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Joan Knows: A 'quiet, cozy Italian restaurant' in Geneva

How to review a restaurant, though I have never been there? My solution, as you will see, is to ask good people. The first choice in this venture will be Chianti’s on Third Street in Geneva.

I asked Tina Z., who is a server there, for some comments. By the way, she is the daughter of Mr. Z. and me. She suggested I ask frequent customers, and she gave me some names.

At the top of the list was Caryl and John Van Overmeiren. Well, I have known John since grade school, when he became my hero. That day, a bully had pushed me down some stairs, and John stood up for me.

He’s been a tough guy ever since, and now he has one of those really big battles in life. We all know he’s going to fight to the finish.

Caryl has been a friend since high school. Now, she is a retired nurse and was once a member of the County Board.

Here’s what Caryl says: “Chianti’s is our favorite restaurant because it is a quiet, cozy Italian restaurant. In the cool weather, the fireplace is great with a low fire glowing. The music is lovely, the service is prompt and friendly, especially Tina, our very favorite waitress. As for the menu, two sizes for portions, lunch and dinner and the prices are reasonable. The food is always delicious and a nice menu to choose from. Our favorites are the house salad cut into small bite-sized pieces, gently covered with the honey mustard salad dressing. John’s special meal is the Cajun Chicken Tortellini and hot rolls. Caryl’s favorite is Sausalito Fettuccine. The wine list is ample and has its specials on Thursdays.”

Another reliable source is cousin Barb Grozis, who always orders the Garlic Crab. She and Jim recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and Tina brought along to the party a pan of the Garlic Crab.

I did go online to see what others have said, and over and over again there was mention of the garlic dipping sauce and breadsticks.

At this point, wouldn’t you think a server with access to carryouts would recognize her parents’ anniversary on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, and bring home some selections from the very long and appetizing menu?

Since I don’t get out just now until I’m back in the wheelchair, I do rely on fast food selections, which Mr. Z brings home. I used to favor the sausage, egg and cheese croissant at Dunkin’ Donuts.

However, recently the croissant has been more like a hot dog bun, which ruins the effect of the sandwich. So my other tip might be the chicken sandwich at Arby’s or something with the cheese curds at Culver’s. Well, I imagine this has made you a bit hungry, dear reader. The same goes for me. But I have to watch my special diets. Maybe I’ll just have half a sandwich and share it with our dog, Bucky.

Joan Arteberry is a longtime resident of St. Charles. Write to her at

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