Gen Hoe is an iconic restaurant in Geneva that specializes in authentic Chinese food. This year Gen Hoe celebrates its 40th anniversary. How has it been successful for 40 years? It all starts with lifetime owners, Tony and Jenny Lee.
Anyone that comes into the restaurant will surely recognize Mrs. Lee. She has been serving customers from the beginning when Gen Hoe was a takeout only shop across the street from their current restaurant. Today she can be seen talking to customers in the dining room or helping them with their takeout orders.
Mr. Lee continues to be the head cook enjoying every minute in the kitchen preparing his customers’ favorite dishes. He prides himself on cooking authentic Chinese cuisine with the freshest ingredients.
Gen Hoe and Mr. and Mrs. Lee have many loyal customers that turn into friends. Recently they held an anniversary party to celebrate their forty years in business.
The dining room was overflowing with happy guests as they were treated to some of Gen Hoe’s most popular dishes. There were trays of Sweet and Sour Chicken, Egg
Foo Yung, Chicken Fried Rice and everyone’s favorite, Egg Rolls. Other favorites served were Lemon Chicken, Gen Hoe Delight and Crab Rangoons. The buffet provided a chance to find a new favorite.
You can enjoy Gen Hoe’s hospitality too: inside or out. If you are dining in you will be treated to dinner in abeautiful dining room with great service. The waiters have all been at Gen Hoe for years. They can suggest a dish or drink that would compliment your meal. The service is wonderful and the portions are generous. Gen Hoe also offers takeout service with the same food quality as served in the dining room. And it is quick!
Dawn Vogelsberg is married to a lifelong Gen Hoe fan and former employee and is raising three children that either work at Gen Hoe or hope to.
This article first appeared in the January 2010 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
Perched atop the second floor of the Berry House in our historic downtown, Le Berry Bistro is yet another example of a long-established Geneva restaurant. Dining al-fresco with a view of Franklin and Third Streets has been a traditional treat for local restaurant goers for years.
With “Mom” out of town, my daughter Kate and I enjoyed dinner on an evening out. We began with appetizers of white bean and rosemary bruschetta and a seasoned olive oil goat cheese accompanied by a toasted baguette.
The entrée menu consists of the restaurant’s staples such as a pork tenderloin and a varied seafood selection as well as specials such as the Kobe burger. Kate chose the grilled shrimp and polenta with seasonal vegetables; and I had the swordfish with a roasted tomato basil viniagrette topping, roasted herb potatoes and seasonal vegetables. An appropriate wine selection complemented the meal. As we expected from a restaurant in Geneva, the food was creative and exceptional.
Whether you’re looking for a break in shopping in Geneva or an evening out, Le Berry Bistro offers good food, comfortable surroundings and a friendly staff.
Stephen Burnham is a Geneva resident and owner of the Paper Merchant in downtown Geneva.
This article first appeared in the November 2009 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
The Claddagh Irish Pub restaurant in Geneva Commons is just what it claims to be: a recreated Irish public house. The interior is warm and inviting. Varied stylized rooms give it charm and a unique feel. My wife, Lisa, and I sat in the Lower Cottage Room with its timbered ceiling and warm, inviting fireplace burning on a cool night.
Our appetizer of Loaded Pub Chips with bacon, tomato, green onions and ale cheese sauce served with a tangy but not overpowering sour cream and horseradish sauce got our taste buds started. Since it was cold we both opted for soup. Lisa’s Guinness onion soup, a classic onion soup with rich overtones of Guinness stout, delighted us both. I ordered the Claddagh chowder, a meaty, thick clam chowder whose richness we enjoyed.
The entrées were both excellent. Lisa enjoyed a Jameson Drunken Steak, a sirloin grilled perfectly, topped with a Jameson Irish whiskey glaze, sautéed mushroom, white cheddar cheese and crisp onions carried delicate flavors in each bite. Champ potatoes (Irish mashed potato prepared with scallions) and steamed vegetables accompanied. I enjoyed traditional Irish bacon and cabbage, the Irish predecessor of corned beef and cabbage. Irish bacon, similar to Canadian bacon, is saltier with a bit of fat for flavor. It came plated over a bed of champ potatoes and cabbage cooked al dente, with a little snap to each bite, unlike so much soggy cabbage served on St. Patrick’s Day. A mustard sauce topped the dish, adding excellent flavor. Portions are abundant.
