Gino’s Restaurant Review By Rahma A., 701

This is an Italian restaurant with your favorite Italian classics with a modern American flair. As a foodie, I like to expand my palate and my horizons by going to different restaurants and even learning new cooking techniques. This restaurant exceeds my roof top high standards. In this review, I will discuss my favorite foods from this place and what I think can be improved.

          My favorite appetizer is the antipasto, which is a traditional Italian first meal consisting of different dishes. This specific antipasto platter consists of 6 luxurious baked clams topped with a crispy broiled bread crumb for textural contrast. But I warn all the slow eaters out there, pick up the pace when eating these clams because the bread crumb may render itself off-putting and soggy. It also has a delicious lemon butter basted on top which is so good that I pour it on some of the entrées. There is also a fried calamari section in the antipasto and to compliment it, an heirloom tomato, tangy marinara dip. The calamari is so tender that if you cut into it with a knife, it will simply go through like butter. In addition, there is sautéed shrimp which has been basted in cilantro and mint butter, which is a fresh start as opposed to all the fried options. For the minority that like eggplant, here is a quite special, gourmet treat. Eggplant rollatini is a delicious yet temperamental dish. Very little people know how to make it right. In my opinion, Gino’s succeeds in delivering that. It is thinly cut eggplant strips with bread crumbs, baked to perfection with cheese, pomodoro (red) sauce and angel hair pasta. This is all contained in the antipasto course. Here is a separate appetizer in which I do not think so fondly of. I am a zucchini addict so I had to try the fried zucchini. It was fried well however, it was extremely greasy— like every bite was just oil.

              Now we move on to entree reviews. The hero section is irrelevant for me because for some reason I dislike sandwiches in general. Also, I was not a big fan of this restaurant’s pizza. It had a strange flavor in which I am incapable of describing. One entree in particular that I liked was the chicken parm. The sauce had a depth of flavor unlike any other while the cheese had a deep freshness and sophistication in which I loved. The chicken was moist and tender and was fabulous. I also enjoyed the grilled marinated chicken breast. It was perfectly juicy with no signs of pink coloration and was topped off with delicious spicy roasted potatoes and broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe is a very bitter vegetable which can make a great addition to overly sweet dishes to balance them out. It helped keep the sweetness of the chicken marinade in check. I also tried a whole lot of pasta from this place. Personally I loved the baked ziti which had a very crispy peak due to the salamander process. (a cooking procedure similar to a broiler) The sauce had just the right amount of tomatoes to cheese to meat. Also, I like bow tie with sweet peas, shiitake mushrooms, and grilled shrimp. The pasta was perfectly al dente in the middle and the sweet peas were given a little saltiness which I was very fond of. Also, the shiitake mushrooms were so earthy, and meaty and rich and flavor that I could not breathe. The grilled shrimp were very smokey and tender. The gnocchi however, leaves a little more to be desired. It was quite gummy which is probably the result of over incorporating the flour and the potato.

          Finally, we have desserts. I STRONGLY LOATHE cheesecake so I did not even bother. The cannoli was well formed and was not doughy on the interior and the ricotta filling was delicious. The shell remained firm which did not allow the filling to fall out like a sloppy Joe or something like that. The tiramisu was beyond delicious and had a great taste of coffee and was not overpowering my palate. The chocolate mousse was amazing, smooth, silky and was not grainy. Last but definitely not least, the creme brûlée, my favorite dessert of all time. The crust was crystallized sugar that is sooo satisfying to cut into and here the cracking noise. Then they symphony of contrasting textures begins. The cream or custard base was perfectly set using a water bath method. When you eat all this together, the flavors are mind-blowing! Overall, this restaurant receives a 9.2 on my one to ten scale of restaurants!!

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