Le Petit Voyageur is home to the inviting Atrium Café – Shaw Local

The sweet tradition of dining at the Atrium Café inside The Little Traveler coincides this year with the 100th anniversary of the unique collection of specialist departments tucked away in a former home on Geneva’s South Third Street.

Its website describes the shopping experience as “around the world in 36 rooms.”

After picking up our favorite grilling sauce from the food, wine and culinary section, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Atrium Café, a casual place to recharge. Sunlight from skylights streams into the palest pink painted room, complemented by the gentle sound of a central fountain surrounded by colorful faux flowers. Our attentive server brought our lemonade and iced tea and was quick to refill them.

The chicken salad with cranberries from the Atrium Café in Geneva.

My colleague chose the cranberry chicken salad. Not the mayonnaise variety, this wonderful recipe featured roasted chicken breast with cranberries, diced pears, walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese on a bed of mixed greens, and was served with a refreshing raspberry vinaigrette and with nuts. The pear was ripe and paired perfectly with the blue cheese and tender, moist chicken.

A slice of quiche Lorraine from the Atrium Café in downtown Geneva.

I was craving quiche and had a choice of two flavors of the day, one with spinach and cheese, and my selection, a slice of quiche Lorraine, the creamed egg topped with bacon, caramelized onions and of Swiss cheese in a pastry crust. Served with a strawberry garnish, it was a delicious light lunch.

A slice of pecan pie to take away from the Atrium Café in downtown Geneva.

We couldn’t resist taking home a slice of one of the made-from-scratch pies. Our server offered us a wide range of choices and we chose a delicious pecan.

In addition to soft drinks, the cafe offers wine and mimosas. On the sandwich side, entrees that have tried include the lightly sautéed crab cake topped with melted Swiss cheese and served with lemon-dill aioli on a croissant.

From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, guests can order from the regular lunch menu or enjoy the all-inclusive brunch, an excellent value offering a choice of assorted egg dishes or Swedish pancakes, accompanied by a freshly baked cinnamon roll, two thick slices of applewood smoked bacon, seasoned, oven-roasted country potatoes, and coffee or tea. Reservations are required for Mother’s Day Brunch, as well as formal afternoon teas served Tuesday through Saturday.

People can order whole pies, quiches, soups and other takeout meals from the cafe, which can be reserved for special occasions.

We enjoyed our lunch, and while you are welcome to linger, the efficient service makes it ideal for a quick work break.

As the centennial celebration continues, fans of The Little Traveler can add to its digital scrapbook by detailing what the unique store has meant to them.

• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee of the Kane County Chronicle. The identity of the diner is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not post a review.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO

WHAT: The Atrium Cafe

OR: 404 S. Third St., Geneva

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday

INFORMATION: 630-232-4200, www.petitvoyageur.com

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