Geneva took a step closer to Milano when Osteria della Bottega opened its doors on La Grand Rue. But this is not your traditional Italian restaurant. Pasta is handmade, but the dishes are rarely classics: this is the Italy that builds on traditional techniques, but that looks outwards, to the green flavours of Scandinavian cuisine, and beyond. The Italy that says Italy isn’t about the pizza or the tomatoes or even the pasta; it’s about a celebration of the ingredients, and the desire to elevate them through loving preparation and creative combinations. Move over nonna: your grandkid Francesco just got back from his trip around the world and has taken over the kitchen!
Unlike a lot of Italian restaurants in Geneva, the decor is distinctly contemporary, while echoing back respectfully to the old world. The restaurant sits on a steep walking path in Geneva’s Old Town, contrasting with the interior’s white ceramic tiles and industrial lamps, with a large old map of Europe hanging solo. In the summer, you can sit out on its charming terrace surrounded by some of Geneva’s oldest buildings. Wine lovers will be pleased with the mostly Italian selection of wines from family-run wineries (in addition to the better known labels). All told, it’s about as close to Milano as you can get without crossing the border.