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Central South Birmingham

Birmingham: GianMarco's


Restaurants & Bars 2

Birmingham: GianMarco's

Big Daddy | Feb 22, 2011 06:38 AM

It has been too long since I've been to GianMarco's to dinner. But after our experience Friday night, I plan to return very soon to this Edgewood Italian restaurant.
It's a hard reservation to score, so plan ahead especially if you want an early seating. Even Tuesdays can be booked a week ahead for an early seating.
I started with the salumi,which I've been craving ever since they added it to the menu. I got generous portions of duck proscuito, boar sausage (cacciatorini) and porchetta (a fatty pork -- belly?) All were great and the wild boar sausage was unbelievably good. It was served with a reduced balsamic, which was good with the meat, but excellent with the grilled bread that accompanied it.
My wife, who is dieting, got the Cobb salad.
For an entree, I got the special of shrimp (head-on), calamari, clams, mussels, Italian sausage in a garlic-tomato spiked shellfish broth, served over linguine. It was generously portioned, very rich with flavor (as opposed to fat) and oh so tasty.
My wife got the penne all vodka, one of her favorites. It was so good, we took the leftover sauce home and served it with even more pasta.
Wines were reasonably priced, although we were steered to a more expensive wine by our waiter, whom we had trouble hearing in the loud dining room. It was so good (and the food so relatively reasonably priced), we ended up not minding the $60 per bottle sticker price (We were leaning more toward $30-$35 bottles).
A hint with the wine: they serve carafes that hold about 1.5 glasses each. Waiter said three add up to a bottle, plus a glass.
We did not have a dessert (we both were stuffed, with food to take home). Nor did we make a cheese plate out of the great assortment they offer (next time; and a different variety of salumi).
The prices: Only one antipasti was over $10 (for the salumi and cheese, it's 3 choices for $15). Pastas were in the mid- to upper-teens and entrees on the menu were all under $30.
Yet, I think the quality of the food and the overall atmosphere puts it in the same league as Bottega, at a lower price.

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