Dessert was the decadent St. Patrick’s frozen mud pie: mocha ice cream, chocolate cookie crust with a chocolate and caramel drizzled. It pleasantly concluded a wonderful dining experience.
The Claddagh staff is warm and friendly and really cares about you enjoying a wonderful dining experience.
T. J. and Lisa, owners of Spring Clean, Ltd., and their three children, Jack, Liam and Gretchen, are long time Geneva residents.
This article first appeared in the April 2009 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, a great place to meet with friends or a yummy family meal, Urban Grille is the place to go. With an extensive menu featuring everything from the best burgers and flatbread pizzas to salads, steaks and seafood, you’ll find something to please even the pickiest eater. The service at Urban Grille is friendly but unobtrusive. Seating is comfortable, and the atmosphere in the restaurant is warm and inviting.
We enjoyed a quiet dinner for two (a rare event with three busy kids in the house). The wine list was the first thing that grabbed our attention. It was hard to choose; Urban Grille features a wide variety of wines at all price points.
Our dinner was just as good as our wine. Scott began with the Seafood Bisque, a delicate buttery comfort food that was rich with chunks of whitefish and shrimp. I opted for the Shrimp Alyx, which was crispy and buttery with a mild lemony sauce that brought out the best in the shrimp. I chose the small appetizer portion, which was still large enough to share. But if you’re a shrimp lover, it comes in two appetizer sizes and also can be ordered as an entrée.
Next, it was on to the main course. We each chose a different steak. I selected the Flat Iron Steak, which was grilled to smoky, tender, flavorful perfection! Scott had the Strip Steak, which was very juicy with a fire-grilled flavor. The steaks were served with crisp-tender asparagus and perfectly seasoned fingerling potatoes tossed in a blend of butter and herbs.
For dessert, Scott selected the Chocolate Melting Cake. The cake was very chocolaty and did not depend on the melted center for flavor. He said it was one of the best he’d ever had. I chose the Crème Brûlée, which was crunchy on top with an intense vanilla flavor. It was served with Blackberries and whipped the perfect end to a rare and wonderful night out.
Jennifer Roy along with her husband Scott and daughters, Brittany, Rebecca and Elizabeth are long-time Geneva residents.
This article first appeared in the March 2009 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
Great family dining has returned to Geneva. Chianti’s is back with all the favorite entrées from the former Ristorante Chianti. Jeff Woods, the former general manager, along with his wife Sherry, also a former employee, have brought back 20 years of nostalgic Geneva history and tradition.
The new, two dining room restaurant has a very warm and inviting ambience. One room completes its cozy environment with the original Chianti fireplace while the front room provides great décor with a spectacular view of Third Street activity. Both rooms furnish a very relaxing and comfortable dining experience. And for those who remember, yes, the train is back!
We have missed the great food and the personal touch since their departure five years ago. This is especially exciting for my wife, daughter and granddaughter, since we all have our favorite Chianti dish. Garlic Crab, Cajun Tortellini, Sante Fe Pasta and Cheese Mushrooms–we missed them all! So much so that on our last visit we ordered all our favorites and exchange bites to recapture the many tasteful varieties from the menu.
Many of Chianti’s former staff are back, too. Knowing the menu and having the ability to assist and recommend specials or wine is important so bringing back the old staff is a great asset.
The former Chianti’s had always been one of our regular and favorite dining pleasures, and this has only improved with the new restaurant. With Valentine’s Day coming up, maybe it’s the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with an old Geneva favorite.
Pat and his wife are long time Geneva residents.
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
Nancy and I were thrilled to do the restaurant review for this month’s eGeneva. Geneva is filled with wonderful restaurants, and Wildwood is a family favorite. The food is phenomenal, the dining room warm and cozy; and owner, Patrick Neary, must live there because he never fails to stop by to say hi.
