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Restaurant review: The Geneva Inn Restaurant in Lake Geneva Wisconsin is a typical, regular restaurant overlooking a not-so-typical lake at Lake Geneva. It doesn’t deliver what it promises, and we won’t be going back anytime soon
By Ray Hanania
I planned a great brunch to celebrate a family event so we decided to go to the Geneva Inn in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to enjoy a brunch.
Now, to most people, a brunch is a buffet style meal that blends both breakfast and lunch and even dinner items. It’s fun. It’s about the quality of the food and the variety. You go up to the buffet several times and feast.
Of course, not having been to the Geneva Inn before, I called ahead of time and spoke with the restaurant. I asked about the brunch and they said they didn’t have any openings until 12 noon. I thought, wow, that place must be packed. I said fine. I asked if they had a buffet assortment and I was assured, “Absolutely. It’s one of the best.”
Lake Geneva itself is a beautifully large lake filled with all kinds of water craft reflecting its wide range of public economy. Many of the homes around the lake run in the multi-million dollar range and are fabulous. Even the less expensive places are amazing to look at. I urge you to take a drive around the lake and check out some of the small neighborhoods around it. You would think a restaurant would strive to that level of phenomenality.
There are two nice public beaches where the regular people hang out and watch the wealthy skip through the lake waters on their mini-yachts.
One of the nicest places to watch the lake view is from the restaurant dining room at the Geneva Inn, which is located on the east side of the lake.
The only problem is the Geneva Inn doesn’t really have a brunch. They call it a “brunch” clearly to mislead people into thinking they are going to get an impressive array of food. The restaurant instead offers a menu that has breakfast items and lunch items in it, and you order your meal from it. It’s not a brunch at all and it’s not a big variety. No buffet. No assortment. No enjoyment.
It was extremely depressing, although the restaurant is located in the hotel which has parking, something that is difficult to find in Lake Geneva.
It was so bad, I wanted to leave. But the challenge of finding another place to eat and parking in Lake Geneva on a Sunday was daunting. So, I reluctantly stayed with my family and we struggled through the menu which honestly was only so-so.
I ordered the “Lobster Scrambled Eggs” and if that is their idea of lobster, maybe the chef must be from Louisiana where crayfish are sometimes called “the Southern lobster.” The taste was just okay. The bread which came with it wasn’t bad. But for $17, come on people! I would have paid $50 just to have real quality lobster at that view.
And it is not about the money. I was expecting to pay more for a wonderful brunch. It would be justified.
Sorry folks, but I just was that disappointed.
Normally, I avoid writing reviews of restaurants I don’t like, but in this case, the drive was long, the food was so under par it was disappointing, and I honestly wasn’t very happy with being misled by some PR person’s “spin” on the word “brunch” to promote a restaurant that doesn’t offer a Sunday brunch at all.
The food was unremarkable and not as enjoyable as one might expect at a restaurant that presents itself as this one does. But the location, the view and the property itself are impressive. It’s too bad though that they didn’t care enough to improve the menu at the restaurant. Had I not eaten, I would have had a great time.
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania writes columns for the Southwest Community Newspaper Group including the Des Plaines Valley News, the Southwest News-Herald, the Regional News and the Reporter Newspapers.
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