|spaghetti vongole at l'incontro|
this year lb and i have had the pleasure to dine in two cities which have been home to him at different stages of his life. in july it was sydney and in december, geneva. on the night before the closing of the thirty first international conference of the red cross and red crescent he took me to restaurant l'incontro. lb tells me that eating out in geneva isn't as exciting as in london. i can see that but then i also think it's unfair to compare the two cities as they have a very different flavour.
l'incontro is near the grande synagogue which was built in the mid eighteen hundreds. it is a pretty building albeit with rather pastry inspired pink stripes. the restaurant was surprisingly busy for a week night in geneva. we are seated near the large wood fire oven that makes up the centre of the space. large sized pizza's, the dough blistered by the heat emerged in quick succession. lb tells me that when in geneva he recommends fillets of perch if fresh, but i was interested in indulging my carbohydrate craving and so pasta it was for both of us. we both decided on the spaghetti vongole.
our dinner conversation that night was quite intense; a combination of human rights, humanitarian law and the workings (and dysfunctions) of inter-governmental organisations. i must confess i was glad that we did that over italian. we were to eat fondue on my last night in geneva and i can assure you, that's not the kind of conversation you want to be having over an indulgence of that type. the vongole itself was excellent, even better than what i've had in london. the spaghetti had a good bite with an abundance of open-faced clams. a bruised baby tomato along with flecks of parsley added vibrancy. the real pleasure of the dish though was the juices that accumulated in the end. they tasted of a concentrated garlicky seafood broth and were responsible for the copious amount of bread that i ate after the pasta. it was impossible to stop until i had wiped each last drop clean. along with it we had a carafe of fruity red wine.
if you are in geneva and wanting italian food, i'd definitely recommend going to l'incontro. in summer they have alfresco dining on the large terrace that straddles the side of the restaurant, which i am sure would be lovely given that geneva actually gets a proper summer.