Our server, David Heidorn, who has waited on us on numerous occasions, convinced us to start with the oyster bar, available every Thursday, offering a variety of fresh oysters from both coasts. In the past we’ve started with Seafood Fondue for two, a warm bread bowl filled with shrimp, crabmeat and scallops in a rich cheese and white wine sauce. It’s tough to say which we like better.
Nancy’s entrée was Steak Diane. A lot of restaurants offer this dish, but Wildwood is the only place Nancy will order it. She’s not sure why, but it’s just better. My entrée was the Barramundi, an Australian fish, roasted and topped with toasted macadamia nuts, served on a cedar plank with mango salsa. There is something for everyone on the menu; and over the last couple of years, Nancy and I have tried to sample it all!
Plan to spend some time in Wildwood’s lounge. The entertainment alone is reason to go. And on our last visit Patrick gave us a tour of their newly opened private dining room. We’ll definitely use it for our next party.
Not only is Wildwood an excellent choice for dinner, but it is also a great destination for lunch or Sunday brunch. Believe me, you’re cheating yourself by not going.
Call Wildwood at 630-377-8325 for reservations or information.
Tom and Nancy Cantwell reside in Geneva with their two sons, Tommy and Brandon. Tom is also the drummer for the Geneva based band, Gallery.
This article first appeared in the January 2009 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
People who spend a rare evening out dream of escaping to a restaurant tucked away on an out-of-the-way street, where waiters are friendly and prices reasonable. The dining room will be spacious, but intimate. The food will be varied and prepared to highlight its ethnic flavors. It’s the restaurant of my dreams.
Villa Verone is this kind of place. While the food and atmosphere alone are an attraction, it is Owner Pietro Verone’s presence and customer interaction that set Villa Verone apart. Dining should be an experience, an art; and he paints a beautiful picture. The quaint Italian restaurant occupies an historic home, with outdoor patio, fountain and statues that welcome you to a little bit of Italy. Upstairs is the Upper Club, a martini bar, where you’ll enjoy dancing and live entertainment while sipping your favorite libation.
We were pleasantly greeted on a busy Thursday and were soon benefiting from our server’s knowledge of the menu. We enjoyed a generous caprese, which was fresh and aromatic. Next we were treated to the Asparagi, fresh asparagus wrapped in bacon and grilled with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce. Pietro suggested the house signature entrée, Vitello alla Vincenzo Verone, a dish Pietro’s father made at home in Italy. Tender veal sat on a bed of fresh spinach with Portobello mushrooms and pearl onions, in a Marsala wine sauce. We also enjoyed my personal favorite, Mamma Carmela’s Rotolo, a tri colored pasta, filled with ricotta, spinach and prosciutto in a light cream sauce. House wine is by the glass with no specific label. You pick the grape; they pick the wine–a great concept and excellent quality. It was a romantic evening in an historic home where the staff would break into an Italian song without notice.
The Italian trattoria atmosphere has lent itself to many marriage proposals and date nights; and by the end of just your first visit, Pietro treats you like family. I know times are tough, but forget the stock market for a moment and declare it DATE NIGHT! You won’t be disappointed.
Maureen lives in Geneva with her husband and three children.
This article first appeared in the November 2008 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
I was so excited when I was asked to do this review. Like so many others in Geneva, my job at the Mill Race Inn paid my way through school. To this day I still meet people who worked there as busboys, busgirls, wait staff or bartenders. It shouldn’t have surprised me when I learned from George Roumeliotis, the owner of the Mill Race Inn, that the children and even grandchildren of employees past have worked at the restaurant.
“When I walked in, I immediately was taken aback by the fabulous view.”
The Mill Race Inn’s menu is classic American fare with a distinct Mediterranean flair. We started our dinner visit with Grecian Calamari followed by Chicken Oscar and Pecan Encrusted Walleye Pike. The Grecian Calamari was unlike any other calamari I’ve ever had. I was tempted to order seconds! Both entrées, served with homemade sauces and sides of asparagus spears were everything you would expect and more. I’d tell you about their homemade desserts, but I can’t. Both of us were way to full to fit in another bite.
