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Gamba Ristorante
Gamba Ristorante

Gamba Ristorante Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://gambaristorante.com
  • Phone: (219) 736-5000
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

    Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Wine Bar
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Gamba Ristorante is the ideal setting for any special occasion. It is perfectly suited for weddings, holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, corporate lunch or dinners, brunches, birthday parties and bridal showers.
  • Private Party Contact: Michaelle Gamba (219) 736-5000

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Connecticut St.
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Gamba Ristorante
The former owners of the Venezia Bar & Grill and Café Venezia, Benito and Hilda Gamba, have combined their efforts into the Gamba Ristorante. Located in Merrillville, this restaurant is housed in an architectural masterpiece, which is hard to miss with its circular design and copper roof. Modeled after upscale restaurants in exotic European locations, the menu offers classic Italian cuisine. The wine room boasts storage space for 1,000 bottles. A banquet hall holds up to 175 people and looks out onto an open courtyard. Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We needed to take a dinner stop in Merrilville, and turned to the OpenTable listing. A great find. I am sure we will regularly stop here on trips to Chicago. Extremely tasty dishes. Very nice atmosphere."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "My wife and I recently went to Gamba's to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were promptly greeted by Mr. Gamba as if we were family. The server was very helpful and attentive throughout the evening. Our food was truly outstanding. The entire experience was something we will fondly remember for years. We endorse Gamba Restorante with our highest possible recommendation for fine dining enthusiasts."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Want to treat yourself, or just be good to yourself? A trip to Gamba's restaurant is in order. Food is wonderful, you get what you pay for."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Truly, truly enjoyed this restaurant! Our service was phenomenal! The food was superb! The boneless ribeye was succulent, it melted in your mouth! Definitely going again!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Gamba's is definitely off the beaten path. We even had trouble finding the entrance. However, my husband and I had an excellent server and a delicious meal. We will visit again."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "From the greeting at the entrance, to the top-notch service, to the interesting selections on the menu everything about the night was great. With so many tasty choices on the menu it was really hard to pick an entree. We did not go wrong with the evening risotto and the pennette. Both had rich flavors that permeated the dishes. I would definitely return and hope to do so soon!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Food was decent but the portions are smaller than desired. Good ambiance for a night out or romantic evening."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Disappointing. Second time at this restaurant and was expecting same experience as first time. Kale salad is excellent. Ordered lamb loin. It was rubbery and fatty. My date ordered the meatball pasta dish which was good, but seemed overpriced for a pasta dish. Seated at a table close to where are waiter seemed to be stationed. It was awkward talking with her hovering. A table of 8 was seated nearby and man at the head of the table spent a considerable amount of time on his cell phone. Left a lot to be desired. No desert menu - only ice cream. If I return I will go only for the kale salad and a glass of wine."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Waiter wasn't the most pleasant. He tended non-stop to a table nearby. Didn't pay much attention to us and was a bit snooty. Food was great but pricey and very small portions."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Fabulous! First time to Gamba and it was great - food, service, atmosphere. We went for my husband's birthday and it was a wonderful place for a quiet, intimate dinner for adults."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "This was my third time being here. My first two experiences were fantastic, this one not so good. Must have had a new chef I'm assuming as the food was not worth the money at all. We ordered a flatbread pizza that was soggy and one of the ribeye steaks was not cooked at all. Was completely raw in the middle, we had to send it back. Not sure I will be able to bring myself to go back there. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Would recommend for excellent food, atmosphere and service. Could not have had a finer time. Quiet and very intimate."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Server was owner's daughter, and very gracious and knowledgeable about the food. The food was outstanding and even though I ordered the small plate there was more than enough to eat. The tradition of fine dining continues at Gamba's!"
