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Nov 27, 2007 08:33 AM

Geneva, IL rests? [moved from Midwest board]

I am looking for the best restaurant in Geneva--most recent post is from 08/06.

Is Isabell's still the best, Niche or something else? Looking for fab food in cozy, xmasy atmosphere on main drag (or close side street).

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thanks Nsxtasy, but one focused only on burnches (and was from 08/06 also) and one focused on Naperville restos.

      Any ideas of new places in Geneva with great food and cozy, too?

      1. re: ljero

        The topic on brunches was started in 2006 but includes various recommendations from just a few months ago. And the topic on the Naperville area included several recommendations in Geneva.

        I haven't been there yet, but the chef from Tia Maria's opened a new Mexican restaurant called Bien Trucha. I included it in the topic I created on Mexican restaurants at

        BTW, here are links to websites for Isabella's and Niche:
        Isabella's -
        Niche -

        1. re: nsxtasy

          I haven't tried it either but Bien Trucha is just a tiny place with maybe 4 tables inside. Think of it more as a carry out place. We enjoyed Urban Grille but went shortly after they opened and the service was a mess, no one seemed to know where they should be. I liked the idea of selecting my burger with choices of how big, what sauce, what cheese, what bun, what topping. I thought it was good for a lunch place but no so much for dinner. We also haven't tried Wildwood on South Third Street in the Dodson complex with it's grilled steaks and chops but I have heard good things.

          1. re: LikestoEatout

            Yes, Wildwood was recommended in that other topic (the one on Naperville).

            Also, has anyone been to any of these?

            Atwater's -
            Foxfire -
            Le Berry Bistro -

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Foxfire is closed. Berry Bistro should be closed. Atwater's is very good but very expensive. Wildwood is consistently excellent and is probably my favorite restaurant in Geneva.

              Between Niche and Isabella's, IMO Niche has better service, food quality is equal (though I personally prefer the Mediterranean influence at Isabella's), and Isabella's is less expensive.

              I recently heard there was a new prix-fixe-only restaurant in Batavia. Has anyone been there?

              1. re: markh

                I missed Foxfire's closing, that must have been very recent. Berry Bistro has been around a very long time and I was never sure how they survived, probably from tourist trafiic. I live in Batavia and haven't noticed anything new except the small place on Water Street around the corner from Walgreens. I thought they were a catering business. The only new independant place I know of is The Turf Room in North Aurora at the corner of Orchard and Randall, it's primarily steakhouse fare and is also an OTB facility. It's been open about a month, so far we haven't been interested enough to try.

                1. re: markh

                  Foxfire is not closed. They were closed Thanksgiving Day but are open, a friend had lunch there yesterday.

                  1. re: LikestoEatout

                    I went past Foxfire yesterday and was confused to see it open (and busy) after the reports on this board

                  2. re: markh

                    Not sure why you say Le Berry Bistro should be closed. I eat there often and the food is great, and resonably priced. The atmosphere is very private and personable. I have been there for lunch, dinner, and brunch, very resonable priced.

                2. re: LikestoEatout


                  I was hoping you would chime in on this topic since you are from that area, and probably one of the most knowledgeable of the areas food since you have actually eaten at many of the places in the Geneva area.. I have also been to Urban Grill and echo your review. I would throw Mill Race Inn into the mix


                  Have you been back to Cajun Ron's recently? My wife, daughter & I have only been back once since the LTH lunch we had there a few months ago.


                  1. re: swsidejim

                    We drove by Ron's a few weeks ago and it was packed! We were too tired from trip to Peoria to stop and deal with a crowd.

                    I have a friend who is a regular at Atwater's, I have not been but I respect his opinion of Atwter's having great food and atmosphere. I haven't been to Mill Race since they changed ownership 2 years ago or so, they suffered quite a bit of flood damage this past August and are now back up to speed. I haven't been to Foxfire in a number of months, pretty much standard steak/seafood/pasta mix. The building was long ago a garage or some thing and it's a pretty large, open space. I found it a little cold in atmosphere and the service a little stiff. Le Berry Bistro has never done much for me. Just average and not much that I would consider Bistro food, it's on the second floor of the Berry House shops on Third Street. I do miss Chez Francois where Niche is now but like what Niche is doing.

          2. Isabella's and Niche are both top notch. There's a newer place called the Urban Grille, but the food is more casual, (but still good) and their wine program pales in comparison to the excellent choices that Isabella's and Niche offer. I would say that Niche is my favorite, with Isabella's a close second, (food and wine are pretty much equal, with slightly better service at Niche.)
            If you're interested in something new, in the next town over, St. Charles, there is a new place called Farenheit that is supposed to have avant garde, upscale cuisine. I haven't been yet, but I hope to go soon!

            1. Have any of you tried the new tapas style resto in St. Charles? The name is escaping me...

              1. Niche is excellant. It has a quiet, elegant atmosphere and an excellant seasonal menu. If you want to go on a weekend, call and make reservations. Phone (630 262-1000. They are located at 14 S. Third Street which is right off the main drag. The Herrington Inn has a restaurant which also has a nice atmosphere. However, they are a bit pricier and the quality is not quite at the level of Niche. Perhaps I am prejudiced because I was upsold a bottle of water for 21 dollars which I felt was outrageous.
                If you get to town early, there is a lovely bakery close to the main drag called The Cocoa Bean. They have lovely baked pasteries. I find their macaroons and croisants excellant.

                2 Replies
                1. re: fryrose

                  Atwater's, mentioned by several folks above, is the restaurant in the Herrington Inn.

                  1. re: fryrose

                    We're great fans of Cocoa Bean. We love the mini pastries, usually getting four different ones and sharing.

                  2. I'm glad someone started a Geneva exclusive thread.

                    Bien Trucha is wonderful! Delicious and consistent. The biggest problem is the more word gets out about them, the harder it is for me to get a table. I have found that for the last month if I get there after 6pm (even during the week) I can't get a table. I don't live around the corner making take out impossible for me.

                    Went to Urban Grille once. Found the food good enough but service destroyed my experience.

                    Love Cocoa Bean. The almond croissants are the best I have ever had! Again, I am finding it difficult getting some on Sundays due to the popularity. Get there early.

                    I loved 302West. My sister worked in the kitchen there, so we knew the owners well. I am sure Jeremy is doing an incredible job with Niche, I just haven't had the desire to dine there yet.

                    Went to Foxfire once and found it boring. I hate when the same side of veg and potato is served with everything.

                    Isabella's and Wildwood are both on my short list. Thanks for sharing your reviews here. Any new places to try? My husband and I dine out a lot and love trying new spots.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

                      The croissants at Cocoa Bean did very well in the comparison taste test that u. of c. eddie conducted one day, as reported at He deemed them "worth the drive".

                      Cocoa Bean Fine Desserts
                      11 S. 7th Street

                      1. re: nsxtasy

                        Went to Niche less than a month ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. Had the foie gras starter and was nearly crying in delight. We drove from Algonquin, and was well worth it. Had been fans of 302 West and had been wanting to try Niche for awhile.

                        1. re: aviva1

                          Well, I guess I will have to plan to dine at Niche for my next celebration.