901 B Street
San Rafael, CA 94901Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.ginolina.com/
- Phone: (415) 258-8590
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30AM - Dinner:Monday- Saturday: 4:30PM - closing Closed -Sunday
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
- Executive Chef: Gino La Motta
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Personal wines welcome, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: Please contact us for further details
- Private Party Contact: Lina 4152588590
- Entertainment: Solo Guitarist Thursday and Saturday nights. Accompanied by "Opera Singer Monti Zanetti"
A word from Bistro GinoLina
Bistro Ginolina Full Bar, Full kitchen including wood burning pizza oven. All organic produce and hormone free meats. Italian owners, Italian Chef and Italian products. "Bistro Ginolina is like taking a trip to Rome and eating your way south to the Amalfi Coast. Flavors here are bold". Robin Collins-Patch MagazineContinued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Bistro GinoLina reviews from OpenTable diners
17 reviews since July 27, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (11)fit for foodies (6)romantic (6)special occasion (5)good for groups (3)great for lunch (2)notable wine list (2)vibrant bar scene (2)late-night find (2)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Goodmarinfood1Dined on 11/12/2014Wonderful food and service. The quality is always consistent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- HoagDined on 11/8/2014Love the place but it's wine list is meager. More choices are needed for this to become a regular "go to" place for me.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tasty ItaliantwojpsVIPDined on 11/8/2014We tried it twice, since we forgot the certificate. The service is attentive and professional. The small Bistro is set beautifully. The short menu has some excellent dishes. Close to NYC style. We had fun.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- overpriced and bad foodGillieDined on 11/6/2014The restaurant web site was awesome, but did not reflect the true nature of the quality and preparation of the food. My wife and I started with a split of a caesar salad. The serving was minuscule. The house Cabernet was good but at $12.00 a glass, way to expensive. I ordered the Salmon which the waiter informed was of the wild variety. What was served was a dried out small fillet that most likely came from their freezer. The salmon was thin and hard with one side darkened with the remains of the fish skin that was not fully removed. On the plate there were a few vegetables and some very burnt chunks of potatoes. The chicken in the dish my wife ordered was less than tender. Also, the service was extremely slow.
- Enjoyed our mealKathyDined on 10/31/2014We had a delicious meal at Bistro GinoLina. They served very large portions so took half my dinner home. I had Veal Piccata which was wonderful and My husband had the Seafood with pasta which he loved and was piled high with seafood. We split a salad. The restaurant is a bit on the noisy side and people hang at the bar. All in alll was great and would go back for sure.Special Features:
- San Rafael ItalianApplejacksVIPDined on 10/25/2014The people here are what make it such a wonderful. Love the kindness they exude. Felt like Italy from that perspective. The food is very good among all the myriad of choices in San Rafael.Special Features:
- Great Find in Marinkg11VIPDined on 9/6/2014So glad we tried this quaint little bistro. After passing it by many times, thought it was time to try. We met friends at the bar and were served excellent cocktails to begin our evening. At our lovely table, we ordered a pizza to start. It was perfectly flavored, just enough cheese and sauce without overwhelming the crust. Very tasty. Each of us had a different dish. All of us enjoyed ours. Chicken milanese w/capalinni, Tortolinni stuffed with cheese and asparagus, lamb chops, and a veal scallopini. Bottom line...They know what they're doing!!! and they were very pleasant. We will return.
- The following 72 reviews are from the Bistro GinoLina reviews archive.
