New York Restaurants: Gina La Fornarina
Italian-Style Pizza on the Upper East Side
What people notice first about Gina is it's decor - pink and white. Clearly a great place for chicks to enjoy some pizza in casual dining atmosphere. The pizzas are what Gina is known for in this part of Manhattan. They are like your New York Style pizza in that the crust is thin with somewhat crispy edges but that's where they stop. Unlike the ubiquitous tomato-based sauce pizza, Gina pizzas are modeled after Roman pizzas which means there can be anything on top. Since it was mushroom season in Italy, the waiter recommended the Pizza ai Porcini and we heartily accepted. We also ordered the chicken soup for me and the rucola salad for my friend. These two orders could be a meal in itself. I was feeling a little poorly but when they placed a hearty big bowl of chicken soup in front of me, I perked right up. There were chunks of free-range chicken, potatoes, some carrots and pastina in a clear chicken broth. So tasty and light. My friend had a plate with a lot of baby arugula and shaved parmigiano in a lemon and olive vinaigrette. The pizza ai porcini was a 14-inch pie, good for two people, and came with plenty of robiola cheese in a cream of parmigiano sauce topped with, what else, porcini mushrooms. Delicious and not like any other pizza I've had before. Simple, light and tasty seems to be the theme of the way dishes are prepared. Nothing is overly spice, allowing the flavors to come through.
We met up at 4:30 pm for a late lunch or very early dinner -- we couldn't figure out which, but it was perfect because we had the whole place to ourselves. We weren't rushed out so we could freely gab for two hours. The place does fill up in the evening, which is why the tables are so close together to mazimize seating, then it gets fairly noisy. The menu includes panini, soups, salads, starters and select entrees, They do have a full bar. For desert we shared a chocolate bomb, a varholna chocolate souffle cake with whipped cream. It was good for one person but we shared to spare ourselves the calories. Very chocolaty but not sweet, and thoroughly yummy. We ended up drinking it with tea because the machine was broken and we couldn't get coffee and that was fine too.
We left the place with full and satisfied stomachs.
We ate at the 1575 2nd Avenue location. However there are two other branches: 26 E 91st St. and 279 Amsterdam Avenue.
Gina La Fornarina: Roman-Style Pizza in NYC
Gina La Fornarina. A great pizza restaurant in pink and white for casual dining
Upper west side location
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