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "Hidden gem in Merrillville, great food, romantic & moderate pricing❤️❤️"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Went to Gamba to celebrate many special occassions since my husband and I first offical date was at Cafe Venzia. We will be married 20 years this upcoming week. Many things have changed since Cafe Venzia has become Gamba however the great food, service, and passion for their restaurant and customers remain the same. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "This is the 3rd time me and my wife have gone to Gamba Ristorante. We love the food and service and try to make it here whenever we can for special occasions. We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "The dishes we had were average at best. Nice place, but food presentation and taste was not impressive. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We liked it better when it was Cafe Venezia. We enjoyed the mature Italian waiters. The portions were larger. It was Not something that you could make at home. They were out of Tiramisu. Really? What mom was not going to have Tiramisu, so close to Mother's Day ! Benny Used to walk around from table to table asking people about the food. Instead the restaurant seems to be run by people under age 30, with no sense of tradition."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We went because wewanted to have a nice date night spot and heard good things about Gamba. The inside is different than any restaurant I have been at lately. The reastaurant didn't look busy but we waited for our food for almost an hour without any explaination from our server, which is rediculous. The food was not worth the wait. I expected way more. Frankly the food is much better at Coopers Hawk. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "this use to be a great restaurant. on this day the food was below average and the service was very poor. the waiters were inattentive and did not even remember who ordered what and there were just 2 of us! the restaurant was not busy and thus this is not even a good excuse. the food was bland and lifeless. i could have stayed home and done a better job while saving a descent amount of money. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Cozy and comfortable ambiance. Great attentive service. I can honestly say that this was one of the best, most creative, appealing, appetizing and satisfying meal I have had in the area. Starting with crusty bread to housmade sausage (highly recommended) and chickpea fritter were delicious. One of the special of the day was a mushroom broth, so earthy, so rich, so taste that it left me wanting for more. For dinner arctic char was perfctly cooked. My wife had potato Gnocchi which were served in tomato based sauce. She was expecting a cream based sauce. Without any hesitation it was replaced. Needless to say she was quite happy. For dessert we had tiramisu, one of our favorite. If I had a more lighter and tastier version, I don't know where."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "To cut to the chase: Arrived early to have a drink in the bar. Not very busy at all but 2 martini's took 10 min to receive. The bartender was nice but seemed overwhelmed w/ the 6 people at the bar & also taking care of the waiters station. Dinner was worse. The waiter was rather cold & wanted to rush us. We ordered the kale salads which were great. However, the risotto/tenderloin & asparagus dish a disaster. The risotto was runny & the tenderloin "chunks" were tough as ever. After 3 bites we were done. The owner did apologize and took both entree's off the bill. Obviously, we left disappointed. We've heard great things about Gamba's & were excited to go there. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Absolute fine dining at its best. You would think your dining in the finest NYC or downtown Chicago restuarants, though even better in my opinion. This is the place to enjoy both the spectacular service and food. Highly recommend Gamba Restuarant to all."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Great gourmet food and classy ambience makes this restaurant a real find for the Northwest IN area. Awesome experience!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We had a wonderful dinner at Gamba's! The food, wine and service were outstanding. Our server, Oscar, was great, attentive and helped with food and wine suggestions."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "I was there with two clients. I arrived first and sat for 8 -10 minutes before I was even offered water by my waiter or acknowledged by him. In the lover section where my table was, he had one table (5 or 6 people) in the wine room and 2 other tables with two each at the time of my seating. When the others arrived we ordered, our salads were served with no offer of pepper or cheese (as others in the room we receiving). When our mail course arrived, two of us received ours and one had to wait. I finally asked if her meal was coming and it arrived shortly there after. I was long enough that my food was no longer warm. I have been here twice before and each time, I leave saying I will not return. Wish I would have remembered that."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "We went to dinner on a Saturday evening. From the moment we were greeted by the owner and his spouse, to the thank you at the finish, we were made to feel very welcome and important. This is an upscale Italian flavored establishment with first class service and a very interesting and atypical menu. We each had a salad,entree and dessert. We were very satisfied in taste and portions; enough so that we had take home. I highly recommend Gamba Ristorante for a special night out. Expect to spend some money, but I think the quality was worth it."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Don't correct a guest on where to sit. If my date wants to sit across the table from me she may I don't see where your staff sees it as a problem. We left after getting our dinner rolls due to the poor environment"
