Road Trip: Lake Geneva

Last weekend, my sister performed in the  Geneva Theater Live Music Series in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Since I was accompanying her on a few songs, we drove up before the show to have dinner and check out what Lake Geneva had to offer. The answer: not so much, at least for this snobby Chicagoan. Lake Geneva is a typical midwestern resort town; screaming kids with drippy ice cream cones dominate the sidewalks and kitschy boutiques are crammed full of tourists desperate to buy something or another.  To me, Lake Geneva seemed to lack the quiet charm and sophistication that Harbour Country, Michigan exudes.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Always true to form, after schlepping around the streets and shops for an hour or so, we sought out libations. We found our way to Pop More Corks, a wine shop with an interesting philosophy behind it:

If you walk into Pop More Corks and browse the shelves you won’t see prices marked on the bottles. By design, David [Biegemann, owner] doesn’t want anyone to buy a bottle of wine based solely on price without having an exchange of thoughts and ideas about the wine’s best uses, its history, and something about the producer.

Luckily, we walked in just in time for a wine tasting. The store was packed (aah, how people love free wine!) but that didn’t prevent owner David Biegemann from making sure that everyone had a glass and a piece of information about the wine they were tasting. When we asked for a recommendation of a wine that we couldn’t find anywhere in Chicago, David quickly suggested a special Barolo that normally would sell for double the amount that he was charging.

Pop More Corks, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Tempura House, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Maki, Tempura House, Lake Geneva.

For dinner, we walked down Center Street to Tempura House, Lake Geneva’s answer to Japanese cuisine. Shrimp and vegetable tempura were excellent, and the steak and chicken hibachi was not bad. My sister and her boyfriend ordered maki rolls, which looked divine. We sat on Tempura House’s patio and enjoyed the last few spurts of warm summer air and then went off to perform in a movie theater in Lake Geneva’s square.

More Maki, Tempura House, Lake Geneva.

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One response to “Road Trip: Lake Geneva

  1. You’re killing me with your take on Geneva! Lake Geneva is so much more than kitschy shops, and if your weekend consisted solely of what you wrote about, I can see how you’d come to that conclusion. The sofistication you require is readily available if you had ventured out onto the water, strolled the shore path, or had dinner at Medusa. It’s difficult to enjoy Lake Geneva if you were stuck in the downtown tourist trap all weekend. Give Lake Geneva another try, and this time, get out of town! New Buffalo blows.

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