Gino’s, located in the heart of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn has been a huge part of my childhood. I spent many Friday nights during high school either eating in or ordering out. There was just something warm and welcoming about Gino’s that has kept me going back even though I don’t go to school in the area anymore. The Boyfriend always laughs at me when I rant and rave about Gino’s. He’s only ever had their salmon so he doesn’t quite believe me when I say their other dishes are amazing. We decided to pay Gino’s a visit so he can really try the rest of the menu.
We started off with a glass of their house Pinot Grigio ($7.50 per glass). For a house wine, I actually really liked it. It wasn’t too dry and not too sweet either. The glass was also pretty big – I don’t think I’ve ever received wine by the glass in such a big glass before.
Since neither of us could decide which appetizer we wanted from their menu (baked clams or calamari?), we went with their Hot Antipasto, which is a combination of baked clams, shrimp oreganata, fried calamari and eggplant rollatine ($11.25). You can’t really see the shrimp since it’s hidden behind the marinara sauce, but I can assure you that the shrimp was delicious! It was lightly coated with breadcrumbs and grilled to perfection. The fried calamari was very fresh! You can actually taste the delicious squid with each piece. The star of the dish were the baked clams. The clams were coated with breadcrumbs and when topped with a squeeze of lemon juice, slid right off the shell. So good!
The Boyfriend went with the Linguine in White Clam Sauce ($13.00) as his entrée. Our waiter supplied him with a spoon to slurp up the delicious broth. The linguine was cooked al dente – both of our favorites. Pasta is meant to be served al dente! The broth though, was the highlight. It was light and flavorful without being too heavy and filling. The portion size was also ginormous – but the Boyfriend managed to finish about ¾ of it. It was just that good!
I, of course, went with my usual dish at Gino’s – the Penne Vodka ($12.00). I always order the Penne Vodka at Gino’s. To anyone who asks where I think the best penne vodka is, I always tell them Gino’s. Gino’s is pretty much the standard of penne vodka for me. I compare every single penne vodka dish I have anywhere else to Gino’s. The first bite of pasta brought back intense feelings of nostalgia. I can remember 18 year old me ordering the same dish and loving it just as much as I do now. Gino’s Penne Vodka is the best because they have the best sauce. It isn’t runny or too thick – it’s just right. I never feel disgusting after I finish eating and their portion sizes are so big that I always have left overs for the next day!
We didn’t have room for dessert but next time I will definitely take a look at the dessert menu. The service was, as usual, attentive. We were asked several times how our meal was and our dishes came out in a very timely manner. We were never rushed to finish our appetizers or our entrees. It might be childhood nostalgia speaking but I am adamant that Gino’s is the best Italian I can find in Brooklyn.