This week’s adventure takes us to Gino’s Trattoria Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria nestled in the Royal Palm Mall at North Collier & Bald Eagle. I really like the open-air courtyard setting that greets you. Joining us this evening were a couple friends (code name Olivia and Hudson). We requested a table off in the corner and they sat us in a small room toward the back. It would make a great place for groups that would like a more intimate area for their occasion.
The atmosphere at Gino’s is very casual, yet with an upscale feel. There is a cool wall of cascading water that dominates the entry and sets a wonderful tone throughout the restaurant. Olivia and Hudson both smiled as they entered Gino’s as this was theirfirst visit. It really provides an inviting feeling as you come in.
We immediately felt like family as our server, Mariah, was very open and attentive. She not only took care of our dining needs, we exchanged anecdotes about places and experiences. I really appreciate that kind of service as it makes me feel more like a person, not just the customer at table 8.
Thomas the bartender got involved with our wine choices for the evening letting us do some sampling before making our choice. He came out from behind the bar a couple times to make sure all was good and share a couple laughs. Laughter is such a good thing.
Gino’s menu consists of many traditional Italian favorites including daily lunch and dinner specials, all of which are moderately priced.We got lucky, arriving on a Thursday evening. Tuesday and Thursday is their dinner special for $25. They offer an appetizer choice, two entrée choices, and two beverages. My husband and I decided to go that route while Olivia and Hudson chose one of their great homemade pizzas.
Their pizza is a good example of love being served from the kitchen. They are hand tossed with all fresh ingredients including homemade sauce. “Oh my gosh,” said Olivia as she wiped the cheese from her chin. “This is really good! What night are the pizza specials?”
“The pizzas are half-off Monday and Wednesday nights,” I told her. “And the selections are great as you may have noticed from the menu. It’s how I first came to Gino’s. We had a great time inthe bar and met some new friends on pizza night.”
There is also a pizza lunch special that includes 2 slices and a beverage for $5.
I must give a thumbs-up to my Pasta Alla Carbonara. The sauce was deliciously creamy with more than enough bacon to give your mouth a great experience with every bite. We finished the evening sharing a slice of their incredible blueberry pie with oatmeal cookie crust.
We got a chance to catch up with Chef Carlos Cruz. He has been with Gino’s for 10 years and loves every minute of it. “Everyone here works together as a family, and we work jointly on the menu.”
Mary & Zack Simpson purchased the restaurant from Gino almost 10 years ago when it was in its original spot in Old Marco.(Now occupied by Kirk’s Coney Island). It was Mary’s father’s dream to own an authentic Italian restaurant. Sadly, he passed away before he saw that dream become a reality for his daughter.
Music is a regular occurrence on Saturday evenings, with the popular entertainer Rosetta Stone. We are told she gives a great show including audience participation. We will definitely be going back for another visit on a Saturday night.
They offer their entire menu for take-out and have a dedicated window up front for easy access. Gino’s also offers a nice reward program. You can sign-up with your server or on their website: ginosoldemarco.com.
I hope to see you at Gino’s sometime soon. I’ll be the one with a pale ale in one hand, and a pizza in the other. Most likely laughing cause this is a fun place.