Filling a Niche in Geneva
Niche Restaurant – A nice little nest in Geneva, one of my favorite towns in the western suburbs!
When we arrived we were happily greeted by Jeffrey, who was so well informed that as soon as we told him our name, knew where we should be seated. As it turned out, Jeffrey was also our waiter.
As soon as we walked in, there was a feeling of warmth among the soft lights and dark wood in a modern, somewhat Zen-like decor. The staff was immediately attentive and friendly.
Soon after we were seated, Jeffrey brought us a glass of NV Duval-Leroy champagne – delightful. He then carefully explained the menu and gave us plenty of time to peruse. Niche offers both a three- and a five-course prix fixe chef’s selection. My partner and I chose to share the five-course along with a second salad and main course and I selected the grilled pineapple salad along with a lobster risotto for my main course.
All of the dishes were served in perfect harmony throughout the meal. The five course dinner began with the shrimp and grits appetizer. This stunning dish was my favorite by far and I don’t even eat grits! The shrimp were cooked to perfection and the sauce was so flavorful with just the right amount of spice and heat to complement the creamy grits. My grilled pineapple salad was so pretty, I hated to eat it. The combination of pineapple, baby spinach, onion gratin with balsamic vinegar and toasted cashews had a wonderful taste and texture. The chef’s choice arugula salad was savory and equally enjoyable. During our entire meal a roving basket of fresh rolls was offered tableside.
My partner enjoyed the Robert Sinsky “POV” chef’s select wine from Napa Valley while I selected a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc to go with my salad and some of the delectable cheese platter that was course number three. For our main courses, my partner enjoyed the chef’s cassoulet which came served in a very nice bowl; although he would have preferred the cassoulet pot – that is half the fun - it was very tasty with just the right amount of herbs and spices. My lobster risotto was fabulous, although a bit heavy on the parsley. We both enjoyed a recommended Pinot Noir with our main courses. To top the evening off, the dessert for the chef’s choice was the chocolate and strawberry cheese cake. Now this is not your ordinary cheese cake. This was melt-in-your mouth almost like ice cream cheese cake topped with a chocolate graham cracker. I opted for the Niche coffee, which was so soothing with just the right amount of Gran Marnier and Bailey’s Irish cream.
Chef Serena Perdue came to visit with the restaurant patrons as well as the group. We talked about sourcing local foods and about the garden owned by Niche in Elburn, IL. She explained that they use everything local that they possibly can and all of their wines are from the US.
Needless to say, I would highly recommend Niche for special occasions as well as for a casual drink at the quaint bar with some small plates. I particularly liked the selection of music which was played at a perfect volume and especially like the fact that they grow most of their own produce and use local and mostly organic sources for meats and cheeses.
Editor's note: Mina visited Niche for a media dinner and represented The Local Tourist