Where could I get a reservation for a party of 10 Friday night at noon on Friday? The answer that was given to me was Gemma. My brother and his family are staying at the Bowery Hotel so the location was perfect as Gemma is in the hotel. Yet, I couldn't help but wonder why could I get that reservation so easily a few hours before dinner?
The answer is probably the size and perhaps the location and the economy because the food and the service was quite good.
We walked in and we saw friends at a table for four. Great bumping into them and always fun to see other people you know at the restaurant. When we left we saw another friend. Love that.
Instead of ordering a starter and a main, we shared a variety of appetizers. The pizzas here are quite good. I had them before hanging in the lobby of the Bowery very late a few weekends ago. We had the spicy Italian sausage and onions and the truffle pizza. The crust is super thin and crispy which I like particularly just for a nibble. The robiola pizza is the best. Foccacia pizza so there is a crust on top and bottom with robiola cheese and white truffle oil in the middle. The top crust is perforated like a cracker. Really excellent. We also had the zucchini flowers. Deep fried but light stuffed with an oozing mozzarella cheese. A plate of fritto misto which is huge and definitely made for sharing. Green beans to calamari also deep fried but not that dense. Lastly we had a grilled calamari with veggies. Nice.
For dinner, my brother went with the pork chop which is huge. An interesting flavor with pepperonata. It must have been marinated in something. Josh had the spicy red sausage pasta which was really nice and loaded with flavor. The majority of us went with the cedar planked fish. Roasted filleted branzino set on a cedar plank for flavor and some greens on the side. Well cooked, lots of flavor, and a nice presentation.
Gemma was humming and pretty packed by the time we left. Would definitely go back and will surely have opportunities as my brother stays at the Bowery when he is in town. Also, good to know that I can get in to Gemma last minute and not because the food is bad because it is actually quite good.