The Mystery Diner had the pleasure of visiting the patio at Gia Mia in Geneva twice recently, once with a luncheon group and again for dinner.
A pergola is over the patio seating behind the restaurant, which adds an architectural flourish to the space. Because it doesn’t completely block the sun, umbrellas shade tables for added comfort while patrons dine al fresco.
With one exception, our group all selected the daily deal on the pairing of a personal, wood-fired pizza accompanied by one’s choice of salad between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Neapolitan-style pizza is a signature item at Gia Mia, and I opted for the gluten-free crust, which came out with a nice crispness to it. The toppings of roasted pear, caramelized onion, gorgonzola, mozzarella and arugula were delicious. My baby kale salad was dominated by the green, accented by radish, slivers of cheese and added tidbits.
Other salads are beet and farro, with pistachios, spinach and goat cheese; and the Italian Farm, with leafy greens, soppressata, onion, peppers, tomato, cauliflower, olives and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
One of my companions praised her watermelon and feta salad entree, noting she can’t resist ordering it every time.
Service was attentive, right down to snapping a photograph for the group. Iced teas were kept refilled, and an Aperol spritz-style aperitif arrived looking like sunset in a glass. It was one of the summery cocktails gracing tables around us.
On an evening visit, the entrees provided a variety of temptations for something completely different.
My dining companion chose the wild mushroom sacchetti, delicate pasta purses filled with the rich funghi and lavished with a savory sauce. The excellent dish mingled more mushrooms with shallots, spinach, goat cheese and truffle oil.
“It was surprisingly light and tasty – worth a return trip,” he said.
I tried the chicken piccata, a generously portioned dish that exemplified the farm-to-fork motto at Gia Mia. Pan-roasted chicken breast in a lemon-accented wine sauce arrived with wonderfully fresh baby carrots, their tops intact, along with crispy roasted potatoes, artichoke hearts, spinach, shallot and capers. All the different elements were a treat.
For dessert, we couldn’t resist the pink grapefruit sorbetto, which popped with bright flavor and provided the perfect light course to cap our meal.
Gia Mia in Geneva is a half block north of State Street (Route 38), with seating at a premium on Mondays because of a half-price pizza deal.
Chef turned restaurateur Brian Goewey opened a downtown St. Charles location of Gia Mia at 31 S. First St. in 2020, and has brought the Italian-inspired eatery to several other west suburban communities.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Gia Mia
WHERE: 13 N. Third St., Geneva