I had the pleasure of helping put together, and attending a media dinner at Niche Restaurant in Geneva, IL. Myself and three others took the Metra train out to Geneva and walked a short four-ish blocks to the restaurant. Geneva is such a cute town, I look forward to venturing back out in the summer.
Niche serves American Contemporary cuisine, utilizing locally grown produce, artisan cheeses & meats, along with fresh daily seafood. Executive Chef Serena Perdue is a traditionally French trained chef who worked at NoMI before becoming Executive Chef at Niche. The restaurant also boasts an award winning wine list and an award winning Sommelier. Everything on the menu looked so good that we all ordered different meals in order to sample as much of the menu as possible. Here is the phenomenal meal that we had.
Duval-Leroy Brut NV
We started the evening with a beautiful Champagne toast that took us through the cheese plate.
Artisan Cheese Plate Hidden Falls, Midnight Moon and Shaft’s Aged Bleu
All of the cheeses were tasty, but we were all most excited to try the Shaft’s Aged Bleu that is aged a minimum of 1 year in a goldmine shaft. It was absolutely delicious and paired well with their fresh lavash crackers.
Sauvignon Blanc I knew I planned on having seafood based dinners and prefer Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay so I went with the house Sauv Blanc the rest of the evening.
Burgundy Snails Tempura snails, parsley puree, mire poix, chablis glaze
Of everything we ate, this was my least favorite. It wasn’t bad at all, just not my cup of tea. It was my first time trying snail, and will most likely be my last.
Shrimp and Grits Marinated shrimp, white hominy, spice shrimp glace
These were so, so good! The shrimp were tasty, the sauce was very flavorful and had a great spicy kick, and the grits were so creamy and delicious. This was the dish that I felt no remorse for grabbing the last bite.
Arugula Salad piquillo pepper, kalamata olives, egg yolk, capers, red wine vinaigrette
Delicious salad with a wonderful combination of flavors.
Lobster Saffron Risotto Saffron arborio rice, fennel, haricot vert, roasted cherry tomatoes, orange, vanilla foam
This was easily the best dish I have had in a very long time. I cannot begin to explain how good this was. The risotto was cooked to perfection, it was slightly creamy but not so heavy that it weighs you down, and the lobster was delicious. Plus, the portion was so perfect that you were left feeling completely satisfied but ready for dessert. If you try one thing from this blog post, absolutely try the Lobster Saffron Risotto. I hope to make it back before the menu changes so I can have this one more time.
Peppermint Bombe white chocolate peppermint mousse, devils food cake, chocolate mirror glaze, chocolate bark
If you like peppermint and chocolate desserts, this is quite tasty. I think it would be the perfect dessert during the holiday season.
Niche Coffee Coffee, Grand Marnier, Irish Cream and whipped cream
This after dinner drink was fantastic, and here is a step-by-step look at how it is crafted.
Grand Marnier lit on fire:
Grand Marnier fire caramelizing the sugar rim:
Adding Irish Cream and Coffee:
And finally fresh whipped cream:
As I mentioned, we all ordered different dishes in order to try more of the menu. Here are the other dishes that I was fortunate enough to sample that evening.
Seared Scallops Carrot honey puree, toasted Israeli cous cous, lime, English cucumber, ginger beurre blanc
As good as they look, maybe even better.
Butternut Ravioli fresh pasta, roasted broccoli rabe, roasted pear, brown butter, pine nuts, house made squash chips
Winter Cassoulet White beans, Toulouse sausage, chicken thigh, Tuscano kale
Brulee Banana Puff pastry, pastry cream, almond ice cream, chocolate sauce
Chocolate and Strawberry two flavors of cheesecake, crunchy chocolate graham crackers and strawberry jewels
Sticky cake Moroccan date cake warmed with hot toffee and cold creme fraiche
That was a lengthy blog post, but the food was so great I didn’t want to skip anything. Next time you find yourself in the Western burbs of Chicago, I highly recommend giving Niche a try. Cheers!