Jul 26, 2014

You Rate the Restaurant: Atwater's

Atwater's is a four-diamond restaurant, but it's really up to you to decide how many diamonds or how many stars.

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  • Welcome to "You Rate the Restaurant," a new feature on Geneva Patch. Once a week, we’ll pick one of the city's many restaurants and ask for your opinion on it. You guys are the experts—so let us know that you think.

This is a tough call because there are so many great restaurants here, but right now, if I had to pick one place to go for dinner in Geneva, it probably would be .

We've been there a couple times in the past year, and we were delighted with each visit.

I love the intimate dining room with the view of the river. I've enjoyed the professionalism, experience and service of the staff. And the menu offers a dazzling and challenging array of appetizers, entrees, wines and desserts.

I chose the word "challenging" for a couple reasons. The first challenge at Atwater's, for me anyway, is what to order.

Our table might want a sampling of appetizers, maybe the Signature Crab Cakes, Truffle Fonduta, Confit of Duck Flatbread or Peppercord Encrusted Ahi Tuna.

For an entree, do you go with the San Francisco Cioppino (Sautéed Cold Water Lobster, Hawaiian Prawns, Day Boat Scallops and West Coast Mussels, Top Neck Clams with Tomato Fennel Broth), the White Marble Farms Bone in Pork Chop (Grilled Bone in Pork Chop with Butternut Squash Purée and Calvados Demi), the Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast (Pan Seared Duck Breast and Confit of Duck with Creamed Rainbow Swiss Chard, Lemon Sweet Pea Orzo and Brandied Cherry Reduction) or the Prime Filet Mignon (Grilled Prime Angus Filet Mignon with Caramelized Onions, Peruvian Fingerling Potatoes and Thyme Merlot Sauce)?

For dessert, how do you decide between Chocolate Flourless Truffle Mousse Cake, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake, or Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée?

I also use the word "challenging" because I think great chefs can be both geniuses and artists. The medium is food, and all five senses are invoked: sight, smell, taste, texture—even the sound of a sizzling plate, the clink of ice against glass or the crunch of the warm pecan tart.

A great meal is an experience. It proceeds on the plank of mood, and it can be advanced or shattered by any number of factors, from the quality of the conversation to a spot on the soup spoon. But at its nexus is the mind of the chef, the clever mixture of ingredients and preparation, the cerebral and aesthetic exercise that makes you say both "ah" and "ah ha!"

I'm overstating, bigtime, but I think that's a little of what's going on between Executive Chef Jason Tsoris and the folks who dine at Atwater's.

Of course, you'll see a lot of famous people have shared the experience, from movie stars to heads of state. And you'll remember most recently that Atwater's was visited by

But what's more important than what the celebrities think and say about Atwater's is what you say and think about Atwater's.  give us your review.

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