GENEVA – The Mystery Diner’s first visit to Nosh in downtown Geneva two years ago ended with positive feedback about its “innovative interpretations” of traditional breakfast fare. So, with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective, the Mystery Diner returned to Nosh to see if the cutesy enclave could churn out the same creative concoctions if ordered from the lunch menu.
Just behind All Chocolate Kitchen – off of Third street in downtown Geneva – is the nook where Nosh sits with its red emblem ablaze. A small, rather bland patio covered with an outdoor awning flanks the restaurant’s front entrance.
The entrance opens to an airy space with showing brick and duct work, boldly colored walls and a minimalistic approach to decor. A pair of wine-themed “vintage” framed art posters hang across a lavender, wood-paneled wall with sconces designating the space occupied by green- and gold-upholstered booths. Pistachio green, electric crimson and a more muted pink splash across other walls. Somehow the colors come together, similar to the flavor profiles in the food.
On a recommendation by our waitress, who couldn’t have been nicer or more attentive, I ordered one of her favorite lunch items on the menu – the Pressed Pork Sandwich ($9.99), made with griddle-pressed Italian bread stuffed with slow-roasted pulled pork, delicate layers of ham and jack cheese and a smattering of mojito sauce and garlic aioli. It didn’t take much convincing on her end.
My dining companion ordered the Mango BBQ Chicken Flatbread ($8.99), which comes with a layer of chopped chicken and bacon over a mango-infused barbecue sauce topped with cheddar cheese and shaved red onion. As advocates of Hawaiian-style pizza, the mango in the barbecue sauce piqued both of our interests.
Nosh offers pancake “tasting” sizes that come with half the portion for almost half the price for all of your sampling pleasure. Being first-timers to Nosh, we ordered a “tasting” portion of Violet’s Flapjacks ($4.99) so that we had something from the breakfast menu to compare our lunch items to. The order came with two (instead of four) blueberry-busting, southern-style pancakes topped with blueberry-lemon compote and a wedge of blueberry (of course) butter.
The food came out extremely quick. Cutting into the piping hot compote-covered pancakes the blueberry butter oozed between crevasses. The ratio between taking bites of the pancakes and my sandwich were probably two-to-one, but I loved the flavor combinations in the sandwich as well. It vaguely reminded me of a Cuban, but the garlic aioli and mojito sauce were distinct and added another layer of flavor. (Quick tip – ask for a side of the sweet mustard sauce for dipping. It’ll add an extra layer of sweet that teams nicely with the saltiness of the ham and pork.)
We went into the meal expecting to share, but my dining companion had a difficult time handing over a piece of flatbread – a good sign, I would imagine.
Turns out, Nosh handled lunch nicely. However, the pancakes ended up stealing the show. On the next visit to Nosh, I think Eggs Benedict (eight options to choose from) or the more health-conscious Bagel N’ Lox – a toasted bagel with cream cheese, red onion, tomato, capers and cured salmon – are in my future. But I think it’s safe to say, whatever menu you order from, you’ll leave as one satisfied diner.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits different restaurants throughout the month and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.