Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

After our hectic Friday morning, we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the room before getting ready for dinner with dear friends Rosy and Jacques.  When A was at the hotel school in Lausanne two decades ago, Rosy and Jacques were the ones he spent almost every weekend with.  Over the years, A has kept in contact with them and on the rare occasion that we are in Switzerland, we make sure to meet up with them.
Dinner that evening was at at Chez Jacky just a few blocks away from our hotel.  This cozy restaurant opened by chef/proprietor Jacky Gruber, ex-Girardet/Dorchester/Schweizerhof, has been in the same right bank location since 1984.  We arrived on time at half past seven to find our hosts at the door and we settled into our window-side table.  As we were the first guest to arrive, we took our time exchanging news and recounting stories from 2007 when we last saw them in Marbella.  The menus were left untouched until we realized that the place had started to fill up and decided we should probably order before everyone else did.
The classic French cuisine menu at Chez Jacky is extensive with about 10 entrees (starters), half a dozen meat and another half dozen fish main courses, a cheese trolley and a dessert trolley.  There are also three set menus aside from the special winter menu – La Chasse (the hunt).  We opted for seafood starters – three seafood carpaccio and a scallop carpaccio for me.  For our main courses, three of us chose game from the winter menu – wild boar for Jacques & A, quail for me – and finally, the sole for Rosy.  Jacques also chose a Swiss Pinot Gris to go with our seafood starters.
We were served a delicious warm tomato soup as an amuse-bouche.  Our carpaccio arrived on clear glass plates – the seafood a combination of thin slices of salmon and tuna with scallops and some cooked shrimps in extra-virgin olive oil.  My carpaccio was Asian-inspired with the thinly sliced scallops seasoned in a dressing of sesame oil, lemongrass and cilantro.  The oriental ingredients complementing the sweetness of the raw fresh scallops.  We enjoyed our first plates with Jacques and A exchanging news while Rosy and I caught up on each others’ news as well.
By the time the main courses came, Jacques had already ordered a Swiss red (unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was) as Rosy and I were chatting away.  The boys’ filet mignon of wild boar was seared and came with crunchy red cabbage, pumpkin puree and a cinnamon-flavored jus.  My generous serving of two de-boned quail came with cooked mirabelle (plum) and prunelle (blackthorn fruit) in a maple-syrup reduction.   Only Rosy had the cuisine minceur (low-calorie option) of steamed sole with tagliolini and lobster butter.  All of the dishes came with a cocotte (a small cast-iron pot with a lid) of spaetzle, Switzerland’s ubiquitous side dish.  The food was presented well and were true renditions of classic cuisine.  The cheese trolley came next and as much as I wanted to sample a selection of Swiss cheese, I was just too full to do so.  The dessert trolley came next and the boys agreed to order something we could share – the rich, dark chocolate mousse with creme chantilly (whipped cream) and the pineapple with shredded basil.  I had a couple of large spoonfuls of the chocolate mousse just to taste.   The conversation flowed, as did the wine and before we knew, the restaurant was almost empty once again. Espressos ended our three-course gourmet meal and we said our goodbyes outside promising to meet again – where or when, we still don’t know but we hope it’ll be soon.  Merci Rosy et Jacques pour le fabuleux dîner Chez Jacky.  A bientôt!
Chez Jacky
9-11 rue Necker
1201 Geneva
+41 22 732 86 80
Open Mondays to Fridays for lunch and dinner
Closed Saturdays and Sundays

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