>> [CLOSED] Gino's Focacceria | Eat the World NYC

07 October 2011

[CLOSED] Gino's Focacceria



Gino's certainly doesn't seem like much, with its typical pizzeria awning and awful pop music radio playing, but this is not your average spot. Most of the patrons are enjoying one of Gino's special sandwiches, including the one you see below, the vastedda special ($6), a calf spleen delight.

It takes a strong stomach to put this one down, as spleen is serious offal. I actually removed about half of the meat you see below to make the metallic and chewy sandwich more manageable for my palate. The sandwich maker will ask you whether you want ricotta or not, and I would say that this is a good idea, as the cheese is like whipped cream and adds an entirely different dimension. There is also a good portion of parmesan dribbled on top.

I could not resist ordering one of their oversized arancini, listed simply as a rice ball ($4, below) on the menu. The nice thing about getting one of these from a sit down place instead of a deli is that you get it warmed up in the oven and get to eat it hot. The ball itself is not the best I've ever had, but its size is very generous and does not disappoint. I could stand it with a bit more sauce inside.

The restaurant itself is a gem, with red vinyl booths that look like king's thrones, and a mirrored wall on one side to make the whole thing seem very 70's. The distinctly Sicilian place advertises "The best food in town" on the window up front, and I am sure that some people feel that way, as all of the other diners seemed like regulars from those last days of disco.

Gino's Focacceria on Urbanspoon


  1. The riceball in Gino's is one of the closest tasting to being in Sicily I have had in NYC.
    It is amazing. I dont know where you would say you have had a better riceball.
    Also, try the potato croquettes.
    Lastly this a Sicilian food, not Italian.
    You can also try Joe's of Ave U which is also very good.

  2. Hey Giacomo, unfortunately I do not have enough Sicilian entries to require an exclusive tag, but I will add a note to make it clear to anyone looking for the specificity. If you are interested, my favorite rice ball is still at the Esposito & Sons store in Carroll Gardens. Will definitely try the croquettes next time, thanks for the recommendation!


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