Stockholm’s this year celebrates its 20th anniversary as a restaurant and microbrewery in the heart of Geneva, arriving well ahead of the craft beer boom.
A vintage building is the setting for the comfortable space with tables, high-tops and a long bar serving as the focal point.
In a front window sits a vat that helps launch a delicious array of fresh brews. Instead of a “flight,” Stockholm’s offers a “voyage,” with five, 4-ounce pours, the moniker perhaps inspired by the Swedish-named restaurant’s Viking ship painting on the wall.
We perused the food and drink menus that pair brews with featured dishes. My companion enjoyed the Doc’s porter, which lived up to its billing of creamy wheat, sweet oats and notes of coffee and hop bitterness.
Stockholm’s offers a variety of soups daily, and we began the meal with the clam chowder, chock-full of tender clams in a creamy base.
It was a hit, as was our appetizer, a special of the month for September, starring a large portabella mushroom filled with spinach and accented with red bell pepper, shallots, garlic and balsamic. Taking its place for October is spicy, bacon-wrapped shrimp.
My fellow diner ordered the rib-eye sandwich on toasted ciabatta, a generous dish featuring tasty, well-prepared steak with cheese and caramelized onions.
I vacillated between the always excellent burgers at Stockholm’s, and the tempting salads – from ahi tuna to salmon.
In the end, I opted for the Stockholm’s Dip, with shaved roast beef topped with grilled onions and provolone cheese with a side of au jus and horseradish sauce. It’s normally served on a toasted ciabatta roll, but I switched it up to gluten-free bread. Nicely seasoned fries accompanied the sandwiches.
The menu offers an eclectic mix of entrees including seafood, tacos and pasta dishes, several made with specialty sausage from Geneva’s own Josef’s meats. And in homage to Scandinavia, Stockholm’s presents its handmade Swedish meatballs with sherry cream sauce. Steaks, chops and ribs round out the offerings. Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the brewery sports a patio in back.
It pays to leave room for dessert, with such classics as cheesecake and carrot cake to Sticky Toffee Pudding topped with ice cream from Graham’s in Geneva. The naturally gluten-free, flourless chocolate cake is served warm with a molten fudgy center. The root-beer float stars the brewery’s homemade small batch root beer and Graham’s vanilla bean ice cream.
As we dined, regular patrons streamed into the convivial space, greeting the friendly staff. The sound level is conducive to conversation, and welcoming hospitality is the order of the day.
• 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
WHERE: 306 W. State St. (Route 38), Geneva