More Cheese Please: A “Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza” Review
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza. The last time I was there, I was trying to satisfy my pasta craving after binge-watching Italian cooking shows on TV. Actually, it doesn’t matter whether I’m yearning for pasta and pizza or not, Gino’s can please my appetite any time.
Instead of trying to exude a Mediterranean mood, the interiors at Gino’s look more of an industrial Texan barbeque house, with the brownish red color scheme reminding me of a barbeque shack. Add to that the industrial lights hanging from the wood panelling (which seemed to be really popular in new restaurants, if I may say) – which feels like Brooklyn’s version of southern barbeque. All is good and I am loving the cozy ambiance.
Burrata, one with House Salad (Php 395); Burrata with Arugula (Php 295)
Our recent visit made me realize that Gino’s has come a long way with its extended selection of cheeses – they now have Strataciella, Riccotta, and Buffalo Mozarella. For the day’s lunch, we ordered two types of dishes with Burrata, one with House Salad (Php 395), and one with bread, arugula (Php 295),and an extra order of prosciutto (Php 130).
Burrata Platter with Bread and Arugula (extra Prosciutto)
Burrata with House Salad
I love Burrata because it makes anything your order with it, taste sooo much better. Burrata, by the way, is Mozarella filled with cream, sometimes with Straciatella. It has a creamy filling and a buttery taste all in all, which becomes even more heavenly with a drizzle of spiced honey. You know what, even normal honey is more delicious with cheese.
Salted Egg Pasta (Php190)
We also had the Salted Egg Pasta (Php190), which was fettuccini in a cream-based sauce, served with salted egg and bacon, teasingly topped with grated parmesan. This dish is rich, but surprisingly there are two contrasting types of saltiness that works well together and gives the pasta more dimension.
Lemon Mushroom Pasta (Php 285)
My favourite pasta dish at Gino’s is the Lemon Mushroom Pasta (Php 285). It’s also a cream-based fettuccini with mushroom served with a side of lemon. The lemon has to be squeezed on the pasta for you to be able to fully appreciate its taste. This may have a cream-based sauce, but the flavors are so light thanks to the zing of the lemon and the natural taste of the mushroom.
SMEGG (Php 420)
SMEGG stands for Sausage, Mushroom, and Egg (Php 420). This cream-based pizza is great for meat-lovers and to those who like to smother their food in cream. Ours was cooked with a runny yoke, but too bad it broke while it was being served. The crust was a little bit hard that day – just a little, compared to the other times I visited when it’s soft and chewy. Also, I noticed that the taste seems to be uneven throughout the pie – one side was bland and the other was too salty.
The Prosciutto Pizza (Php 420)
The Prosciutto Pizza (Php 420) is my favourite out of the two pizzas we had that day. Same sentiments with the crust, but I find the balance of this pizza to be better. It has a tomato-based sauce with kesong-puti and parmesan topped with prosciutto and arugula. There’s the tangy tomato sauce, pungent cheeses, salty prosciutto, and a slight bitterness and spice from the arugula. It’s an all-in-one goodness.
Chocolate-Chicharon Php 150.00
Another item in the menu which triggered my curiosity was the Chocolate-Chicharon (Php 150). Sinful pieces of pork rind are coated in melted chocolate, giving your taste buds a confusing fusion of sweet and salty. Now I’m all for innovative food, but this may be a case when two things that everyone loves doesn’t necessarily come out better when fused together.
Gino’s has a good thing going for them. It serves close-to-authentic Italian dishes with a reasonable price. If it wasn’t for them, we would be piling up the deli section to find some burrata.
Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza G/F Finman Ctr , 117 Tordesillas St cor Bautista Salcedo Village, Makati City (0917) 964-5339 (02) 779-8192