As a regular of the rue du Temple in the days of Café Bizarre, I have only been crossing the district since the Saint-Gervais Foundation regained its rights over the space three years ago. Last Wednesday, my friend Sabrina (or Sabine for close friends), former Director of the Cheval Blanc and new right hand of the Director of La Réplique, asked me to meet up in her new venue. It was odd and a bit perplexing to cross the threshold of the establishment. At first glance, the décor was just as I like it: sober and friendly. Bistrot-style tables and chairs, industrial lamps, fireplace, menu on the chalkboard, little wild-flower bouquets, and a few cultural flyers spread over the retro accented bar. After a brief scan of the place, my eyes were affixed on the buffet. I was conquered.
Raffaele made me a plate of tortelloni with ceps, generously garnished with a procession of antipasti, each more appetizing than the other. I grabbed a fork and a knife, then headed towards the terrace where I discovered a green space, decorated with a few tables and chairs that accompany the vegetable garden. Lunch on the green. Raffaele Fruttaldo joined me. He is the Director and Chef of La Réplique. After working for 25 years at the Department of Public Instruction, within the Fourchette Verte association, he took on the challenge of giving a second life to this space. Passionate about cooking and also a musician, he is the guitarist of the rock band KMA. He is a hyperactive creative. At lunchtime, he offers a buffet with three plats du jour, including a vegetarian option. In the morning, tartines with homemade jam and freshly pressed juices. And in the evening, a tapas menu with antipasti, cheese and charcuterie. Lemonades, cold teas and other nectars are all artisanal, the beers are local, and the wine comes directly from the nearby cellars or from the south of France.
This is an address that I highly recommend. I was sad when Café Bizarre closed, but doesn’t the saying go: every cloud has a silver lining? More than just a restaurant, La Réplique is a real place of culture, lead by the program of the Saint-Gervais theatre and its speakers. A meeting place for artists, actors, musicians, art school teachers and others. It is also regularly commissioned for the catering of the ADC, and various festivals such as La Bâtie or Antigel.
Photography © Julien Herger
Rue du Temple 5, 1201 Genève
Mon 8am-5pm; Tue to Thu 8am-11.30pm; Fri 8am-1am & Sat 5pm-1am
Budget : $$