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "The service and astmosphere was 5 star. Loved our waiter and the host who seated us. We went the day after Valentine's Day on a Saturday and had reservations we made online. The decore is quite beautiful and we love the modern circular flow and would like to use the outside dining when the weather gets warmer. Our dinner was very good. We shared a shrimp coctail that was delicious. We got 4 really large shrimp and the coctail sauce really has a kick to it which I loved. My husband ordered the Tomatoe Bisque (which had meat in it) and Filet Mignon, cooked to perfection. I ordered the Kale Salad and Pumkin Risoto. Loved the Kale Salad found the Risoto had not enough vegetables too much rice (thick and pasty). Loved the Carrot Cake!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This NWI gem has Chicago upscale type class and a great menu. For our visit we were greeted with a great waiter who was apparently wanting us to be pleased with our evening. The halibut was really outstanding with all the right subtle tastes without hiding any of the great flavor of the fish. A wine was recommended that was also a great choice and added to the already great meal. This place was a step above anything in the area and created a great experience for us. Our second visit and we will be back again!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I went here for valentines day and had a reservation for 8:15 pm but weren't seated until just about 9. The food however made up for it. I do understand that, due to the date, it was very busy, which was not a problem. Also, our waitress was very apologetic for our wait. Our meals were very well prepared and I was very surprised at the duration of waiting time between appetizers and the actual meals themselves. We had waited about 10 minutes for our food. I will definitely come here again because of this experience, and more than likely not on a holiday such as valentines day."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We had a very enjoyable Valentines Day. The food & service were outstanding. The " Wine Room " added to the ambience of the night!!!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Our food was very good and hot! Our server was very nice and fun. I felt the lay out of the restaraunt was odd...Round rooms with windows covered in heavy drapes. I thought the ambiance would be different..."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "Gamba's had a great atmosphere where we could enjoy a great date night! Ambiance and great food (incredible filet) abound in this restaurant! Definitely worth the financial investment...as they say..."you get what you pay for!"...and Gamba's delivers!"
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Everything is fabulous about this restaurant. Four of us shared appetizers. Oysters, scallops shrimp, calamari were all wonderful. If you have to pick only one, go with scallops. Wedge and Caesar salads very tasty. Main courses were all very nice sized portions - lamb tenderloin, risotto and sea bass are outstanding. Desserts all wonderful. Exquisite wine selection. Servers and owner top it off to make it a truly exceptional experience."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Our server was efficient and knowledgeable. Is it fine for a server to interrupt the conversation at a table when they are ready to take your order, and when they bring the order? Call me old fashioned, but I felt our conversation at the table should have been respected by the server."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "The food was very good. The decor was beautiful! The music was a little loud & not really romantic nor "rich/calm feeling""
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "My friends and I had a wonderful dinner here to start our New Years Eve. The restraunt was very busy. The music was a little loud. The music was a live act and not the greatest. The bar was located ten feet away and it was very hard to talk. The server was nice but very busy. We were told to order are whole meal at once by him. He was right though. We had are appetizers half an hour later. It took another half hour after that to get the rest of the meal. I had to track him down in the kitchen to get a drink refill for the table. We will dine here again on an off night to get a normal experience. Be prepared for a handsome bill at the end of the night."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Several things were upsetting here. We had always enjoyed our dinners at Gamba's, and were looking forward to a pleasant evening. The waitress came up and announced she 'guess she was waiting on us' because somebody else hadn't gotten there. She then got sarcastic with one of our party when he asked if the dorade was like the halibut. "Why don't you just have the halibut then?" I ordered a glass of sparkling wine...it was flat. I ordered a filet done medium well...it was medium rare, and still was after being returned. A manager (owner?) apologized to me and offered to substitute a dinner. I picked a less expensive item. When the bill came, they still had the charge for the filet! Hardly saw the wait staff after that. I won't be back."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We went to Gamba's for New Year's Eve. They opened up the banquet room for regular dining. The room was very dark and we had to walk through the service area to get to the banquet room. Not what I wanted to see."
    Dined on 12/31/2013