It's About Time that Gino's Bistro Opens In Maple Valley
People waited a long time for a good restaurant in Maple Valley. Before Gino's Bistro there were no fine restaurants for special occasions: only fast food joints and family-style restaurants.
When I eat at a restaurant I want the food to do more than 'fill the vacant' spot.
Maple Valley is a great place to live, but sometimes not so great a place if you want to eat out.
There are not many sit-down restaurants in the area, and other than McDonalds, Taco Time, and a couple of other restaurants that served the kind of food my aunt used to say, "Filled the vacant spot" but did little else in the way of a dining experience.
Until now. Thanks to a man by the name of Gino Rivera who left Peru at the age of eighteen and came to the United States-- Maple Valley eateries might still be just "filling the vacant spots".
Dino's father, in the words of the popular doo-wop song of the fifties, told his son to "Get a Job'. Gino took his advice and hasn't stopped working since. One restaurant venture followed another as he learned English and the restaurant business. Dino's first job was making salads at "Filibertos Cucina Italia in Burien" and after that, he worked at "Giancarlo's" in Federal Way. (Later he would to buy Giancarlo's and rename it Gino's Bistro. A popular restaurant he had for ten years.)
During the time Gino worked at "Giancarlo's, he lived in Maple Valley and noticed that Maple Valley was growing rapidly but the residents had a sparsity of restaurants that offered a varied menu. Some day he hoped to fill that need and open a second eating place in Maple Valley.
Then in the summer of 2011, his landlord told him that "Shakey's Pizza" in Maple Valley was closing its door after thirty years of business and Gino knew his time had come.
He purchased the old restaurant and completely restored it. Not an easy task---the only thing in the restaurant was an old pizza oven.
Gino's Bistro opened its door in March 2012. My husband and I ate there a couple of days after the grand opening. Once we stepped inside inside the restaurant with its custom finish for walls and ceilings, mixed media of sculpture wood and metal, we knew we were not in a pizza parlor anymore!
Gino makes all his food from scratch----no pre-packaged or reheated food in the microwave at Gino's. No argument there! My Lasagna with its layers of beef, sausage and Ricotta Mozzarella was the best lasagna I ever ate. My husband ordered the Marsala Chicken sautéed with mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce and when he finished, he says, "That's the best Marsala chicken I ever ate." (copycat)
Gino's Bistro has a large selection of pizzas, (Gino included pizza as a tribute to the old Shakey's) as well as a steaks, seafood, chicken and veal.
I noticed on the menu that Gino's Bistro also offered event catering and a family-style take out menu. Great, next time I get a craving for Lasagna; I'll just order it to go.
No, strike that. If I order the meal to go, I'll miss the pleasure of talking to servers, Debbie and Andrea. Debbie answered all my questions about the different menu items, and at no time did I feel rushed or that I was taking time away from her other customers.
As we got up to leave, Debbie thanked us for coming and says, "Hope to see you again."
Was there any question?