Luigia – Keep it Up

Before going out for a meal in Geneva, I usually make my peace with the fact that the experience will be lacking in some way, the food might be great, but the service sub-par, or the food and service may both be excellent but the atmosphere drab… wherever you go, it seems something will necessarily fall short of your expectations and make the overall experience a little less than memorable.

However, the occasional restaurant will get everything just right, and the client will be in for a treat: great food, great atmosphere and great service. I recently came across such a restaurant. Luigia, an Italian restaurant located by Rive, is one of Geneva’s newer establishments — in fact it’s still in its soft opening stage — but its pizza is as good as the staff is friendly and helpful, not to mention the restaurant’s simple yet modern interior design and lively atmosphere which make for a unique and memorable experience! Oh, if only Geneva had more places like this one.

Luigia’s pizza is different than any other I’ve tasted in Geneva, the crust is charred and blistered to perfection and the mozzarella and tomato sauce complement each other beautifully. If you’re craving something sweet — and rich — after dinner, I recommend the Nutella pizza, only if you’re planning to share it with several other people though, it is highly unlikely one person could finish it in one sitting.

Naturally, it is difficult to judge a restaurant before it’s been around for a while, but if Luigia keeps up its current standards, not only will it get an A+ as far as I’m concerned, but it will raise the bar for other restaurants in Geneva, many of whom currently seem to feel they can get away with lackluster efforts because they have no real competition to keep them on their toes.

Keep it up, Luigia!

Pictured below: a margherita pizza followed by a nutella pizza

Luigia - margherita pizza

Luigia - Nutella Pizza

  • Your description of the Geneva restaurant environment is spot on! What a shame for such an important & and international city!

    Heard good stuff about Luigia, going there very soon. Passed by today as I live cloes and it looks already very ‘un-Geneva’, which is a good thing!



  • Anonymous

    Has the author been paid by the restaurant?! The place as you walk in is great, right from the neon lights at the entrance to the warehouse feel interior and buzzy atmosphere. Alas that is where I think it stops. The reviews for the restaurant are fantastic, but it is probably because this is a new place in Geneva and unfortunately with the food and service the way it is, they will not be great for long. Don’t get me wrong, the food is not bad, but the pizzas are a touch gimmecky and a few francs more expensive than normal for average quality, the bologneise is made with no tomatoes(?), different but not what you want, and the service seems very confused. All in all I was looking forward to dining here and came away really disappointed. Sorry.

  • Ralph, thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated. Hopefully Luigia, and other places like it, will set new standards for Geneva’s restaurants.

  • Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for stopping by. And no I haven’t been paid by Luigia… nor do I own it! This blog barely gets a few hits a month, it really wouldn’t make sense for any restaurants to pay me to promote their efforts.

    More importantly, however, that is not the purpose of this blog. It is merely a place to discuss what limited dining options we have here in Geneva. I fully acknowledge my reviews are completely subjective.

    Now about the pizza, which the review was based on, I personally feel it’s one of the best I’ve had in Geneva, many of the people I have spoken to either feel the same way, or at least think it is a very good pizza. But you know what they say, there is no accounting for taste. As for the bolognese you mention, I’m not in any position to comment since I haven’t tasted any of Luigia’s pasta dishes. Furthermore, bolognese is not something I typically order at a restaurant, so I’m not sure I’ll ever be in a position to comment on the quality of that particular dish.

    Having said that, I fully respect your point of view and most certainly welcome diversity of opinion on this blog. Also, whether they’re positive or negative, reviews of items on the menu I haven’t sampled are extremely useful, so for that, I am also grateful.

    Finally, while I do hope people find my reviews somewhat helpful, I can only suggest my posts not be taken too seriously: they’re just one girl’s opinion!

  • Like Ralph, I find your description of the Geneva restaurant scene very accurate, so much so that I often prefer going to Lyon for a true gourmet week-end.

  • Anonymous

    Their motto is: the best of Italy in Geneva … I DO NOT agree. The place is nice with a modern style, the pizza is ok 7/10 but the service: forget it! For the price you pay your pizza they could hire qualified staff. The restaurant manager is only able to ask:”is the pizza good?” … You order a bottle of wine and you get after 20 minutes a glas of wine, I’ve ordered a bottle of water and i’m still waiting… Such a shame!

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous said…….. Do not agree with their motto, The place might be nice, but is very noisy, I was told you cannot reserve, and upon arriving at the restaurant, i was told no place, you shld reserve… the Pizza, was cold, and not at all, what I expected, far from being the best, Pizza
    October 1st 2010

  • Thank you for your feedback, David, please feel free to let us know what some of your favorite restaurant in Lyon are. I know a lot of Genevans like to head elsewhere on the weekend, be it other Swiss cities or neighboring European cities.

