Gianni's Italian Bistro's Penne Rosa: a spicy tomato cream sauce sauteed with penne pasta, mushrooms, tomato and spinach topped with Parmesan. (Tom McCarthy Jr. | CR Staff)
Culinary Confessions: Gianni's Italian Bistro
May 10, 2014
By Father Leo Patalinghug
Gianni’s Italian Bistro is an easy-to-see restaurant from Baltimore’s Beltway – a go-to place for locals and a good spot for seafood and typical Italian-American foods, served in a casual setting.
Ambiance: The Baltimore Ravens’ memorabilia, large bar in one area and another room’s signature mural, featuring the owners, give the feel of a very casual, family-friendly eatery. Easy access, free parking and two separate rooms with cafeteria-styled furniture give a no-fuss, no-frills, but a “let’s eat” feel. (2.5 out of 5 halos)
Service: The service was friendly, but divided rooms made wait staff less visible. The owners came out to say hello, which gave a nice touch of hospitality. (2.5 out of 5 halos)
Menu: The bistro offered typical Italian dishes, including pizza, along with other familiar ‘bar-styled’ foods. The menu was quite strong in the seafood offerings. (4 out of 5 halos)
Beverage selections: Typical bar drinks and limited wine selections make Gianni’s a popular place for casual get-togethers, happy hour and for watching the Ravens on game day. (2.5 out of 5 halos)
Food: The casual setting served appropriately plated and well-seasoned food. Local pastor, Father John Williamson shared his strong approval for Gianni’s crab cakes, which they are proud to ship. The American-styled pasta dishes were well-sauced and slightly overcooked, but familiar and tasty. New York-style pizza is a kid pleaser. Seafood lovers will be happy with fresh, unmasked flavors. Cost-conscious diners will be happy with the large portions. (4 out of 5 halos)
Family-friendly restaurants that serve up multiple cuisines are hard to find, unless you go to a diner. The location, large portions, familiar flavors in a family friendly atmosphere make Gianni’s a great place for those who find themselves hungry while on the Baltimore highway.
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