Switzerland: Brasserie Lipp Geneva: The Brasserie of all Brasseries
Brasserie Lipp Geneva: a model for all brasseries
The Brasserie Lipp in Geneva even tops the one in Paris. Some may say that’s not difficult to do in a sleepy, provincial town like Geneva, but it is not so simple as that.
It’s l’ensemble, the “package” with all its details, that makes it work to perfection: the top-notch French-style service, the professionalism, the decor, the reliability of the food, the atmosphere, its late opening hours, even on Sunday.
You can watch them in action on their site!
I love their site, which gives you a glimpse of all the qualities above through a short video.
The menu includes classic brasserie fare, such as choucroute, souris d’agneau confite or lamb’s shank – one of the tenderest parts of the lamb, steak with Béarnaise sauce, leeks ravigote and shellfish platters. They offer Gillardeau oysters as well as the usual selection of shellfish found in a brasserie. It is always impeccably fresh.
But unlike many brasseries, they also have a menu that changes with the seasons. It invariably offers an assortment of tartares, cold or hot soups, salads, and dishes that often have North African and Asian accents. One of my favorites that they have been doing for 3 or 4 winters, is the vegetarian couscous. It’s like no other couscous I’ve ever had, a modern, up-to-date “revision” that I never tire of.
If you listen to their video, you’ll understand what I mean about the professionalism of the service. They will never get annoyed with you if you ask questions about the dishes or if you change your mind 3 times. They are old-fashioned, but in the good sense of the term. The servers are always polite and patient.
If you love French wine, Brasserie Lipp is definitely the place to let yourself in for a treat. In this domain, they quite simply have one of the best wine lists in Switzerland. If you want to treat yourself to an old Bordeaux once a year, you can be sure it will be good at Lipp. They do, of course, have Swiss and other wines, as well as wine by the glass.
In summer, their exquisite terrace is tucked away from cars and all traffic noise. Come fall, they put a tent over it and heat it, and change the decorations as the seasons and holidays progress. The decor is always tasteful and original, and makes you feel you’re in a special, magical world quite apart from the main tram street just a few steps down the hill.
Now that I’ve praised them in every possible way I can think of, it is only fair to forewarn you that if you want to sit on the terrace or under the tent, it is imperative to reserve ahead of time.
Brasserie Lipp is open seven days a week, nonstop from 07:30 (08:30 on Sundays) until 02:00 in the morning, which does not happen often in this city of Calvin. Perfect for Sunday meals on summer evenings, but RESERVE AHEAD OF TIME.A version of this article was originally published on GenevaLunch.