I’ve been holding back on this review for awhile now, mostly because some of my culinary cohort is considering including this pizzeria in a cut throat contest of Geneva’s best pizzas………..BUT, until that happens, some of us may want to know what’s what, am I right?
Now I feel I should start with a disclaimer…. or rather a confession. I have never had pizza in Italy. I knowww, I know, Italy is like, 5 minutes from Geneva. I have no excuses whatsoever, so why don’t we all stop judging me and get back to the point: I write this review purely based on my own tastes and comparing to other pizzerias in Geneva – now basta!
First impressions: noise and dessert
The first time I went to Luigia, I admit, I didn’t like it. It’s bright. It’s noisy. It’s crowded. It’s chaotic. And did I mention how BRIGHT the place is? You feel like you’re on a movie set out in Hollywood. For someone who is sensitive to clatter and chaos, this was a bit challenging. I grant you though, it gleams coolness. To be honest, I can’t even remember the food from that first time, except for the tiramisu, which, my experienced companion swore, was entirely authentic and delicious.
Killing time on Cocktails
The second time I went, I was prepared for the sensory overkill and went in with my best mood on. Besides, by now the rumors had spread that they had a good cocktail crew working the bar, so I definitely had to give it a second chance. The strategy worked: this time, I let the chaos do its thing as I stood by the bar with my friends sipping on one of these sweet things:
Behold the spritz, a wonderful little Italian concoction composed of aperol, prosecco and a slice of orange. It’s sweet with just enough bitter to keep it from sending you into a diabetic coma.
And it’s a good thing they’re good too: the place is so popular you’ll be waiting for a cool 30 minutes or longer, so be prepared to drink up!
La piece de resistance: the pizza
What’s a popular pizza place without good pizza? But does this place earn its reputation? Luigia claims to have the most authentic Napolitano pizza. For lack of data, I can’t argue with that. However, it was indeed delicious pizza. Unlike most restaurants, Luigia breaks up its pizza menu into types of pizza, and describes in each section what is so special about the ingredients that define them. The show stoppers? The San Marzano tomatoes from Campanie and the Fior di Latte Appenino cheese from the Naples region, both traditional and protected products.
I got to try the pizza Tricolore (cherry tomatoes, fior di latte, roquette and parmesan) and the pizza Italica (San Marzano tomatoes, raw fior di latte, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, basil and oregano), and I was extremely pleased. The dough is thin, but soft and unctuous, the tomatoes and cheese are genuinely all they are cracked up to be, and the rest of the ingredients are fresh and full of natural flavor. Both the pizzas I tasted were great, though personally, I preferred the subtle velvety taste of the fresh cheese on the Italica over the Tricolore, which wound up being a bit dry from the rucola and the parmesan.
If nothing else, these pizzas are not your average Geneva pizza, nor is the setting your average Geneva restaurant. It’s festive, it’s loud, it’s fun, it’s kitchy (no, I’m still not talking about Da Paolo’s…….) and if you’re up for a dynamic dinner with good cocktails to put down before a night on the town, this is definitely the right place for you. Oh, and yeah, the pizza is definitely good too!
Good to know: Open EVERY DAY (yup, Sunday as well. And Monday. For lunch and dinner. Including Christmas and New Year’s.) Find them at 24 rue Adrien-Lachenal, and call them at 022 840 15 15 – but don’t bother calling to book a table! The place is waaaaaayyyyy too cool to take reservations….