Ladies Who Lunch

Ladies, this one is for you. Looking for the perfect place to meet the girls for lunch? Have I got the spot for you….Gina La Fornarina.

Gina La Fornarina is the most adorable cafe on the Upper West side. It’s large picture windows make it bright, airy and perfect for people watching. The white tables with flower buds and crisp white table clothes,  make it such a happy place. But what I love most are the pink curtains and accents throughout. That and the gorgeous waiters, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

I found this spot after a long and busy day. It’s not often that I find myself on the Upper Westside, but when I do, I often visit the same haunts. But not this time, I’m trying something new. I’ve passed Gina’s numerous times and wanted to try it. So I decided that today was the day.

I was greeted by a sweet hostess with a pretty smile. She sits me front and center with a great view of Amsterdam Avenue. As I look around the room, I just fall in love with the decor even more. Pink and white everywhere. Happy, happy, joy joy. But it’s food I came for and food it is.

Pizza, pasta, panini and salads…oh my. What’s a girl to do? I decide on Gina’s lunchbox and a cafe latte. Soon a handsome Italian with a sexy accent bring me my cafe. Aaaahh – my second favorite thing about Gina’s.

The presentation of my lunch was just outstanding. A bowl of minestrone soup, 1/2 panini made with fresh prosciutto crudo, mozzarella and arugula with a microgreen salad. Every table is given a square paper bag filled with homemade bread that is crusty on the outside and pillowy on the inside. The trick is to dip it in the extra virgin olive oil. Honestly, I could have made a meal out of the soup and bread. Who am I kidding…the bread alone!!!! First class from beginning to end.

But did I stop there? Nnnnoooooo. Dessert must be had. And of course, it’s tiramisu or should I say decadence on a plate. Creamy, rich with a hint of chocolate sauce on top. May I have a moment of silence please?

Dining alone can sometimes be a little awkward but not here. I immediately struck up a conversation with 2 girls sitting at the table next to me, which made me love this place even more.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Gina La Fornarina. I walked away so happy and with a doggy bag filled with tiramisu.

Happiness, $25 and under.



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About The Author

A fierce love of food and twin careers in real estate and fashion taught Rose to look for the hottest item and the hottest deal. Perfect attributes for creating When friends and clients needed a great meal at a great price, she could rattle off restaurant names the way a sports nut ticks off batting averages—but with a lot more home runs. Now it’s all at Cheapeats, where you’ll find “Happiness, $25 and under.”


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