Restaurant review: Authentic old-school Italian at Gaspare’s

Nov 02, 2018 317


Nostalgia triggered by the emanating aromas and distinct flavors of the kitchens and restaurants of our childhood can elevate a dining experience in powerful ways. One of the strongest memory-fueled Marin meals I’ve had in a long time was at Gaspare’s Pizzeria Ristorante & Bar in San Rafael, where the generous portions of rich, rustic dishes and New York-style pizza bring back the classic Italian eateries of my formative years in New Jersey.

A full parking lot and 20 minute wait at 6 p.m. on a Friday night is a good indication that I’ve been missing something. The scent of simmering sauces, blistering pizzas and roasting garlic serve as a greeting through the entry flanked by two string-lit palm trees. Palpable energy driven by casually carousing families, sports teams and cocktailers radiates from the interior.

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