Monday, March 16, 2015
Road Eats: Mr. Gilberti's Place in Hollister, MO.
Thing is, Branson has a lot of things, but classic, non-chain eateries aren't among those things. There are a few places downtown that have been around a while, and restaurants that are either at Silver Dollar City or attached to attractions, that have made it past the 20 year point... but by its very clientele, the city is beleaguered by a much higher local operation to chain operation basis than any other place I've ever visited. Folks coming in from all over the world are accustomed to their Cracker Barrels, Red Lobsters and McDonald's and want the comforting food of their regular diet to go along with the comforting nostalgia of their youth. I get that.
But for epicures like myself, the challenge to find a good restaurant to talk about is significant. Indeed, I've been looking for a place for over a decade that I can really, truly call my favorite. There are some I have revisited and a few I'd recommend here and there. But none compare to Mr. Gilberti's Place.
When casting the net for recommendations for the area last year, I had someone send me a private email about this little Italian joint. So when my mom, daughter and I took a well-deserved break and hid out in Branson for the better part of a week last September, I insisted we had to find this place.
Having heard about the Uno's connection, I knew we had to have a pizza. But would that be enough for three of us? Maybe, maybe not. We decided to
We started with this with beverages - lemon lime soda for Hunter, unsweet tea for me and a small bottle of wine for my mom... which was so very, very cute, a Dago Red Chianti in a vessel that would hold about two normal sized glasses of wine. You can also bring your own beverage, for what that's worth.
For Hunter, it was time for her own pie. Yes, she was into the T-Ravs and salad and even had a slice of the thick Chicago-style pie the night before, but she wanted more than that. So we got her a small cheese Chicago style pizza all her own. Yeah, she was all about that. It was very cute, too... with tiny little pieces but still just as good as the Mama Gilberti we had the night before.
Now, I should be going on more about that... after all, if it's Tony Orlando's favorite meal, maybe I needed to wait around for Tony Orlando to return to order it? But you know that's not how I roll.
I had noticed the previous visit the Mama Gilberti's Seafood Ravioli. I'm not usually the sort of person to gravitate towards the most expensive item on a menu, but I was intrigued (the largest pizzas cost a little more, but they were meant for more than one person). I love seafood, and with the promise of homemade pasta I just couldn't resist.
We're talking handmade ravioli stuffed with shredded lobster, shrimp and scallops. Drowned in a pink Alfredo and crabmeat sauce. With big fat shrimp on top, artichoke hearts, and more crabmeat.
Pardon me while I wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth. I want this dish again.
It was remarkable, delicious, and just downright tasty. I'd already had a side salad with the housemade blue cheese dressing, but that was forgotten. This plate of pasta was wipe-up-the-sauce-with-bread good. Lick the plate good.
So, two great meals at Mr. Gilberti's. Were we done yet? Oh no we weren't. We had obligations to take care of back in Arkansas, and knew our time was
This being a Friday, we took advantage of the special and let Hunter get
Mom and I went with sandwiches. She went for a chicken breast
You'll find Mr. Gilberti's on Acacia Club Road in Hollister. There's a map here... you may just need it. It's open every day (when there's no vacation involved) at 11 a.m., except on Sundays when it opens at noon. Enjoy yourself.
Mr. Gilberti's Place
1451 Acacia Club Road
Hollister, MO 65672