My husband’s mother, Parker, just flew from San Antonio, Texas to Germany to see us for the first time since we moved back here in 2014. Parker is a wonderful person and I’ve missed having easy access to her. We came to Stuttgart from San Antonio and she used to come to our house all the time to spend the night or have dinner.
We spent yesterday morning driving to and from Frankfurt to collect her at the big airport. Then, having arrived home at about 3:15pm, Bill picked up our stylin’ new glasses from the optical shop in Nagold. I’m pretty pleased with our badly needed new spectacles, although I don’t like wearing glasses as a rule.
Last night, we went to see Gino at Osteria da Gino in Nagold (not to be confused with the one in Herrenberg). As many places as we’ve dined since we came back to Germany, I think Gino’s is probably my favorite. He and his wife greet us like family. In fact, when Bill called for a much needed reservation a few days ago, Gino’s wife immediately recognized the name and gave him a very warm greeting. They are truly wonderful hosts.
I have reviewed Gino’s restaurant plenty of times in this blog. I have never been disappointed on any visits there, even though Gino’s style is different than most anywhere else we’ve been. For one thing, I have never once been offered a menu at Gino’s place. He or his chef just comes over and asks you if you want each course. The antipasti is usually pretty much the same thing. An orange and fennel salad, grilled vegetables, sliced cheeses and sausages, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, and bread. But then he’ll bring out pasta and that course often varies. Then we’ll have fish or meat and we never know what that will turn out to be. We’ve had everything from filet mignon to osso bucco. Finally, dinner is capped off with dessert, which is usually a platter of different things… or maybe tiramisu. You just never know. One thing you will never be served is pizza.
Anyway, here are some photos from last night’s food extravaganza. Gino had a full house last night– 26 people in his tiny dining room. It had the ambiance of a good party, with everyone sharing a table and a good time.
I took a few photos of Nagold, which is now beautifully decorated for the holidays. If you haven’t visited this cute little town, you should come by and see it. It’s super quaint and adorable and there are a lot of nice restaurants there.
We had to keep our tour of Nagold brief, since Parker didn’t bring a heavy coat with her. She said it’s about 80 degrees in San Antonio right now. I would be surprised if she owns a heavy coat. As soon as we walked into Gino’s restaurant, he turned around and tried to place us in his mind. It’s been too long since our last visit. His adorable wife remembered us immediately. Gino doesn’t speak English, but that doesn’t matter. He has such a big personality that it’s easy to be friends with him.
We were seated with a party of five at a long table. Lots of people were enjoying Gino’s hospitality last night. I don’t think I have ever seen his dining room when it wasn’t full.
Obligatory shot of Bill…
and his lovely mom, Parker. Now both of our mothers have visited Gino!
We started with a lovely bottle of Primitivo. We actually had a bottle, which was kind of a switch. Usually, Gino brings us little carafes and I don’t know what I’m drinking. I enjoyed this wine enough to look for it next time I’m shopping. It was very pleasing. Incidentally, we didn’t specifically order this. They suggested a Primitivo and we said that was good. This is what they brought us.
The four above shots are of the antipasto. We had the orange and fennel salad with olives, fresh sausages and cheese, mozzarella and tomatoes, and grilled vegetables. I am always pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy the way Gino’s chef grills the veggies. They are delicious.
Next, we had a pasta course. Bill and Parker had their spaghetti Parmesan with truffles. I had mine plain, sprinkled with just a little ground pepper. Although his restaurant is too small to witness this in the dining room, Gino’s hardworking culinary crew makes this dish in a big wheel of cheese. Bill watched them preparing it as he passed the kitchen.
Next, the main course. We all had filet mignon, cooked medium rare and topped with rosemary, with roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach. I noticed a couple of ladies having zander filet, which was the fish option last night. One man had what appeared to be shrimp. If Gino offers you something that doesn’t appeal, chances are excellent that he’ll have something you’ll love. We enjoy letting him take the wheel, though. He has never disappointed us.
And finally, dessert. This was just enough because we were a bit full. Parker and I were going to have espresso, but I think they forgot to bring it. By the time we were finished with dinner, it was time to go home and sleep.
The bill for this lovely meal was just under 300 euros. We usually spend in the neighborhood of 160 to 175 euros when it’s just Bill and me. But then, we also always get four courses, which you certainly don’t have to do. We saw at least one couple having two courses. They were the first and only ones to leave for a couple of hours. Most people who dine at Gino’s seem to go for the whole program. Fortunately, you can pay by credit card.
As I mentioned before, Gino’s food is usually fantastic. But what I love the most about his restaurant is that it’s unlike any of the others in the area. Every time we go there, it feels like we’ve been invited to a great party. More than once, we’ve met new people there and even made new friends. And Gino and his wife are just wonderful, warm hosts who make us feel at home. I love bringing friends and family to this place. As usual, I warmly recommend Osteria da Gino in Nagold if you ever have the chance to visit. Just don’t go on Sunday and don’t go there looking for pizza.