Ramblin' Recs


Gamba Ristorante

455 E. 84th Drive
Merrillville, IN

America’s love affair with Italian food has found profound expression in the region.

Gamba Ristorante in Merrillville brings classic Italian flavors and beautiful, contemporary plates to the table with a great selection of authentic dishes and a large wine list. The former owners of Café Venezia and Venezia Bar & Grill, both in Merrillville, combined their efforts to open Gamba four years ago.

My dinner began with an order of carpaccio and prosciutto appetizers. The carpaccio was served cold and thinly sliced in olive oil to wonderfully complement the crusty Italian bread served with our meal. I decided to skip salad and opted for a pasta dish instead: vegetable ravioli with sage butter sauce. Fabulous! The flavors were perfectly balanced and just melted away.

This item doesn’t appear on Gamba’s menu currently, so I decide to call for the scoop. I learned that if you’re craving something they served at one time, they’ll be more than happy to accommodate you. Just give them a week’s notice. They take food and the happiness of their guest quite seriously.

For the main course I had the Affettato Di Vitello, veal tenderloin with porcini mushrooms. The veal was grilled to perfection but delicate enough not to overpower the porcini.

My partner that evening had the Tagliatelle All'Aragosta – ribbon-shaped pasta with lobster and spinach. I couldn’t resist the urge to lean across the table and steal a couple of bites. Another “slam dunk” in the pasta category for Gamba.

We finished dinner off with coffee and a great slice of cake-style tiramisu.

Wonderful food in an elegant yet comfortable setting is clearly Gamba Ristorante’s main focus. With a knowledgeable and helpful staff, it’s easy to have the perfect meal. This upscale restaurant also has a courtyard and a wine room that houses a thousand bottles of wine.

The circular building with a copper roof makes quite an impression and is located just off Broadway at 455 E. 84th Drive. If you’re craving Italian, you won’t be disappointed.