Posted by: gargupie | May 30, 2010

Retiring A Historical Restaurant

To win someone’s heart is through the stomach and I do not doubt that.  REAL cooking is a process of love.  When we truly savor a bite, we can ‘taste’ the care from the cook.  I could tell if the cook really put attention to the control of the flavor and preparation of the meal.  No wonder my mom’s dishes always taste better than when I eat out.

There are many old-time eateries that are threatened by the tough market and diminished businesses, so are forced to ‘retire’.  A recent one in NYC is Gino, an old-schooled Italian restaurant that has been opened since 1945.  It was patronized by many famous Hollywood stars, such as Sinatra and Streisand, but business is still business and when there is too much competition out there and the growing greed from the real estate corporation, as good as the food could be, if you cannot survive in this tough restaurant business, then it is sadly time to ‘fold’ the napkin. 

Today was the last day for Gino.  It is known for its kitschy zebra wallpapers, covering all four walls.  The food won’t ‘wow’ you, but you could totally taste the process of love, like coming out of an Italian mom’s kitchen.  It is not gourmet food by any means, but I choose a simple meal over an extravagant one.  My motto always is “simplicity is best”.

So another iconic instituion has died in NY and you know what’s the sad part? It will be replaced by a cupcake store.

I’m very disturbed by this thought…


  1. Isn’t it sad when an icon dies? It feels like the end of an era…

  2. It is sad, I can relate, so many old homes and restaurants such as this one as being demolished in Beirut too and it is heartbreaking!

  3. Hello! Thanks for you comment on my blog.

    I completely agree with you on many counts. Sometimes I eat out because I’m with friends and it just seems rude to be the only one not eating, but I like just sitting at home with my mom’s home cooking.

    It really is sad when such an establishment has to be taken down. Especially to be replaced by another fad. Not that cupcakes are bad, but it really goes to show that this city needs to protect more of it’s values rather than hyping everything else.

  4. too many Crumbs and too many ATMs, for sure!

    • Don’t even get me started on Crumbs. The cupcakes are oversized and overly-sweet.

  5. I visit New York 3 or 4 times a year and Gino’s was always a stop on my journey. It broke my heart to hear it was closing. I know change is inevitable but I cling to places like that for comfort. There was never a snotty lithe model at the door, scanning you for your worth. There was always a smile and the best martini. Linguini bolognese…sigh.

  6. Thanks for reflecting on your NY experience with me. Yes. That’s why I prepare to patronize local eateries (like diners and mom and pop stores) rather than the ‘James Beard’ restaurants.

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