Best Italian restaurant

June 14, 2013 

GINO'S ITALIAN RISTORANTE

3015 W. McMillan Road, Suite 108, Meridian, 887-7710, facebook.com

Gino's rule over this category is similar to the likes of Julius Caesar, Augustus and Trajan - an unquestioned leader of Treasure Valley Italian restaurants. Near the corner of Ten Mile and McMillan, Gino's is more than worth the trip.

Gino Vuolo brought his hospitality from Naples to Boise, and along with the fantastic food, his heritage is what stands out during your visit. It begins with friendly service, and on each menu is Gino's story of meeting his wife, Tia, at his grandmother's restaurant in Naples. You feel welcome the moment you walk in the door.

One theme that runs throughout Italian cooking is making the best of what's available. That concept, along with the foreign influences that have come and gone (especially in Naples and the southern part of the country), created the dishes featured at Gino's that are so hard to decide between - whether it's antipasti, primi, secondi or dolci. Rest assured that no matter what you choose, it will be a winner.

The restaurant's elegant interior is fantastic, but on a nice evening it's hard to pass up a great meal on the patio. Life slows down around the Italian table, so enjoy your surroundings as your food is made from scratch. It may take a glass of vino or some limoncello, but you can almost imagine eating outside in Gino's hometown of Napoli, perhaps gazing over the bay with cobblestones beneath your feet and Vesuvio looming in the distance. Andiamo!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

• Asiago's, 1002 W. Main St., Boise, 336-5552, asiagos.com

• Olive Garden, 320 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 322-3327; 16401 N. Marketplace Blvd., Nampa, 442-8129, olivegarden.com

• Louie's Pizza & Italian Restaurant, 2500 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, 884-5200, louiespizza.com

• Johnny Carino's, 1700 S. Entertainment Ave., Boise, 373-4968; 3551 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, 888-7801, carinos.com

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