At 49 Rue du Rhône, a new chapter begins in the (hi)story of a real Geneva bistro gem, with the opening of "F.P.Journe Le Restaurant", the fruit of an encounter between two epicureans: chef Dominique Gauthier and François-Paul Journe. With their partnership, anchored in mutual trust and a shared vision, a new page is being written for this establishment that has seen some of the greatest local and international names pass through its doors.
An institution for good food and good drink, the address made its debut in 1912 with the famous "La Bavaria" brasserie, frequented by the elite of the League of Nations. Ministers, heads of state and journalists from all over the world gathered at its tables. The decor has remained unchanged since 1942. In 2012, it was listed, from the woodwork to the furniture, becoming the heritage of all Genevans.
The cornerstone of this union finds its resonance in the respective careers of these two men with strong personalities, forged by hard work and a love of their profession. The restaurant will be a place of conviviality, where each guest becomes a host, immersed in an atmosphere that is both elegant and relaxed.
In charge of decoration is François-Paul Journe, who wanted to give the establishment a strong horological identity. The walls are adorned with posters that represent technical drawings of movements, the tables are named after famous watchmakers such as Jost Bürgi or Christiaan Huygens, and the menus make reference to models of the brand. Even the cutlery is inspired by this universe. In pride of place in the centre of the restaurant, an 17th-century astronomical clock, signed “Giovanni Brugell Venetia”, completes the details of these carefully chosen embellishments.
In the kitchen is Dominique Gauthier, a highly skilled and experienced chef. He began his apprenticeship at the age of 14, and rose through the ranks of France's top restaurants. He reached the highest level of Swiss gastronomy, unpretentiously, reaping praise and loyalty from his clientele. After three decades at Chat-Botté, restaurant of the Hôtel Beau-Rivage in Geneva, he made the bold decision to start anew.
His cuisine is defined as Mediterranean, with bursts of spice and citrus reminiscent of his travels in Thailand. Gourmet and generous, his dishes bring new nuances to the classic codes of culinary art. Over the years, he has developed privileged relationships with the best local producers, shining the spotlight on exceptional foods from the region: vegetables from Pierre Gallay, poultry from Nant d'Avril, beef from Pascal and Philippe Desbiolles in Meinier, and citrus fruits from Niels Rodin. The menu features the chef's signature dishes - scampis in kadaïf, hare ravioli with truffles, a tasting menu, as well as a selection of fine wines for a unique gastronomic experience.
Another pillar of this adventure is the staff of "F.P. Journe Le Restaurant". With Morgane Quétineau-Demay, Dominique Gauthier's assistant, and under the benevolent supervision of restaurant manager Pascal Brault, each person contributes to the magic in motion. Chefs Maxime Mühlemann and Théo Cesarini, along with head sommelier Bogdan Tand, complete the passionate team of fifteen.
F.P.Journe Le Restaurant
Rue du Rhône 49, 1204 Geneva
T: +41 22 320 49 49
Open Monday to Thursday, lunch and dinner times and Friday, lunchtime only.