I'm a pretty easy to please guy when it comes to food. I'll eat pretty much anything as long as it isn't overloaded with fat and creamy sauces. But I do know good food when I taste it.
Gino's Bistro in Newbury Park is one of those places where I know I'm getting something special...old school Italian food. While I enjoy taking the kids to Presto Pasta and other budget restaurants, sometimes I like to kick it up a notch.
Gino, the namesake, had previous restaurants for many years in Agoura and somewhere else (place escapes me). You immediately get the sense that Gino loves what he does and is proud of his food. I've been to Gino's several times, one time on a weeknight where he served me himself. He and his wife were very friendly and gracious. The other time the restaurant was packed with people enjoying a wine tasting paired with their food. I brought my Italian mother-in-law to Gino's and he stopped by to say hello.
The food was delicious. The salmon was perfectly cooked and served with pasta in marinara sauce. I loved the homemade manicotti (pasta stuffed with fresh ricotta and spinach). The Spaghetti Bolognese was mouthwatering and my kids split the leftovers for lunch the next day (nice portion). The bread is to die for...soft on the inside, slightly crunchy on the outside...served warm and fresh. And the house salad was also excellent...love the garbanzo beans in it.
How did I first hear about Gino's? From a CVG fan! You know who you are! This source enjoys the Penne Arrabiata and Liguine with Spicy Clams. He notes that Gino is old school..."what do you want...if i got it back there, I'll make it for you."
Gino's has a comfortable, not overly fancy, yet still nice feel to it. You can get away wearing jeans or shorts or something more dressy. Either way, no doubt you will enjoy the food, casual atmosphere and warmth of Gino's.
Gino's is located at 1620 Newbury Road in Newbury Park, in the strip mall where the Post Office, Jersey Mike's and In N' Out Burger are located. You will not regret your authentic Italian meal at Gino's. Phone is 805.498.3188. No website.