Au P’tit Bonheur: Classic American Brunch, Classic Geneva Setting

SO SAD TO SEE YOU GO! THIS RESTO HAS BEEN PERMANENTLY CLOSED. 

On the ongoing quest for the perfect brunch, I finally made it to the place that supposedly has the one thing every other Geneva restaurant is lacking: eggs benedict. And I confirm, Au P’tit Bonheur has got the goods!

In fact, I really shouldn’t be telling you about this place at all. The food is good, the prices are good, and although it’s a bit out of the way in Chambésy, making the trip out there will not only provide you with a classic american brunch (with the right amount of Geneva touches, of course) it will also bring you into what I have always known as a classic Geneva, community restaurant setting. Head out there in the spring time, sit out on the terrace, check out the sparkling view of the lake, and remind yourself how good it is to be living in Genf.

The Menu: What can I say, as you will see, they have it all – including bloody maries and screw drivers for those of us who like their breakfast drinks with a spike! From eggs benedict, to omelettes, to steak and eggs, to french toast, I really think they cater to every taste. They even have bircher muesli etc for those who INSIST on spoiling the brunch fun. As a side note, their lunch menu looks pretty appealing as well. We saw a dorade grillé walk by that had my head craning so far over to the next table I nearly fell into it. Definitely something to go back for.

Amusebouche: Fresh OJ and the Pain au Chocolat!

Before we get to the plat de résistance, I had to endulge in the pain au chocolat, and I have to say I’m glad I did. Although the chocolate was a bit sweet to my taste, its chocolate bars were “al dente” – that is, with just a little bite under the tooth – which is exactly what I look for in a pain au choc. Brilliant. The orange juice came fresh pressed and was full of flavor.

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First Course: French Toast – golden, delicious

Having grown up in Geneva, my idea of french toast is a bit different (read: authentic) then the American version of French toast. So in this case, I was very happy to see that they made French toast the French way: small, somewhat stale bread, cut about two centimeters thick, and with just enough egg/milk batter so the bread takes on just the right soft texture. My one minor complaint is that I usually take mine a little more golden than the ones they served (see picture below). Other than that, yum. (And yes, of course it comes with maple syrup.)

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Main Course 1: EGGS BENEDICT!

Huzzah! I finally found the real thing! And served on a toasted english muffin too! Amazing! So these were in fact eggs florentine. Lets take it apart layer by layer. 1) The muffin was far from the best I’ve had. It was a bit dense and a bit tasteless. Still, it was an english muffin. Kudos for that. 2) The egg was perfectly poached, with the yolk both runny and at times just soft = unctious. 3) The spinach. You may think this strange, but it was the best thing on the plate. It tastes like they sauté it with a clove of garlic, but they also chop in the tiniest of pieces of shallot, which bring out the flavor of the spinach in gorgeous ways. Popeye would be so utterly pleased. 4) The hollandaise sauce was quite dense, but married beautifully with the spinach flavors. 5) On the side there you have some very good cubed, oven baked potatoes that totally remind me of my school lunches in the Swiss public system. 6) Sorry to end on a bad note, but those julienne vegetables on the side there were just a waste of space. I kind of got the impression they were out of the can. Waiter, can we get extra spinach instead of this riff-raff please??

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Main Course 2: The Omelette

Of course I never eat out alone, so I always get to try someone else’s food. More good reasons to eat with good company. Here we have the cheese omelette. It was very well executed (though perhaps a little overcooked?). However the cheese they used was completely unimaginative and nearly unnoticeable. With all the incredible cheese in this country and in neighboring Savoy, it begs the question… but WHY?

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Setting, price quality, etc: It was gorgeous out the day we made our way there, so naturally we sat outside. This is where the classic Geneva element comes in. Like any village restaurant in the canton of Geneva that has an outdoor area, you sit around well dressed metal tables strewn about somewhat casually in a bed of gravel. A typical Geneva nobby tree (you know the ones…) sits in the middle of the area, with big silvery rocks surrounding it. Sun shining, glistening lake, birds chirping. I heart Geneva in the Springtime. Oh, and the prices are a STEAL for what you get! 6.50chf for the french toast, 20chf for the cheese omelette, 26chf for the eggs florentine.

In sum: just yum yum yum.

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One thought on “Au P’tit Bonheur: Classic American Brunch, Classic Geneva Setting

  1. […] its brunch spots, from the haughty to the healthy. In days of yore, you heard me squealing about the elusive and exclusive poached egg (which, last I checked, can still only be found at Au P’tit Bonheur), the unacceptability of […]

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