Omnivore - A do-not-order dish at Gino's NY Pizza Bar

Please take the veal piccata of the menu


Oy. That's Yiddish for "Don't ever put this Italian travesty in front of me again."

I'm talking about the veal piccata at Gino's New York Pizza Bar, which I visited with six friends last Friday. This restaurant opened just over a year ago in the old Franco's location. It's owned by the same people who operate similar restaurants in Johns Creek and Norcross.

I've only been to Gino's once before - for lunch soon after they opened. I had awful service and a decent calzone.

I'm not going to bother to review the entire table's food. It seemed pretty self-evident that sticking to calzones and pizza was the safest course. Two of us, including my Italian-American friend Frank, got the veal piccata (right). I shoved the dish away after five or six bites. I did eat the garlic knots and the pizza crust left by Bobby, seated to my right. Frank, I should note, did eat the dish with little complaint. That's the advantage of eating in a flash. But his summation turned out to be negative.

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What was wrong with the piccata? The veal had been insufficiently browned, so that its overly-thick flour coating was a gooey mess. The veal itself was slippery and flavorless. This was served over pasta - linguine for me, fettuccine for Frank. If there was any lemon in the sauce, it eluded me, so the capers were left alone to provide any contrast. I guess this is what I get for ordering PETA-banned veal.

When our server saw my barely eaten plate, she asked me if I wanted to take the leftovers home.

"No," I said, "I don't have a dog."

The server balked. The table came to a screeching silence. When I got home, I fried bacon and eggs and told my cat he was really lucky not to be a dog.