Q&A: Gianba Vinzoni of CinqueTerre West Osteria

By RILEY KESTON | Junior Reporter

There is a new restaurant in town, and it is right where Pinocchio’s used to be. It is called CinqueTerre West.

It is a family business owned by Marlo and Gianba Vinzoni, and Gianba is the chef. They live here in the Palisades.

I know them because their son Antonio was in my sister Parker’s class at Marquez. Gianba is also very good at kickball, and hit a home run when he played with my dad and they beat Pali Elementary in the annual Marquez vs Pali Kickball Tournament.

Because I know them, Gianba let this junior reporter into the kitchen to take pictures and ask him some questions. They also let me try some food and it was delicious!

Here goes:

1. What made you decide to open this restaurant?

That’s a very good question. The fact that I am close to home for sure—because before I was driving really far to get to work—and the Palisades is such a great community of family and friends. I was also really ready to start doing my own cooking and make my own dishes instead of somebody else’s.

2. Cinque Terre is my dad’s favorite place in Italy. Why did YOU name the restaurant CinqueTerre West?

That’s where I’m from. I was born and raised there, right outside of Monterroso. My town is called Bonassola. And I put West, because not only are we west of Italy, hopefully someday there will be a Cinque Terre East, and North, and South.

3. If I could only order one thing on the menu, what should it be?

Trofie al Pesto. Very good. The first picture I remember seeing of myself I am six months old and have pesto all over my face. In Italy they start feeding you early.

4. I am a noodles and butter connoisseur. How are your noodles and butter?

Very good, the best, because we hand make the noodles right here in the kitchen. Our pasta chef worked at Felix, which is a restaurant in Venice that makes really good pasta.

5. And noodles and butter! I have been there and it is YUM! Is there anything else I should know?

No but there is a lot you can try so I am going to ask you to come back tomorrow and try everything on the menu. Ok?

OK!

CinqueTerre West Osteria is located at 970 Monument Street in Suite #110. It is open on Monday from 12-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday from 8-11:30 a.m., 12-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; and Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, visit cinqueterrewest.com.