Have you ever walked up to a place, taken one good look at the outside and immediately turn around without even walking in, because you felt underdressed? I recently ran into a similar scenario. It was about 10:30pm on a Thursday and I was starving! I didn’t want fast food, I wanted a cocktail, and I wanted good atmosphere! (pretty picky of me, with the time period but if theres a will theres a way) So I heard about this cute little place that dose a late night reverse happy hour! Didn’t hear much else about it, but I decided it was perfect for what I was looking for. So we pull up to the place, I walk into their front patio area and immediately about face, back to the car, I felt completely out of place. I had on workout gear (extremely cute and matching sneakers, but its still workout clothes) and the decor alone was enough for me to turn around because I just felt I wasn’t doing this place justice by walking in with what I had on. But as I was walking back to the car, I thought about my circumstances and decided I would rather take my chances sitting at the bar, then getting Whattaburger and a cheap bottle of wine on the way home. So into Gemma I went. Immediately upon walking in I was greeted by the sweetest host, who assured me I was dressed fine and sat us at the bar, and we were on an uphill climb the rest of the evening.
So lets start with the decor. Oh. How. Chic. The outside front patio is aligned with well trimmed shrubs, small tables, couches and a fire pit in the middle. The inside was a very small clean space(seating 60), with exposed brick walls, light fixtures hung from rope, an open kitchen and simple neutral decor giving the place costal California vibes. The energy is very calm and collected, and not once did i feel rushed even though it was late at night. The staff must be treated tremendously well here because when I tell you they made me feel like VIP, its actually an understatement. Both managers were present on the floor making sure everyone was having a good dining experience, the staff was very accommodating, it was truly a remarkable experience. I asked this couple next to us, if this high level of service was consistent, and their response was to dramatically take my hand and say “oh my god, you have no idea”. That was good enough for me.
Now we haven’t even gotten to the best part!!! The food!!! While the menu isn’t that extensive, it is nothing short of diverse. The six selections include, raw items, appetizers, small plates, salads, main course, and dessert. All with a variety of Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, french and Texas accents to each dish.
Oysters are sold by the piece, with two types to choose from. On reverse happy hour oysters go for $2 a piece!
The muscles were fantastic, served in a white wine sauce! ***side story** They make their bloody mary mix fresh, so when my boyfriend asked for a bloody mary, instead of them saying they ran out of mix (which quite frankly is what i would have done) they went into the kitchen and started mashing up tomatoes.
Duck fried rice, and Korean short rib, with sliced granny smith apples. OMG!!!
Next time I go to Gemma I will take full advantage of their Chic(ness) and take things to the more formal end of the spectrum. (overcompensating for my fitness gear) This is a version of the most casual I would wear there and the most formal. Great place to celebrate any occasion, or to just have a romantic date night!