ALAMO HEIGHTS, Texas — Gino Ciccone brought a taste of Italy with him to Alamo Heights. His passion for food gave birth to Sorrento Ristorante. It's the next restaurant on the Neighborhood Eats 'Perfect Pizza Tour.'
"He started when he was 10, going into restaurants and just watching," Margherita Ciccone said.
Margherita (Yes, like the pizza) is Gino's only daughter. She and his wife, Anna, still run the restaurant at 5146 Broadway Street. Gino died. His legacy still lives on.
His daughter recalled moving from Connecticut to San Antonio after her father's friend asked for help with a restaurant. That business went under because the concept failed. But it gave Gino and his family a shot at opening their own place.
"So my dad just talked to the landlord and said, 'I have this vision,'" she said.
Mr. Gino, as many called him, opened Sorrento Ristorante e Pizzeria in 2001. The space and the robust Italian menu have evolved over time.
"We make things simple, but they have a big taste," she said.
The all scratch kitchen makes a variety of Italian dishes, including signature offerings like Capellini Alla Gino and Rigatoni Alla Gino.
Of course, Neighborhood Eats got a chance to sample some of their featured dishes before we refocused on our culinary mission.
The freshly sliced calamari fried in a custom batter is very tasty on its own. Try dipping the calamari into the marinara sauce that comes with it, too. Not needed, but it's just as good.
Pollo Alla Soorrento was next on the sampler. It's a chicken breast in a white wine butter sauce, artichokes, tomatoes and asparagus with a side of pasta. ¡Qué rico!
The final delicious distraction is their Zuppa di Pesce: Calamari, shrimp, clams, fish filet, mussels and marinara over linguine.
Back on task, Neighborhood Eats got the Gino special. It's one hefty pizza: Pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, bacon, anchovies, mushrooms, onions, green and jalapeno peppers. ¡Qué rico!