Not too long ago, my parents came to visit me for my birthday to treat me to dinner. They said I could pick any place I wanted, and the first place that came to mind was Geno’s Grille at Storrs Center.
Geno’s Grille, located at 9 Dog Lane, is owned by none other than Geno Auriemma himself. The UConn women’s basketball coach runs the operation at his namesake restaurant and contributes a number of family recipes, personal favorite dishes and wines to the menu.
Having never been to Geno’s in my first two years at UConn, I had heard only great things about the restaurant from friends who had gone before me and from a number of reviews online. In fact, Geno’s Grille won the “Best Italian Restaurant” category in the Best of Hartford Readers’ Poll in 2016. With such high praise, I figured I had to try it out for myself with the great opportunity given by my parents.
Upon being seated, we were immediately offered bread and an artichoke and hummus olive oil dip. Although at first it seemed like a strange combination for a dip, it tasted fantastic and was a great start to the meal.
For an appetizer my family decided on ordering Geno’s meatballs, braised in Geno’s own tomato sauce and garnished with basil. A friend had suggested the meatballs to me prior to the visit and Geno’s delivered. The tomato sauce was filled with flavor and went perfectly with the meatballs, and had me ready for my entrée.
After a great deal of thought on the main course, I finally settled on one of Geno’s specials for the evening, pasta with a three-cheese blend and Italian sausage. The waiter also came with freshly grated Parmesan and cracked pepper to top off the meal. With just one bite filled with each of the three cheeses and the sausage, I was on cloud nine. The pasta special exceeded my expectations and then some. As someone who almost always orders a pasta dish at a restaurant, it takes quite a bit to impress me the way this dish did.
The only regret I had at the end of the night was not trying out the “Montagna,” Geno’s famous dark chocolate cake that serves four to six people. If not for a filling meal, my family and I would have definitely indulged with the cake. Next time, I’ll make sure to save room for dessert and try it out.
Geno’s Grille definitely delivered on all the hype I had heard prior to trying it out, but it was a little pricey for the college student’s budget, as to be expected with a quality restaurant. For that reason, I give it a four out of five stars with a little boost if you go with your parents to help out with the check.
The name “Geno” is held with such high regard here in Storrs, for obvious reasons other than food, but Geno’s Grille definitely lives up to the standard that comes with the Auriemma’s championship pedigree.
Chris Hanna is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.