Lake Aire Review
For over 50 years, the Lake Aire has occupied, arguably, the most valuable real estate corner in this vacation paradise. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, 82 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois, has long been a four-season playground for area elite as well as the hoi polloi. Watersports and beaches in the summer, skiing, snowmobiles in the winter.
While the restaurant shows its age, it wears it well, and is the perfect destination for people who appreciate standard American food with a sprinkle of nostalgia.
They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and their sign posts “breakfast served all day” which is always a plus for me. I’ve posted their menus below, and they are also online here.
My fellow diner ordered the traditional eggs benedict (Florentine option also available), eggs were poached perfectly, hollandaise creamy, English muffins toasted correctly. (I know a restaurant in New Orleans that sells them for $35 and they are served on Melba toast. Can you imagine?)
I went with the pork tenderloin (they call it “Country Fried Pork” on the menu) and eggs, rye toast. As far as I could see, breakfasts potatoes are always ala carte, I passed on them. I’ve had some amazing tenderloins in my life, most recently in Walcott, Iowa, but there were giant ones in a small town bar in Lenore, Illinois, and at an old-timey drive-in at Kokomo, Indiana (no connection with Beach Boys song).
The Lake Aire’s version was good, crispy crust, the meat remained tender, flavorful, and juicy. Sausage gravy at ample chucks of pork sausage in it, so it was a pork on pork meal. Homer Simpson would have appreciated it.
The rye toast was of the marble variety, no complaints but I would have preferred more butter. Sure, I could have asked for it, but I didn’t. One out of thousand times, “healthy lifestyle” prevails in my thinking. OK, one of of five thousand times.
The server was affable and professional. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s somehow involved in ownership.
Final aside, their coffee is great. Complete with real half/half on the side.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy about the experience had nothing to do with the restaurant or meal. And this issue burns me every single time I go to Lake Geneva. I hate the downtown parking meter system. Probably some company sold the city a contract that they’d install for free in return for a large portion of the revenue. It’s the ticket on the dashboard variety, except you have to enter your license plate, and it’s only available in two-hour increments. The screen is hard to read. The system is basically a nightmare for seniors and the disabled. Oh well.
As promised, the menus. Click to enlarge.