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Mystery Diner: Fiora's

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I enjoyed a meal last weekend that has lingered on my mind incessantly in the days since. This meal was at Fiora’s in Geneva on a busy Saturday night. After driving past Fiora’s so many times, and imagining the cozy interior which the building’s exterior seemed to suggest, I was eager to get inside and take it in.

Walking in the front entrance of Fiora’s feels like stepping inside the main entryway of a friend’s home. The hostess took our coats and hung them in a regular-sized coat closet, reinforcing the feeling of being a guest in someone’s own home. We were shown to our table for two in one of the restaurant’s dining areas. As with the main entryway, our dining area struck me as right out of someone’s own home – a very nice home, that is.

The earliest I was able to get a reservation was 8:30 p.m., so patrons at several other tables had finished their meals and were enjoying wine and conversation with friends. The reason I noticed this is because these patrons looked content and at ease in a way only a first-rate meal can provide. As excited as I was for whatever it was I would eat, I was already looking forward to enjoying a similar feeling myself at the conclusion of my meal.

We were promptly greeted by our server, who made us feel welcomed as she shared the night’s specials. I wasn’t in the mood for anything in particular, but as soon as I heard her say “Fisherman’s Stew,” I was as hooked as the fish I knew I’d soon be enjoying for dinner. More on that later, though.

The wine list is extensive at Fiora’s – the kind of list to go with a menu that makes you wish you had your own personal sommelier to help pick something good that would pair well with a given entree. Maybe next time though, as this Saturday night would be sans strong drink.

Back to the Fisherman’s Stew. I love seafood, so when our server recited the list of ingredients for this dish, it was lights out, decision made. Mahi-mahi, swordfish, crab legs, calamari, mussels and shrimp, on top of garlic ravioli. I’d barely been able to take in the whole menu when I heard the special, but I had no need for it once I had. Looking back at it, I suppose if they hadn’t had the Fisherman’s Stew, I might have tried their Spanish paella with saffron-scented risotto, mussels, fresh water shrimp and chicken, and topped with a pico de gallo. My dining partner ordered vegetable risotto.

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