Its menu is dominated by fresh ingredients and homemade dough — not to mention a few seasonal specialties derived in this chef-driven restaurant. See why Genevans are excited about this new eatery.
It’s 7 a.m., and the Gia Mia kitchen is bustling with activity. The chefs are kneading dough and making fresh mozzarella while owner Brian Goewey watches for a fresh delivery of produce.
“Nothing is processed – the food here is clean and fresh,” Goewey says. “We cook the pasta every day. Produce is delivered seven days a week. We’re not buying dough from a freezer somewhere – this is as fresh as it is in Naples.”
Goewey never went to culinary school, but his passion for food has been apparent since he began cooking in college. Gia Mia, in Geneva, is Goewey’s third restaurant. He also owns Fire + Wine in Glen Ellyn and a Gia Mia in Wheaton.
But Geneva is Goewey’s hometown, and he aspired to open a family-friendly, community-centric dining establishment in his own community.
In March 2016, he accomplished that goal.
“This was just a natural fit,” Goewey says. “We saw the property become available and we thought ‘you know what, it would be fun to rally our relationships in this community.’ It came together really well and that’s how we ended up here.”
The menu at Gia Mia is dominated by small plates, pasta and an assortment of fresh salads. Woodfired pizzas with charred edges, a chewy crust and simple toppings come straight out of a brick oven imported from Italy.
The house-made meatballs are always a hit, along with the ricotta and honeycomb.
“We literally take a whole honeycomb from farmers, cells and all, and cut it into little pieces,” Goewey says. “You smear it with ricotta on fresh bread, and it’s just fantastic.”
Once a quarter, Gia Mia changes 40 percent of the menu to reflect what’s fresh in the market. The other 60 percent of the menu stays the same – reflecting the popular dishes customers love and expect.
Goewey is proud to offer a chef-driven menu.
“A lot of places just have cooks or kitchen managers, but we hire chefs,” Goewey says. “These are people who have a passion to show up everyday and make their food better. We taste everything on the menu every day – food is our main focus.”
Gia Mia also is known for its city-of-Chicago feel out in the ‘burbs. A clean, urban atmosphere is apparent from the trendy art on the walls to the louder, upbeat music playing over the speakers.
Customers can expect a more casual greeting from their server.
“People find that we’re eclectic and a little more down-to-earth,” Goewey says. “The service isn’t stuffy at all. It’s a little bit louder in here, so we’re not going to be your fine dining place, but you’re not going to get a fine dining price, either.”
Goewey plans to own and operate Gia Mia for as long as the community stays invested.
“This is a tough, tough business,” Goewey says. “It’s a little overwhelming that people like our food, environment and management as much as they do, but we just keep working hard. We’re going to keep our passion for food, and for the community, at the forefront of everything we do.”