A New Lake Geneva Restaurant: Sopra

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Ae you looking for simple, understated elegance in a Lake Geneva restaurant? Go no further than Sopra. Suggested to me by a local shop owner, Sopra embraces a lot of what I am currently looking for: good food, and a locally sourcing community.

The Irish owner and Head Chef, Simon Cumming, was born in Dublin, Ireland. He added London, Tokyo, Portland, and Chicago to his history before moving to Lake Geneva. That explains a lot of the “micro-cosmic” sourcing pattern as Europe is known for utilizing what is prevalent in the area and creating the best way to let those ingredients shine. Sopra does that well with it’s diverse, yet eclectic menu.

Sopra: a New Lake Geneva Restaurant

The place

For a Lake Geneva restaurant, it is a study in contrasts. For an upscale venture, the staff wears black t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers topped with an almost floor-length European style upscale apron in black. The blue-grey walls are graced with matted and framed black and white prints and hi-light their grey-scale aspects. The wooden tables are paper covered and only topped with a faux candle under an exposed ceiling.

The paper covered tables that make customer transition easy, as COVID is a current fact of life. Other in place procedures for customer safety: Online reservation system that staggers seating, indoor and outdoor seating options, sanitizing stations, social distancing, masked staff*. We felt exceedingly safe and chose to order.

The food

Miss Sarah had the spaghetti, which was topped with an Italian sausage Bolognese and shaved Parmesan. The only thing missing was a piece of crusty bread, but it had almost a pound of pasta in the bowl. Just look at it:

Sopra: a New Lake Geneva Restaurant spaghetti dish

I had the grilled pork tenderloin with broccolini and pork demi-glaze, crimini mushrooms, and truffle fries. Check it out:

Sopra: a New Lake Geneva  grilled pork tenderloin dish

O. M. G.

The pork was flavorful, yet still moist – a thing that a lot of places fail to accomplish. It was also huge – easily a pound of meat. The broccolini was oven roasted and crispy. The crimini mushrooms were thinly sliced and perfectly with the pork demi-glazed atop the pork. The truffle fries? Probably the best I have ever let cross my lips. I couldn’t even eat half of my meal…

Ah-Mah-Zing

To mask or not mask

*Let’s talk a minute about the staff. And Masks. First of all, the NUMBER ONE thing people ask me in a private message, email, and my social media oi about how a venue is handling customer safety. It seems people really want a person to wear a mask if they are going to perform surgery on you, take care of their kids, or serve you food. It’s a pretty commonly known fact that wearing a mask won’t protect you, but it CAN help you from spreading this to other people – if you have it and aren’t aware of it yet. Maybe it an illusion of control that is passed on to consumers, but as COVID numbers rise across the United States, that simple mask becomes a hot button for a lot of people.

Like that female server who was complaining about them and having to wear them. We were seated at the table closest to the bathrooms and wait station (I would normally ask for a different table but not during COVID times). We could clearly hear the staff conversations over the softly playing music.

As I looked around at the other diners, and two parties at the bar? I realized THEY could hear them also. One woman was very set in her opinions and quite vocal about how stupid masks were. Diners were shaking their heads at some of her comments. I’m just glad we didn’t’ get to learn of a hot date or infected ingrown toenail at the same time as we were educated about all the fine details, features, and lack of benefits, as well as political agenda of masks.

I wasn’t surprised to learn Simon was off for the night. Employees are usually less bold when the boss is at work.

Bottom line? Simon is doing a great job. The food is amazing and portions beyond generous. The place is simple, clean, and Covid-nervous customer friendly. Prices are in line with the size and quality of the meals.

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