Gianni’s Italian Bistro is a casual friendly place with a popular bar and two dining rooms. A friend gave me a heads-up about it and its become a place I regularly come back to. Recently, I stumbled on that they have a special deal on Tuesdays only where any Shrimp entree regardless of regular price is just $9.99 on Tuesday. It’s a deal worth knowing about!
Our waitress gave us the heads-up to try the stuffed shrimp (regularly $23 on any other night). Boy, did she do us a favor! The dish includes 4 big shrimp buried under Gianni’s crab imperial plus you get the chance to pick out two sides. I went for a baked potato and brocolli (a prior time, I had freshly sauteed spinach) the portion of the shrimp isn’t huge but with something this “rich” and creamy and delicious, the portion felt “right sized” to me. The baked potato comes wrapped in foil the way potatoes used to always arrive. (It’s not a bad thing and tends to keep the potato innards hot enough to melt some butter! Mmmmm!) Another nice old fashioned touch are the slices of tomato on some leaves of iceberg which makes for a great informal small side salad. Definitely a “Thumbs Up!” special !
My friend Tom likes the Stuffed Shrimp but was in the mood to try something different and he went with the “Shrimp Gregorio” (it’s named after the Chef!) It definitely qualified as “different” <Wink> The menu description states: “Shrimp sauteed in a brandy wine sauce and topped with melted mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. Served over baby spinach” Well, it raised our eyebrows when it arrived with the shrimp sitting in a bowl of brown sauce with chopped up pieces of spinach and prosciutto floating in the sauce. It seemed more like a shrimp stew! The sauce was a tad salty (Tom hypothesized that prosciutto’s saltiness was the culprit) Tom chowed down on his shrimp but his bowl was full of brown sauce with pieces of spinach floating in it.
Gianni’s staff are very friendly and attentive and we felt well taken care of. It seems that by your second visit, you might find yourself surprised to be considered a welcomed old-timer. That’s not a bad thing at all when the friendly feeling is as genuine as it comes across. There’s also other shrimp dishes to think about included as part of the Tuesday special deal: classic fried shrimp; shrimp scampi and shrimp fra diavolo.
If you should end up dining here on other than a Tuesday, some of our other favorites include the lasagna, the Antonio Bookie Salad (get the large version for a delicious seafood entree salad!). The meatball sandwich can be mighty good too. We’ve spied regulars chowing down on the steamed crabs or crab cakes but we haven’t tried them yet! (Maybe next time! <Wink>) While the draft beers come in big plastic cups, they’re a bargain at just $2. If you’re ok having dinner without being in your best bib and tucker, you’ll be glad to discover Gianni’s Italian Bistro too!
Facts: Gianni’s Italian Bistro (Halethorpe); 3720 Washington Blvd, Halethorpe, MD 21227 (this is just north of the Baltimore Beltway off of Washington Blvd); (410) 242-4555; open 7 days a week – 11 am to 10 pm; http://www.giannisitalianbistro.com/ plenty of adjacent free parking