  • To the September 26 and October 4 readers, wow, little did I know my posts about Luigia would cause such a reaction, don’t get me wrong, it’s great, I love hearing what everyone else thinks, it’s certainly difficult to make an objective assessment of an establishment solely based on one’s own experience.

    I believe I’ve had a total of five meals at Luigia since it opened, and I do appreciate all of the comments everyone has made here, but I must say I continue to support what Luigia is trying to do. I’m hoping that the mere fact that they’re attempting something different will keep other restaurateurs on their toes, and help them understand that when you go out for a night on the town, chances are you’re looking for a little more than someone else to cook your food for you. You probably want an experience that is unique in several more ways, perhaps a great atmosphere, certainly flawless service, a nice venue is always appreciated, etc.

    Look forward to hearing more about this from everyone…

  • Anonymous

    ridiculous, on the phone they tell you, you cannot reserve, but you will be asked to come either late or early (9.30 or before 7, can you believe it?!). believe it or not, when i got there they asked me whether i had reservation.

    finally and that’s a sad point to make: for geneva and having low expectations at gva’s gastronomy in general, it’s a good addition, if you just walk in (early enough or late), being lucky to get a table, being fine with a rather poor service and being happy with a 7 out of 10 points rated pizza…

  • Anonymous

    I am going there for lunch today with 2 friends. It will be a first for the 3 of us. The owner is the owner of Capocaccia and the ex-partner of Quirinale who left for personal reasons a few years back which explains the presence of the Nutella pizza.

    I am planning to be there at 11.45 in order to grab a table early. I shall post my sincere feedback afterwards.

  • Nov. 12 comment: Thank you for giving us some background on the restaurant, I was also under the impression that Capocaccia and Luigia belong to the same people, and had heard somewhere that someone from Quirinale was also now on staff, though I somehow thought it was the chef.

    Quirinale is another restaurant I would like to review sometime, but I haven’t had the chance to go yet.

    I look forward to hearing your feedback! Thanks again!

  • Nov. 4 comment: Thank you for your feedback, never thought this post would generate this much debate, but I love it!!! I see there are still some very mixed feelings about the Luigia experience in general…

  • Anonymous

    Have been to the restaurant….the food is good and so is the decor….its a bit glitzy, but thats what we need on a depressing cold winter’s evening…cheers you up.
    And above all they are open on Sunday’s —In geneva, you have to really find places to take your family out on Sunday evening…


  • Anonymous

    Been only once to Luigia: Services was slow and inaccurate. Food is standard, the pizza was not much better than Da Paolo or similar spots in Geneva, guess is the fact the cheese is not really mozzarella and the pasta is half industrial. There used to be a place that made a more decent pizza called il Giardino Romano, but it has change owner and I have not been since. Cheers

  • Anonymous

    I had the truffles and they were exquisite. Though I’m afraid the beef carpaccio left something to be desired – utterly bland, served over rucola with a couple of flavorless tomatoes – one aperitivo to be skipped.

    As for the atmosphere, fun, if a bit crass. What’s with the large mickey and mini mouse paraphernalia by the bathroom?

    If you want to avoid the noise, there is also a smaller and quieter upstairs, though it’s a bit hidden.

  • Anonymous

    p.s. Does the blogger happen to be Caitlin Z?

  • In response to the last comment: nope, sorry – no Caitlin Z. here…

  • In response to the previous comment: everyone I know who has had the truffles seems to have enjoyed them immensely. I, for one, don’t especially care for truffles to begin with, so I probably wouldn’t have much valuable input to contribute here.

    I had no idea you could be seated upstairs, would love to try that sometime. As for the restaurant’s interior design, I think they were going for something fun if a little kitschy, and Luigia being a family restaurant, the cartoon characters are probably intended to help make it as inviting for children as it is for adults. Well that’s my take anway…

    Many thanks for your comment and I certainly look forward to reading more of what you guys have to say! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Just had lunch at Luigia’s and I liked it a lot.
    Had the Luigia pizza which is served in a novel way, excellent taste, good timing and temperature. Loved the truffle shavings.
    Staff was helpful and quick. No reservations and paying at the exit makes it uncomplicated.
    Like the interior. Makes a nice change.
    I’d give it 8 out of 10 easily.

  • To the person who posted the April 6 comment, definitely agree with you, every time I go, the staff is pleasant and helpful…

  • Anonymous

    Pizzeria Luigia: a place where only people not coming from Italy can enjoy to be robbed there! Enjoy if you have a lot of many and no sense of price-to-quality!

  • To the person who left a comment on May 11, are there places in Geneva you would recommend, where you don’t feel people are being robbed and are getting food value for their money? Would love to read your thoughts. Thanks!

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