As you know, we have a big love of Italy and all things Italian and edible in my family. So, when it was my step father’s birthday a few weeks ago, we decided to celebrate with lunch at Gino’s Pear Tree in Woodhouse Eaves. This family run restaurant is really authentic, serving mouthwatering pizzas from a traditional wood oven and really great modern Italian food.
Gino’s is relatively pricey in the evening – intimate spaces in a lovely old building make it (in my humble opinion) perfect for dates and romantic evenings. I was there in the day however, with a group 7 other people so we were less intimate and sadly, a bit rowdy once the prosecco took hold! Decor wise, the place has a classic modern feel and the big airy windows really let in a lot of light – perfect for food blogging photography!
We all opted for the set lunch menu – very reasonably priced at 2 courses for £12.95 or 3 for £15.95. The menu is limited (a good sign) and everything is freshly prepared. Their meat is locally sourced and the family running the place are Italian through and through. So.. to the food..
To start, I went with the Caprese Sorrentino – using mozzarella made by the family’s cousin (and incidentally a friend of ours). The combination of gorgeously creamy cheese and ripe vine riped tomatoes with the big fresh basil leaves was perfection. When the ingredients are such high quality, the simplicity of this dish can be breathtaking.
Our table also ordered the Arrancini Siciliani – creamy, cheesy and perfectly crisp on the outside. Just like they should be. I really like arancini and often order it out but so often its a disappointment. Overcooked rice and oily exterior.
For my main I had the Bistecca alla Griglia. A 6oz rib eye steak chargrilled and served with garlicky spinach and the most delicious mushrooms. Its hard to explain but the steak just tasted Italian. Despite being thin cut pieces, both mine and my brothers were cooked perfectly medium rare.
Gino’s are well known for their pizza – so much so that they appear on Shortlist’s search for the UK’s best pizza with 5 stars – alongside the fabulous Oscar & Rosies in Nottingham. This pizza was delicious, simplicity on a plate. fluffy light base, rich tomato sauce and a spicy salami. My mum went for the Pollo Milanese – chicken in crispy breadcrumbs with parsley and butter. I’ve eaten some disaster milanese in my time – burnt, over cooked and dry but the bit I tried was delicious. Moist chicken and a flavourful coating.
You know dear readers that I take the pot belly for the greater good and this lunch was no exception. I went for the Gelato Italiano – two scoops of delish choc and vanilla ice cream. My bro went for the Pannacotta which came with a red berry puree and fruits. Although we all thought it was a little too firm, the flavour was spot on.