When you think of Geneva, you naturally think of antique stores and quaint strolls along the Fox River, but if you happen to be in the area this fall, your craving for Mexican street food and all things chocolate will also be more than satisfied.
Cocktails are made with a flourish, and the ceviche is both fresh and vibrant. A swanky downtown Mexican spot? Not even close. Bien Trucha has been one of Geneva's favorite restaurants for years, partly by avoiding cliches.
"In the United States, they usually think about Mexican food about a few things. We're trying to bring all the flavors we know and were born with those flavors and we decided to bring those flavors here to this restaurant," said Ricardo Garcia-Rubio, the owner of Bien Trucha.
They do that by not compromising. Tacos al pastor contain guajillo chile-marinated pork, along with grilled pineapple and morita salsa; other versions include beer-battered shrimp, napa cabbage and roasted serrano chile-and-mango salsa.
"This restaurant is inspired in the street food in Mexico," Garcia-Rubio said.
Just a few blocks away, the All Chocolate Kitchen makes a perfect stop for dessert. The name comes from the owner's creation of a replica of his kitchen - made entirely from chocolate. Some of his other sculptures grace the massive cafe space, but there's also homemade gelato, chocolate cake and ghosts made from pulled sugar.
"I decided to open a business and why not in Geneva? I mean Geneva has really a fine palate. A lot of people love the restaurants, lot of great food... and I say why not add beautiful chocolate and gelato and sugar and chocolate pieces?" said Alain Roby, the owner of the All Chocolate Kitchen.
Roby's creations are limited only by his creativity: chocolate-dipped macarons, caramel coconut apples, even pumpkin pie, and pumpkin caramels. He'll slowly shift his menu options depending on the seasons; that goes for his elaborate sugar decorations as well.
"People really like to have a blown sugar pumpkin for Halloween or for Thanksgiving or a beautiful poinsettia for Christmas. A Christmas tree. We do also a lot of work like this with sugar right here in the open kitchen so people can see this work being done right under their eyes," Roby said.
410 West State St., Geneva, IL
All Chocolate Kitchen
33 S. Third St., Geneva, IL