Wine Dine and Play: Gino’s Bar and Restaurant

Gino’s Bar and Restaurant

Genial Old School Italian Eatery
Tampa, Florida
Dined in December 2016
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)

Going to a large restaurant no matter if it is a chain or one store front, nothing beats going to a tiny mom and pop restaurant, so tiny they only have two or three parking spaces, and no webpage to advertise with except Facebook. I’m talking about Gino’s Bar and Restaurant, a Tampa staple since 1937. Now they do have a weblink on their Facebook page but it takes you to a weird menu page where some of it is in German and who knows what it is. None of that deterred my wife and I from enjoying a drink or two, and having an appetizer to pass the time.


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Main review:
Though we didn’t have much from the menu, one appetizer to be exact, my wife and I enjoyed a few drinks from the bar, and as it was in between lunch and dinner the crowd was small. That did not stop us from having an enjoyable experience. We were in this area dropping our dog off at the vets, and my wife had been here to Gino’s before. We parked towards the back of the building near the garbage cans as space was limited, and they were sharing the building with other businesses.

The menu is typical to a small bar and restaurant, Italian-Mediterranean themed from appetizers like bruschetta, caprese salad, gnocchi, and calamari. A Pizza section with classics like the meat lovers and bbq chicken, very typical Italian entrees, with a grouper parmigiana that sounded interesting, though too heavy for that time of the day. Assorted hamburgers, sandwiches, and wraps rounded up the menu rounded up.

As you enter, the bar is on the right side, and tables along the wall to the left, very common to the older style restaurant construction setups. The bar had wonderful old wood beam supports going from the floor up to the ceiling fanning out like the bottom side of boat type of design, which was the first striking thing that told me this would be different from the typical dive. Between the good customer service from the bar tender and the one item we did eat, it was very enjoyable. That item was the fried ravioli appetizer, a nice portion size of 12 cheese stuffed ravioli pieces, fried to a perfect golden brown and served with a marinara sauce. 

Other Noteworthy Italian-Mediterranean Favorites:
Pia’s Trattoria In Gulfport, Florida
Roberto’s Ristorante at the DIFC, Dubai, UAE
Brio Tuscan Grill in Sarasota, Florida
Pizza Republica in Centennial, Colorado
Locale in the Yarra Valley, Australia

Final notes and observations:
Though we didn’t eat much our experience was very delightful, and we will return. Over all from this experience taking the six factors I use on Wine, Dine, and Play to produce my rating, I give Gino’s a 2 out of 5 stars, meaning that they were above the average of a normal dining experience of most restaurants. The six factors used to get this rating include reviewing of their wine selections; overall customer service from host, bar, service, and management; the restaurant ambiance, noise level, lighting, and bathroom quality; plate presentation, which includes garnish, color, and art; quality of the food, where it is produced, and how it is prepared; and finally the “wow” factor. Did the restaurant wow me in any way not listed in the five factors above? Some restaurants do, but most do not. 

Overall Star rating by Wine, Dine, & Play:

Ambiance:
6  of 10
Quality of the Food:
8  of 10
Plate Presentation:
5  of 10
Customer Service:
8  of 10
Wow Factor:
1  of 5
Wine Selection:
N/A



Other Tampa, Florida reviews on Wine, Dine, and Play:
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Wine Bar + Cocktails, Charcuterie & Cheese
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 American Chain, Massive Menu
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At The Westin Tampa Harbour Island
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Gino’s Restaurant & Bar:
10006 N Armenia Ave, 
Tampa, Florida 33612




Contact Information: 

Maître d or host:
+1 813-933-1089
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time (GMT - 5:00)

Mon-Sat
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sunday
Closed
Social Media 
Accolades:
Facebook link



Review basics:

5 stars
 An Extraordinary Experience
4 Stars
An Outstanding Experience
3 Stars
Exceeded Expectations
2 Stars
Above the Average Experience
1 Star
An Average Dining Experience
No Star Rating
The Restaurant is Basic, Poor, or Appalling



Overall Star Rating:
2 of 5 Stars:
Above the Average Experience
Restaurant style:
Casual
Reservations:
Not Required
Walk-Ins:
Accepted
Child policy:


The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a child’s menu or cater to them; however for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended for children not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette
Hire a Babysitter! 
Dress code:
Casual attire
Cuisine style:
Italian, Mediterranean, & Vegetarian
Experiences:
Rustic, and a Neighborhood gem.
Payments:
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Parking:
Public lot
Wifi
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Low, to Medium
Smoking:
Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio:
No


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Reviewed by:
Sean Overpeck (CFE)
Picture below was taken at FOB Shank in
Afghanistan, 2012






About Sean:

I am based out of St. Petersburg, Florida working in the food service industry for the past twenty years, and am currently with the American Embassy as the Executive Chef in Basra, Iraq. Formally I have worked with groups contracting in Afghanistan, and Antarctica, also working in restaurants in and around Atlanta, Georgia prior to the wars. I have also owned a catering company and served proudly in the United States Army Food Service Program. The idea for Wine, Dine, and Play started in late 2012 after a trip to Jordan, when I was asked by friends to write down the experiences from a few Jordanian restaurants, wine from the region that I tasted, and locations of interest such as Petra. Since that time, over 250 articles have been written on restaurants, including fifteen from the worlds top 100 lists of San Pellegrino and the Elite Travelers Guide. There are articles on exotic world locations such as Victoria Falls, and South African Safari’s; food recipes & Grand Food Dictionaries; ethnic country cuisines such as Afghan, and Peruvian; tasting tours of world cities like Charleston, Cape Town, and Dubai; and of course wine from vineyards in California, Oregon, the Carolina’s, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, with much more to see and write about.

Who is John Galt?




“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)






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(coming soon) 
Petra, Jordan
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A Taste of South Africa vol 1 & 2
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