I could go on and on about the delicious food and the great service because that is what you expect at the Mill Race Inn, and it’s certainly what you get. But reviewing a restaurant is so much more than just the food. When I walked in, I immediately was taken aback by the fabulous view. Where have I been?!? My mind went back to all the change of seasons I experienced looking out over the magnificent Fox River from the Mill Race Inn. We spend thousands of dollars on vacations for a view that exists in our own backyard.
Within the next couple of months, we’ll be seeing the seasons change first from summer to fall and then to winter. This is truly the perfect time to visit, or in my case revisit the restaurant. No matter where you sit, you will be treated to the beauty of the Fox River and its shores. And each time you go, be sure to sit in a different location because the view is so expansive you’ll be able to enjoy a new perspective each time.
This article first appeared in the October 2008 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
Meet me Under the Marquee! It used to mean you were meeting someone for a special movie. Now it means you’re meeting for an extraordinary dining experience.
Walk into Geneva restaurant Citizen Kane, and you’re immediately drawn to its fresh open look with a handful of high top tables mixed in with booths and low tops. In the background the bar is in plain site. The space is inviting with a friendly neighborhood atmosphere where you’ll feel at home by yourself, with a date or as a family.
But just when you think you have an understanding of what Citizen Kane is, you look at its unique menu created by Chef Richard Fields. Definitely not pub grub!
Start with an appetizer of Crab Cakes, Seared Ahi Tuna or Steamed Mussels. How about a salad? Does a Roasted Beet or a Quinoa Salad sound good? Adding soup? Try their signature Jalapeno Avocado Bisque.
Citizen Kane’s entrées are just as diverse as their starters, ranging from Creole Meatloaf with Andouille Sausage to Pan Roasted Tilapia. Don’t worry. For the less adventurous, there are plenty of selections like the Citizen Kane Burger, pasta or vegetable entrées. You might want to save room for dessert! Chef Richard offers Key Lime Pie (a recipe he created while living in the Florida Keys), Roasted Banana Cheesecake, Bread & Butter Pudding and Chocolate Knockout Tart.
Flavorful and friendly definitely describes Citizen Kane! If you want to make a night of it, dine Thursday or Saturday evening when they have late night entertainment.
Citizen Kane, 630-208-0500, is open for lunch and dinner and is located Under the Marquee at 319 West State Street.
“Flavorful and friendly definitely describes Citizen Kane!”
This article first appeared in the September 2008 issue of eGeneva Magazine.
Walking into Old Towne Pub, you immediately feel at home, as though when you walked through the door, you’d be pleasantly greeted with a “Hey, Norm!” The dress is casual – no ties required – which really sets the tone for the atmosphere. A wood and brick interior reminds you that you are in a real, old-fashioned pub.
As I took a seat at one of their high-top tables, the smell of popcorn from the back corner begged my nose to meet my stomach half-way. I was there for the menu food though, so the popcorn would have to wait. Within moments of my taking a seat, my friendly waitress greeted me and asked how I was, welcoming me and making me happy.
I ordered some appetizers – the combo if I remember correctly. I had always thought that appetizers were supposed to be a small warm-up, but be prepared: These appetizers mean business. When the meals arrived, I was, admittedly, intimidated (in a good way, trust me). The portions are fantastic; just make sure you’ve brought your appetite. I had their turkey Reuben, and I was reminded of what a sandwich is supposed to be: Plenty of meat, plenty of dressing and condiments. I also had their brat, and as a man who enjoys his brats, I was not disappointed at all. On the side, I tried some of their salsa with chips, both fresh and tasty, and, of course, French fries.
I paid my bill, which was more than reasonable, and took off. As I walked out, I thanked my friendly waitress, but truthfully, it was my stomach that was doing the real thanking.
Pat Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois, majoring in broadcasting. Pat enjoys music and film and can usually be seen reading or writing in a local coffee shop.
This article first appeared in the August 2008 issue of eGeneva Magazine.