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Mangia Lasagna 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday -Lasagna at GianMarco’s is my 57th dish or 44 on my countdown of trying 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.

Living about 70 miles from the Birmingham area, it took a bit of planning for me to be able to mangia this lasagna. The first time I decided to pop in, I drove through a residential area and found a small spot with a few businesses. It was a night visit and I should have known by the amount of cars that I wasn’t going to be getting my lasagna fix on that day. “People wait for pasta; pasta does not wait for people,” co-owner Giani Respinto. [1] So, I waited, it took me a few more months for my schedule to match with a reservation. By the time that I visited, I was really craving that lasagna.

Entering through a separate bar area that is filled to the brim with people enjoying the bounty. The room holds a few high-top tables and every seat was taken. The walls have fun awards and recognitions framed. Making my way back to the greeter, I was seated in the dining room that is decorated with Italian landscapes and white tablecloths. However, the open kitchen area is the heartbeat of this room. At the center, a meatcase holds many cuts of meats.   A few seats are at this counter and steaming plates were placed and quickly carried out by the staff in white shirts.

 

Described as Authentic Old World Italian mixed with Southern cuisine. The menu is extensive and chef driven. The Respinto family runs the restaurant and together, have a collective amount of talent and experience in the restaurant business.

Long lists of specials of the day were offered and all of them sounded fantastic. Of course, I was there for that lasagna. An extensive wine list is also offered to the customers and a quartino seems to be at every table.  Warm bread arrived at the table and olive oil infused with rosemary from the premises was the perfect beginning.  And then, I tried “Oysters Two Ways.” “Bienville Style and Pistachio Flour Encrusted. The latter oyster is fried and  served over toasted crostini bread and topped with tomatoes, onion, basil, and balsamic vinegar.   I loved the pistachio fried oysters.

gianmarcosoysters.jpg

The Tuscan-style Lasagna Bolognese arrived piping hot, covered in cheese in its own dish. The homemade pasta is a layered with the meat mixture of beef, pork, and veal. The sauce is made fresh on a daily basis with imported San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, white wine and basil. There is no ricotta cheese in this recipe. I was unable to find the recipe information and wonder if the sauce is made in Bolognese style with a béchamel sauce?  I found the sauce to be light, rich and creamy and in perfect compliment to the meat filling and the homemade pasta.

gianmarcolasagna.jpg

Another dish that I was able to taste was from the seasonal dinner menu. Venison pan seared and finished in the oven with a breadcrumb horseradish topping and a glaze that I can not recall. Served with a side of vegetables, shitake mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, beets and (?leeks.) Outstanding!

gianmarcodeer.jpg

And topped off with a bite of this rhubarb dessert.

gianmarcosdessert.jpg

MEGastars 5 ***** The restaurant is dedicated to fresh high-quality ingredients, uses local cuisine and supports Alabama farmers.  The staff is professional and this recipe is not something that you will find easily, certainly NOT olive garden.

MEGatips:

  1. The dining room is small and I understand often full. DO call ahead for a reservation. By ahead, I mean a day or days.
  2. Parking is sparse but available on the street. Valet parking is available
  3. Next time that I go, I want to eat at the wine bar which is a small tin roof cabin located behind the restaurant. With wine bottle lighting and copper topped casks that are used for tables, it looks relaxing and casual. I like that!
  4. I was unable to find a website but note that there is a Facebook page. GianMarco’s Restaurant is located at 721 Broadway St. in Homewood.  The hours that I found listed are; Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. They are open for lunch Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are required in the main dining room. It’s first come, first-serve basis in the bar and wine bar. (205) 871-9622.
  5. Want a great recipe? Want to be inspired to make your own pasta? Watch Chef Respinto prepare this homemade fettuccine dish made with fresh pasta, tomato, and basil sauce.Chef Giani Respinto

[1] Dining Guide of Birmingham’s Best Restaurants. Quote Source

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place  was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place  was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place  was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
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