Gina la Fornarina

Try saying that 5x fast… or try saying it, period.  This past weekend in New York was absolutely beautiful– not too hot, not too cold, which meant that it was the perfect weather for walking around aimlessly and outdoor dining.  My friend and I explored various cute restaurant spots on the Upper East Side on our walk home from Shake Shack on 86th Street (clearly my favorite “restaurant” in NYC).  As we made our way back downtown, we snatched up dozens of menus, one of them being for Gina la Fornarina, on 2nd Ave. and 82nd St.

Yes, it’s out of the way for some, but the 70’s and 80’s are my new favorite neighborhoods to dine outside.  Not only is it quiet and away from the craziness that is downtown/midtown, but a lot of the restaurants are undiscovered and unpretentious, which I’m definitely a fan of.  Who wants to have to make a reservation 2 weeks in advance at some trendy restaurant, using somebody else’s name, only to get there and not be able to hear a word anybody is saying?  It’s just plain wrong, if you ask me.

On Sunday I decided to drag Mike up to Gina la Fornarina for lunch, and it was delicious– from the grilled cheese panini to the mixed greens salad… even to my always personal favorite, the bread.  My dad always told me that the bread reflects the restaurant’s menu.  If the bread isn’t good, then it’s all downhill from there.  Of course, Mike was a little embarrassed to be sitting out in plain sight at a restaurant adorned with pink accents.  As mortified as he was, I think he was happy we took a walk up to Gina’s.  Although it may have been a bit of a hike, I plan to make several more trips up there this spring/summer.


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