That pretty much sums up my experience at Genoa. The service and the food were impeccable and it definitely lived up to my expectations after reading so many positive reviews.
Genoa is known for special occasion dining, a place where people celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and such. They offer a 5 course prix fixe meal for $65 and the average dining time is somewhere between 2.5 to 3 hours so be ready for the time commitment. Don’t worry, it goes by fast especially if you are with someone you like! My Genoa occasion happened to be an anniversary and it didn’t feel like we were there as long as we were (just about 2.5 hours). The courses came steadily but you had time to digest a bit and talk about how amazing the dish was before the next one arrived. We practically had the place to ourselves because we dined on a Sunday night with only 2 other couples so it was nice and intimate. Our waiter was great. He took the time to explain the ingredients in each dish and was very attentive without being overly so.
On this particular night, the menu offered items I’ve never even heard of. Salsify? Uni butter? Thank goodness for google and my trust in the chef who did not disappoint. Our meal started with an amuse-bouche of beets with shaved smoked cod. A nice start to the evening along with our cocktails (pear and prosecco for me and some strong madman drink for him).
Our primi course followed shortly after which was local salsify (a plant with an edible root), shaved beef tongue, horseradish crème fraîche and salsa verde. Incredible flavor and textures to keep each bite different yet always delicious. The tongue was rich and very beefy tasting, which surprised me because I thought it would be a bit milder than it was.
Our primi course was a house made pasta with braised pork cheeks and mascarpone filling tossed in uni butter. Seriously one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten. It just melted in my mouth and it was light yet rich in flavor and I could have easily eaten another plate of it.
The insalata course was next and consisted of dungeness crab, satsuma, compressed endive and vanilla oil. Mad genius stuff going on here. I wouldn’t even think to put these ingredients together and it was divine. When the plate arrived, I could immediately smell the seafood and it was so fresh and we both took a moment to breathe in the scent before taking a bite.
For our secondi course I chose the roasted squab, balsamic sunchokes, pickled apple and brown butter sunchoke purée and the boyfriend selected the pan seared elk loin, braised and charred leeks, broken potatoes and ash. Neither one of us had eaten squab or elk so we were both very pleased with our main dishes. The squab (pigeon and dove family) reminded me of well, chicken but the darker of the meat portion with an earthier taste.
To end our meal we both ordered dessert and for the life of me I have no idea what he ordered even though I took pictures of it so I will only include mine which was a meyer lemon butter cake, sorbetto and satsumas. The cake was rich and buttery and the sorbetto was a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the satsumas and sauce. They also gave us salted truffles and a soft almond cookie to end the evening and both were delicious.
So was it worth the money? Yes!!It’s a food experience and unlike anything you’ll come across during a normal night out for dinner. Their menu changes weekly so it will always be a unique offering and if you are love food and trying new things then you must eat here one day. Worth every penny.