Gemma is a medium sized cozy “little gem” that was opened a couple years ago by a couple that had been working in a restaurant in Napa Valley and decided it was time to venture out on their own. Stephen Rogers runs the kitchen while his wife and business partner Allison Yoder manages the front end. It is a lively spot that really needs a reservation to secure one of the dining room tables. However there are counter seats at the bar where you can get dinner or drinks that are first come, first served. Located on a busy street and in a strip of other businesses there are valet parkers out front whose fee is taken care of when you get your ticket validated inside.
Tables are fairly close which makes for a slight noise level to deal with, but it is a good vibe. Service is attentive and friendly and they will help you pick one of the many wines they have. The menu is all a la carte with a couple specials usually offered. After you’ve placed your order one of the staff will gift you with a warm, freshly baked fig and smoked gouda scone, that is outstanding. The rich dough was nicely flavored with fig, with a great crisp to the exterior. A great way to start. We made a second visit not quite 2 weeks later and the set ups had changed on some of the main courses and there were different sides offered. It will follow the first meal.
For an appetizer we shared an order of the housemade onion rings. They are nicely crisp without being greasy and served with a spicy sauce which was also good. I admit though, that I preferred them without the sauce where I could better taste the sweet onion and enjoy the crunchy exterior while the sweet onion exploded in my mouth.
For a main we had the chicken porchetta and the nightly special of grilled Romano beans. The chicken was moist with a crisped skin wrapped around the tender, boneless pieces. It was served with a medley of nice vegetables and some gnocchi that were great dipped in the savory chicken sauce. The Romano beans were a fun treat and must have been cooked slightly before going on the grill as they were tender but had a great grilled taste. Normally I would have one of their tasty desserts but this evening we had had snacks before we came and so didn’t have the room.