- Authentic Italian in San RafaelluvsbcDined on 6/14/2014Great, authentic Italian food in downtown SR. Great for World Cup watching as wellSpecial Features:
- Easy on the up-selling!mmmmVIPDined on 5/23/2014Food was good, but waiter made us feels though we should be having MORE. If I need to feel guilt - I'll go to my mother's for dinner!!Special Features:
- Hidden in plain view gemMDL1234VIPDined on 4/25/2014We eat out 3 -4 nights a week and find there are few really good restaurants in Marin. We stumbled on Ginolinda a year ago and have been back 5 times w friends since. I don't write reviews often because if I can't say something positive it's not worth the effort. This restaurant had delivered....simply consistent great Italian food and service. One of Marin's top 5 restaurants and not overly expensive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Restaurant situated in anTruthTellerVIPDined on 3/27/2014Restaurant situated in an old building so architecture inside restaurant is quaint and surroundings pleasant. Food was generally good, except for the pizza, which was, in a word, inept. I get far tastier pizza at Whole Foods. This restaurant really needs to do something about their pizza, like get a new pizza recipe or new pizza chef. Also, the owner, although apparently trying to be a good host, talks too long at the tables, which interfered with the conversation I was trying to have with my dining companion. Overall, it's pretty good here if you can avoid the pizza and the owner.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hit and Miss3jsssVIPDined on 2/27/2014I had the crab ravioli in lemon cream sauce, it was delicious. My husband had the penne with shrimp in a vodka sauce, which he was not happy with. It was dry and rather bland. We shared the cauliflower salad, and were disappointed. The chairs have no cushions, and the service was good but overbearing. Since the restaurant was not crowded in the least, we felt rushed. We had to turn the waiter away three times just so we could relax, have our drinks, and look over the menu. I had the impression the restaurant wanted to turn tables as quickly as possible, lingering was not encouraged. The wine list was very limited.Special Features:
- Ginolina reviewcharleneDined on 2/15/2014We have been to Ginollilna about a year ago. The food is excellent. Although the service of food delivery was good, the server did not act as though he really what we thought about the food or if everything was ok. A little more personable would be nice. We have a wonderful conversation with Lina who is at the bar and Gino was a warm friendly person. We pan on going backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Real Italian in San RafaelNativegalVIPDined on 2/5/2014I had driven by many times and decided to try it earlier this week. Very interesting Kale Caesar, which they offered to serve in a small portion. Nice creamy fettucine carbonara. Warm and welcoming staff, attentive without hovering. It has a nice bar and what seems to be a local following. It is a little on the pricey side, especially for the location, I would try it again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday dinner partyGinoVIPDined on 1/20/2014We had a birthday party for 10 people and Gino took great care of us with a get table and delicious food!! Everyone had a great time and loved the food!Special Features:
- molto originalejhurDined on 11/9/2013Very good paglia e fieno with lobster and artichoke, calamari steak, great wines, too generous desserts. There are plenty of Italian restaurants in San Rafael. This one stands out for being small and intimate with very friendly service, not as loud as the bigger places.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Gino Lino has delicious foodGinoVIPDined on 10/25/2013Gino Lino has delicious food and has a nice bar. It is a neighborhood gem and consistently offers specials and excellent service. Gino is always there treating his customers with a big smile and makes them feel special. This is a most try if you have never dined there!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My party of 5 arrived at thisTiGeRVIPDined on 10/25/2013My party of 5 arrived at this lovely restaurant after moving all day. It was much nicer than we were prepared for. They didn't miss a beat. We had a delicious meal served well! Thank youSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food okay, but music is deafeninggetsnarkyVIPDined on 9/27/2013I can't recommend. They have live music and it's just WAY too loud. I couldn't hear the waiter, couldn't hear my friends and during a break heard the table next to me hoping aloud that the concertina player would not return from their break. The service was good - but the food was disappointing. The kale caesar was excellent as were a couple of the veggie starters; however, the entrees were poor across the board. I had the special osso bucco and it not only looked unappetizing - a pile of meat in a sea of watery risotto - but it was very, very, very bland. No meat taste - no taste at all, and for the first time in memory I had to liberally salt and pepper a dish but it was unsalvagable. Should have sent it back. Next time, Davide.
- Mediocre At BestDipsea99VIPDined on 9/12/2013The food was mediocre at best. We ordered the pasta of the day as shown on the daily menu insert, but at 6:30 PM it was "not ready". So eggplant parmesan was nicely done, but the pasta bolognese was nothing special. We also ordered a vegetable appetizer from the daily menu and the vegetables weren't fresh and tasted like they were out of a can. Service was prompt, but we never saw the guitar player that was advertised on the website.
- We were pampered from theSonomalocalVIPDined on 9/9/2013We were pampered from the time we arrived. We had a couple of special requests that were taken care of quickly and graciously. We ordered mostly from the specials of the day and all 5 of us were pleased with our dishes. We'll look forward to ordering from their extensive menu and trying additional tastes on our next visit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A little taste of Italy.GinoVIPDined on 8/30/2013This place is always consistent with delicious food and great service. It is in downtown San Rafael and parking is easy to find. Try it out and you won't be disappointed. Gino is there every night and will take care of you!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Hidden Jewel in MarinMaseratiVIPDined on 8/12/2013Gino is an amazing host!! The perfect host! Gracious, welcoming, energetic and friendly! He is the life of the restaurant!. Always making you feel at home! The food is delicious and consistent!! The service is outstanding; attentive and not overbearing!! The prices are reasonable!! I will recommend GinoLina without any hesitation!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/2/2013We went to this restaurant with friends. They had someone playing the guitar, which was very nice. The waiter was wonderful, the service was great and the food was fresh and delicious. I highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Saturday Night DateAnthonyrDined on 7/27/2013Their food was very good and the service was awesome. I would highly recommend Gino's.Special Features:
- not a great place for a familyBusterDined on 6/13/2013We dined on a Thursday night. The live music was too loud, and we asked several times for the volume to be turned down so we could talk. No adjustment was possible according to the wait staff. We did not order a lot of food and every time the server asked, he would say "Jez" or sigh. My husband and I ordered the saffron seafood soup, and the mussels overwhelmed the flavor, not to mention tasted bad. When asked how everything tasted, I was honest and said the mussels were off. The response was, " oh, they just came in today".
