Italian cuisine was born when, after building the city of Rome, Romulus and Remus discovered Greece didn't deliver to their new address. Taste the origins of an empire with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Italian-American cuisine at Gheppetto’s Grille in Ware.
Owned by the same culinary masterminds behind Pinocchio’s Ristorante, Gheppetto’s Grille greets patrons with a menu of classic Italian dishes and American grill favorites. Gheppetto’s Grille's selections include the garlic- and herb-marinated flat-iron steak with mashed potatoes ($18), and lombatello, a lightly seasoned hanger steak topped with a roasted-red-pepper-and-mushroom demi-glace ($18). Gorgonzola garlic bread ($6) smothered in gorgonzola cheese, roasted garlic, and olive oil presents a gooey opener, and pasta lovers can stare longingly at the vegetable lasagna—featuring pasta, mozzarella, and ricotta layered with a medley of broccoli, field mushrooms, pesto, and homemade marinara ($14). Or, they can sample the linguine pescatore ($18), which reunites shrimp, scallops, mussels, and clams for one last gig on a marinara- or white-wine-sauce-drenched linguine stage. On Wednesdays, guests bask in the melodies of live acoustic music while supping in the restaurant’s spacious dining room, which is accented with exposed brick and elegant white tablecloths. A dark, granite-topped wraparound bar is frequented by patrons who are toting specialty cocktails (not available with this Groupon) or engaged in breadstick swordfights.
The culinary masterminds that brought Pinocchio’s Ristorante to Three Rivers have teamed up to bring another success, Gheppetto’s Grille, to Ware. Along with elegantly executed Italian fare, the restauranteurs wanted to add a touch of Americana to the menu, setting classics such as veal marsala next to wild-caught haddock wrapped in a crispy Ritz Cracker and panko breading. Fostering a festive environment ideal for an after-work cocktail or get-together with family and friends, the lounge entertains guests with a full bar lined with flat-screen TVs showing big, burly games. In the dining area, Gheppetto’s amicable staff seats guests at tables adorned with white tablecloths in a room of rustic browns and reds lit warmly under hanging lights. Supporting local artists, the eatery also enlivens its Thursday and Saturday evenings with live acoustic music.