Mannino's Italian Bistro
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Mannino's Italian Bistro Restaurant Review: Even with Mannino’s offbeat location in a shopping center easily missed on a road many don’t travel, reservations are advisable, even on a Monday. That’s because while the restaurant is casual, with a lively setting as fitting for an easygoing date as for an extended family gathering, its Italian dishes with sauces from scratch are impressive. Whether you pick a pasta such as gnocchi margherita dotted with house-made mozzarella, a seafood dish like scampi francese, or a meat entrée along the lines of the vitello and portobello stack (fried veal cutlet, eggplant, portobello, prosciutto, sweet basil marinara and mozzarella), quality ingredients and knowledgeable preparation abound. And don’t miss the apple and Gorgonzola salad with apricot vinaigrette. The winning formula may be attributed to the restaurant’s old-world-meets-young-blood nature. The owners are two talented chefs, Sicilian-born John Mannino, Sr., and his son John Mannino, Jr., and their partner Daris Gavin, who runs Mannino’s dining room and wine program. Portions are ample, meaning you’ll probably leave with a doggie bag, and prices reasonable, making for true value. Also located in Thoroughgood and Olde Towne Portsmouth.