- GinoLina: Great Food, Great ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 6/8/2013GinoLina has a fantastic array of Italian dishes, with an emphasis on high quality locally sourced ingredients. What stands out for me, however, is their amazing Tutu Mare - which is baked in parchment paper. It just explodes with flavors. Gino and Lina are always very welcoming; as are their staff. The wine list is an eclectic range of Italian reds and whites, and includes some really good options at reasonable prices. They also carry a good range of Californian wines.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A bad night?PflowerVIPDined on 10/5/2012Having been to Bistro Ginolina many times we looked forward to our last visit. I hope it was just a bad night but the food and service were just horrible. My piccata was soggy and bland and my husbands fish was dry. With all the wonderful Italian restaurants in the county we will not be back any time soon. This all makes me sad as we have liked this restaurant for so long and have, in the past, recommended it to friends.
- Weekday lunches were nice,OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 9/15/2012Weekday lunches were nice, but on crowded evenings (esp. Saturday night,) the noise level of the restaurant makes table conversation very difficult. The tables are too close together. However, the cuisine is excellent. Service is friendly, but seemed a bit short staffed for the weekend crowd.Special Features:
- Skip ItOpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 9/14/2012Overwhelmed wait staff...slow service...soggy pizza...terse and unwelcoming owner...bland food. The bottle of wine saved the evening...but we could have gotten it at Costco.
- My past visits were much better.OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 7/31/2012My past visits were much better. Our first course of fried tomatoes was good, but the prawn Caesar salad was tasteless and the prawns were overcooked and tasted a bit past their prime. I'll go again, but won't rush back.
- The food was very good andSRJohnDined on 7/14/2012The food was very good and the service was very personable right down to the handshake and thank-you on the way out the door. Felt it was a bit on the expensive side, but no regrets.Special Features:
- Date NightDhsidDined on 6/23/2012A good experience and wonderful place to take a date on. Food was very good and was moderately priced.Special Features:
- The restaurant was about toOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 6/7/2012The restaurant was about to close and was unable to keep my reservation, but well beyond the call of duty, gave me a carton of pasta with cream sauce, cheese, peas and bacon, a favorite. A nice surprise. Open Table, please get your act together. This happened twice the same night where your listed reservation times didn't match the restaurant's schedule.Special Features:
- They outdid themselves. WeOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 6/2/2012They outdid themselves. We have eaten all over the world but all 6 of us agreed the food equaled Michelin Star levels.Special Features:
- First time visit. The foodOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 5/26/2012First time visit. The food was great as was the service!Will be dining at Ginolina again!Special Features:
- Food was just so so. PorkOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 5/25/2012Food was just so so. Pork chop kind of dry and calamari was rubbery. Pesto pizza was okay but a bit bland. Kale caesar salad was pretty interesting though. Service was good but my dog got most of my pork chop when I got home!
- good food, but service ....?OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 5/12/2012My family went for a special occasion and booked in advance for a Saturday night ( I thought it was necessary). When we arrived right on time we still had to wait ten for our table to be set up, and it was awkward because there isn't exactly a waiting area. Noise travels on this little restaurant so if you plan on a lit of laughing joking (even crude jokes) go to another restaurant (kids eat here for goodness sake). It's Italian, but our waitress didn't know any of the words so we pointed to our menus. We were at the restaurant for nearly two hours because it took nearly an hour finger our orders brought out. I only recommend this place because the food is indeed delicious and breathtaking, and the decor is beautiful and romantic.Special Features:
- The food is always exceptionalsedonaVIPDined on 2/14/2012The food is always exceptional at Bistro Ginolina. The pasta is my favorite, but so is everything else!! It is our favorite place to go - especially for a special occasion.Special Features:
- We were there on a MondayOpenTable Diner Since 2000VIPDined on 2/6/2012We were there on a Monday night and the owner was doing most of the serving. There were four or five tables in use, so the service was slower than I would have expected. He was a good host, however, and the food was quite good. We will go back.