SO, SHAME ON ME! TURNS out that my favorite local true-to-classic-New York pizza place, Gino's does great sandwiches as well. Most even halfway decent pizza parlors sometimes suffer when they broaden their menus beyond the oven. Sure, they all offer a caesar salad, stuffed mushroom caps, or even the ubiquitous variety of parmegiana sandwiches, but most are perfunctory and negligible.
With nothing but the faith of my trust in the quality of pizza I have enjoyed from Gino's for decades, I decided finally to try their version of the classic Italian combo, a hero of sliced ham, salami (sometimes other meats such as prosciutto and mortadella), provolone cheese, peppers, tomato, onion, lettuce, oil and vinegar.
As good as any I've had since my favorite Italian combo at Torrisi Italian Specialties, as well as maybe bigger and a few bucks cheaper (Torrisi's did have plenty more meat), The sandwich boasted very fresh ingredients, bursting with expected flavor, on a rare proper Italian roll (crusty edge without having to be toasted), and with a subtly-herbed vinaigrette that added bright acidity while "wetting the whistle" with olive oil.
I am quite happy to have a local (within two city blocks) than serves now two of my favorite dishes. If they make an equally impressive baked lasagna, Gino's Pizzeria & Restaurant might prove to be a nice Upper East Side "slice of life" indeed.
Bun Apple Tea! KAC
GINO'S Pizzeria & Restaurant | 345 East 83rd St. (bet. 2nd & 1st Aves.) | 212.717.5336 | |