Anyone been to Bistro Ginolina (San Rafael)?
We went last night for an early bite before a movie.
They've done a nice job cleaning and updating the location from it's former incarnation of Cinecetta. I recognize the owner from the former Salute that burned down years ago.
Service was friendly and professional. Good wine recommendation. I choose my entree before the staff had been informed of the nightly additions. A request to change my choice to one of the specials was positively accommodated,
We wanted a quick simple meal and there were many options in that regard. I am interested in returning to try some of the more unique items I saw on the menu.
The Caesar split was plenty for 2. Served with whole leaves and drizzled with what seemed to be a fresh dressing (you could definitely taste the fresh garlic and anchovy) so thankfully, it was not over-dressed.....a pet peeve of mine.
2 pasta dishes with tomato sauces yielded completely different sauce preparations. Both were fresh and distinctive to the menu description. Bucatini, in general, is hard to eat as the thick pasta strands are somewhat stiff to get on the fork. Portions were ample without being overloaded.
The tiramisu was interesting and flavorful and included an ingredient they deemed as "secret"...........we did not presume to ask. It is served in a tall goblet and my only complaint was the the top lady fingers were not soaked enough. But by the time we got to the bottom, all was forgiven and forgotten. Yum.
I would like to see more varied pasta menu options.
We will try to work Ginolina into our large repertoire of Marin County Italian options. It will be hard since there are so many excellent choices and only so many nights in the week.
I went for lunch on a rainy day. Due to a communication glitch with the server, I did not try a pizza but the brushetta we got instead was adequite, a little oily and cold crostini but good flavors. I had a terrific cioppino style fish soup, slightly spicy, with mussels, clams, squid, a few shrimp and white fish. Since it was "just" their soup of the day it was an amazing bargain, like $6. My DC seemed to enjoy his pasta. Very nice facelift of the former space and Gino was a very genial host and very present during service.