Gina's Alfresco serves more than Italian enticements

August 27, 2004

Glori Fickling

Although festival season winds down this weekend, there is still time

to enjoy the fun, food and enticements our summer season perennially


Among the newer attractions this year was the arrival of Gina's

Alfresco at the Festival of Arts. This tempting attraction is the

latest creation of the long-successful Costa family, which boasts


five popular Italian restaurants, two of which are right here in


Selected by festival aficionados from among dozens of entries, the

refreshing outdoor cafe was designed to bring family-style fare at

affordable prices. Thus, astute principal Andrew Costa and his

gracious daughter Anna, present such favorite dishes and snacks as

Brooklyn hot dogs, cheese and chili dogs, char-grilled hero and sub

sandwiches, along with small versions of their famous pizzas called

pizzettas. These include cheese, pepperoni and super veggie


Among appealing new recipes is a delicious salad composed of

roasted zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, chopped tomato and mixed

greens. Zesty balsamic vinaigrette, concocted from a coveted family

formula, is presented separately to assure that the vegetables remain

crisp. A second new treat is the Tuscan tri-tip sandwich -- tender

slices of grilled beef and roasted peppers enveloped in a hefty roll

and wrapped in foil and butcher paper to retain heat. The creamy

dressing, again, is served separately to add as you please. As a

special favorite to pamper the low-carb-conscious customer, the

tri-tip is also offered as a salad accompaniment.

With more than 100 items to choose from, there is virtually

something here to please everyone. Breakfast favorites, available all

day, include Italian frittatas, fruit boats, veggie and meat

scrambolis, the latter is based on scrambled eggs. Desserts range

from ice cream and jumbo cookies to creamy cheesecake and crisp,

caramel apple wedges. Crunchy sugar-coated almonds are another treat,

as is a delectably flakey, cinnamon-scented muffin. Fruit flavored

shaved ice comes drenched with such unusual syrups as pina colada,

bubblegum and triple taste combinations. Hot and cold beverages are

ever at the ready. And if your preference is for a glass of wine or

chilled champagne, the adjacent Tivoli Terrace restaurant

accommodates with its inviting libation station on the grounds


Festival attendees are assured quick service after marking orders

on printed paper menus. Prices range from $2.50 for sweet treats and

$4.50 for the all-beef hot dogs, to a top $7.50 for tri-tip

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