Buona Gente: A neighborhood Italian where you will always get a smile

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There must be at least five Italian restaurants perched on 2nd street. How do you decide which one to try? Buona Gente is the one that sits in between the two Open Sesame Restaurants. It is a friendly little spot where the wait staff greets you warmly and it is never so crowded that you can’t fit in somewhere.

Buona Gente has ½ price bottles of wine on Monday’s and Wednesday’s which is a great deal, but the wine wasn’t overpriced anyway. We ordered the bottle of La Ginestra Chianti (2007) because it comes from Greve. The mention of Greve, in the heart of Toscana, brings a sense of sentimentality to anyone who has visited the region before. The wine was good with the usual astringent Sangiovese kick that you would expect from a DOCG regulated bottle.

We ordered the Margherita Special pizza with Mozzarella cheese, Tomato Sauce and Fresh Basil. The pizza was tasty, although a little thick for traditionalists. In addition, we ordered the Cheese Manicotti with meat sauce. It was rolled pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach. On top of the Manicotti, was a thick meat sauce with tomatoes strewn throughout. The pasta was thick and crisp, and who doesn’t love ricotta? The bread they bring to the table is really delicious, especially drizzled with the garlic olive oil that sits on the table. We were so full; we didn’t make it to dessert!

All in all, the most impressive part of Buona Gente was the attentive and friendly service. The food was good, the wine was good, and the restaurant was small but not overly packed. There is a tiny patio with 3 or 4 two tops that would be great during the warmer months, especially if you have a dog to tie to the outside of the wrought iron fence. Buona Gente is a neighborhood Italian where you will always get a smile. Cheers to Good People!

Buona Gente is located at 5205 E. 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. For more info you can reach them at (562)438-8763 and they have free local delivery. They are closed between lunch and dinner.

About Chandra Clewley
A self-described Foodie, Chandra can’t wait to sink her teeth into Long Beach Restaurants. She is a native Southern Californian who loves and lives in Long Beach. Chandra has traveled the world tasting, serving and learning about fine food and wine. You can also find her writing on her blog www.DailyMischief.com and by following her on Twitter @ChandraClewley

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