Gavino’s Pizzeria in Knoxville
We saw this place pop up not to long ago. They moved into a small shopping center that was formerly occupied by an Asian restaurant of some sorts. We have been wanting to give them a try for sometime, and finally made the short trek to their location.
Before we go to eat, we always do a little research to make sure there are some things we might like. While I love Italian food and know something will be there that is just scrumptious, we like to take a look at their website just to make sure. From what I can tell they have been open since December of 2012. This based upon the date of the first online review I could find for them. I find it interesting that their website is not finished yet. In fact I know I saw a website, but now it seems as I write this there is not one. Well let’s check out their facebook… I found this page “FACEBOOK” Now I am super confused since there is a fisherman at the top…. As I scroll and scroll, I finally determine this is their facebook page. No menu to look at though. They do have two interesting videos. One of pizza sauce, and another of pizza dough. Pretty exciting.
Anyways, from the outside looks like a cool place. The kitchen is along one of the exterior windows so you can peek in and see what everyone is up to. The kitchen looks remarkably clean and organized.The Service
Upon entering we were greeted and immediately seated. We noticed the place wasn’t as nice as we had expected. The floors could use a deep cleaning, and the place was sparcely decorated. The lighting was not good as well. Not that it wasn’t enough, it simply was not in the places you would expect them to be. Overall the service was fine. We had things when we needed them, they checked back on us, and they got our order correct. Not too revolutionary here.The Menu
Since you can’t see the menu online, I can tell you there is a wide variety of italian dishes. The usual items you would expect. There were some interesting statements on the menu.
- Sharing gets an up charge. That’s ridiculous. They are not giving me extra food if I decide to share. Why should I pay more. Rules just turn people off. No problem for us, we always order our own…
- The menu states on certain items that there is a wait for them. I found that weird.
Prices seem to be reasonable.
Only a few meals are served with salads, and since we were hungry we opted to buy two. My partner ordered the Greek Salad ($5.95) and I ordered the Ceaser Salad ($4.95) We were both surprised at their size. The ingredients used in the greek salad seemed fresh and varied. One big surprise though and beware, the olives aren’t pitted. My guest almost chipped a tooth and really was surprised to bite down on that little rock hard seed. We would have never expected this. All of the olives had pits. Not just one. The vinaigrette could have been better. It seemed to be 90% oil, and the chore of trying to mix it proved impossible. You basically had a side of oil with herbs in the bottom. The caesar salad was a different story. It was actually horrible. The lettuce was shredded, not chopped, the dressing has a very flat flavor, none of the usual parmesan and anchovy in this one. The croutons were not good as well.
We ordered some italian classics. The Lasagna ($11.95) was a generous portion, enough to share may I say. The flavors were spot on and the amount of sauce and cheese really made this a great dish. If I were being critical, the center seemed like it could have been a bit hotter. I understand the challenge of getting something so think super hot in the center. I can let that one go.
My spaghetti and meatballs was average. I didn’t find the sauce anything special. I did like how they tossed the noodles in sauce, and then put more on top. A really nice touch. The bread served with our meals was pretty basic. Some attention on this item can make a difference.The Bill
Lasagna – $11.95
Spaghetti and Meatballs – $9.95
Small Caesar Salad – $4.95
Small Greek Salad – $5.95
Side of Sauce – $1.00Conclusion
We had high hopes for this restaurant. It fell a little short unfortunately. While our lasagna was good, the spaghetti average, put everything together and we probably won’t return. That being said, I would recommend this to Italian fans, I’m sure they probably have some great Italian entrees that we didn’t get to try.
Food is average
Cannot share without up charge
Weird restaurant hours