Restaurant Guide 2013: Gino's

8051 SE 13th Ave., 233-4613,

[SEEING RED] Gino's is the perfect place for a hit: a small family place, good food, everyone minds his business. Granted, you have to lure the intended victim to Sellwood, and make sure there's no confusion about the sign above the door, which advertises this dimly lit den of marinara, steak and bivalves as "Leipzig Tavern." But once you're seated (preferably in the cozier bar side), things should go smoothly. The Gino's family is proud of the simple Caesar salad ($11.95 for two), but it's just romaine, oil and a light dusting of cheese. Instead, dive deep into the red and order pasta swimming in spicy, meaty marinara. The Grandma Jean's penne gets a rich sauce made with pork ribs, stewed beef and pepperoni ($17.25). If you see the beef and mushroom stew made with local morels ($17.95), don't hesitate to pull the trigger.

Ideal meal: A bottle of red from the cellar, a cheese plate and Grandma Jean's pasta.

Best deal: For the last hour it's open, Gino's sells Grandma Jean's pasta for $5.95, beer for $3 and a glass of wine for $5.

Pro tip: We've had good luck with specials, which tend to make better use of fresh ingredients than the standbys.

4-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-11 pm Friday-Saturday. $$.


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