I'm going to start off this review by getting straight to the point, go to Gambino’s and you will be happy that you did! Why? Well, Gambino’s has withstood the test of time, flourishing for decades by getting it right i.e., promptly serving up ample portions of consistently good, fresh Italian fare in a nice atmosphere by a cheerful waitstaff. You should expect to take home enough to cover lunch the next day.
You will experience the same satisfying flavor profile every time you enjoy your favorite item on the menu.
Gambino’s uses 100% whole milk mozzarella, fresh sliced vegetables, and dough made from scratch daily. It’s the type of place that you’ll observe a young couple all dressed up on a first date, groups of college students, co-workers hanging out, or groups of friends and families of all shapes and sizes!
Don’t sleep on the fact that they have some of the coldest taps in town with a great selection of beers! Check them out on FB, they are constantly offering cocktail specials. Who doesn’t like a place with full bar service AND Happy Hour M-F 3 to 6?
Starters that shine are Garlic Twists (easily enough to share) and their famous Meatballs, as well as the sampler platter. Be forewarned that their ample portions will fill you up quickly so order accordingly!
Big on Soups and Salads? Gambino’s has you covered. Personal favorites here are their Wedge which I’d put up against any Prime Steakhouse wedge, and their Caesar which you can add chicken to-- albeit I’d love it even more if the kitchen offered anchovy fillets!
Let me address the “Genuine Italian” fare statement I hear so often. Simply put, there is no such thing as “Genuine Italian” fare any more than there is any “Genuine (fill in the blank)” fare! Every restaurant with featured cuisine has their own take on that food and they stand on their own merit. The most important thing is the afore-mentioned consistently good food regardless of style.
Let me give you some background. I’m a foodie from New York, and I travel extensively. I’ve eaten in 43 States, most of the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Japan, and yes, Italy from North to South. That being said there are amazing places to eat everywhere. Each great experience has been unique and stood on its own merit whether it was in a stand at the counter by the slice pizza shop or fine dining with waiters preparing signature dishes table-side. No cookie cutter cuisine exists!
Let’s talk about Gambino’s entrees….
Thin Crust Pizza. This is not the cracker like crust in some places but a nice platform for all the yummy toppings you choose. Ultimate old school Pepperoni is at the top of their list for a reason, the little slices of pepperoni cup on the pizza as it bakes! Simple and delicious. You can also get a no cheese Bruschetta, a Veggie to die for, or the signature Gambino. They offer two that are mustard sauce based -- don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
I’ve had the best Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza the “Windy City” has to offer. Gambino’s Stuffed Pizza holds up against them hands down. They take longer to come out of the kitchen but they are worth the wait. Try the Capone and add pepperoni to the spinach, sausage and parmesan.
Consider a Calzone. If you’ve never had one now is the time to try! It’s a pizza dough turnover-style affair. At Gambino’s they are a meal in themselves and big enough to share. Pick a few toppings and dive in with dipping sauce on the side. For sandwiches, I typically order half with the side pasta topped with mixed meat sauce. For those that don’t know, the mixed sauce is pink cream and tomato mix sauce. Try it as a side sauce if you’re squeamish, but try!
If you love large portions of pasta with a variety of sauces and preparations to choose from you’ll be right at home. Try #71 for something different and delicious. Don’t eat cheese? Get the Bruschetta Chicken, can’t decide? They have a Combination plate where you can pick three pasta dishes.
Gluten free? They have you covered. Try them yourself and write your own review!
- KRIS SMITH