry pemeates. Very elegant finish.

Dessert was inspired:

The black chocholate was super rich, and very strong chocolatey flavours, creamy, smooth, almost overpowering, but not quite. And topped with a cocoa sherbert, which was just as creamy as any ice cream...quite nice. Not too sweet as is the custom these days, but nice to finish the meal.

An excellent restaurant, in a beautiful setting.

The chef, taking his kudos:

Auberge du Lion d’Or
Place Pierre-Gautier 5
Phone: +41 (0) 22 736 4432

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