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“Italian Comfort Food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ristorante Mamma Gina

Ristorante Mamma Gina
73705 El Paseo, Palm Desert, Palm Desert, CA 92260
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Ranked #6 of 208 Restaurants in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $45
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Dessert, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Ristorante Mamma Gina has been a landmark in Florentine cuisine in Italy since 1956. Thirty years later, in 1986, California residents were able to get their very own taste of Italy as Ristorante Mamma Gina made its way to the United States.Since then we have been serving the desert with the best Italian food you can find on this side of the world. We pride ourselves on our authentic Italian cuisine, kitchen, and service. With white linens and a very classy atmosphere, Ristorante Mamma Gina is the perfect spot for your next date night or family get together. Bring your next special occasion to Ristorante Mamma Gina. Our Wine Room and Lounge are available for small private parties. For an intimate gathering our Wine Room accommodates between 10 to 18 people comfortably. For larger groups our Lounge accommodates parties up to 60 people. We have 4 sample menus to choose from, or you can always create your own. We're the next best thing to Italy itself! Come in for a traditional and authentic Italian dish. White wine with barrel on vineyard in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy Thinking of traveling to Tuscany, Italy for the real deal? Weekly or monthly rentals available at great apartments in Florence and Villas in Chianti area. We know just the right spots to travel and of course eat!
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Italian Comfort Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Mamma Gina's serves well prepared food in a pleasant, albeit, "old-fashioned" atmosphere. The wait staff is attentive and never seems to mess up an order. The portions are reasonable, the prices are fair, and the selections varied. The restaurant is clearly geared for older customers -- in our early 60s, we felt like the "children".

Visited October 2013
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345 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Redmond, WA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Great italian cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We were looking for a nice Italian place during our recent visit to Palm Springs and followed the recommendation from this forum. Want to add to the list of people that highly recommend this restaurant. The food is great, great selection of wines and nice atmosphere.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Worst Italian Food”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013 via mobile

The bar tender in the hotel we were staying recommended this restaurant for an authentic Italian dinner, assuring us it had the best Italian food in town. Unfortunately, the bar tender could not have been more wrong.

We had reservations for 7:45pm on a Saturday night and were seated as soon as we arrived. The restaurant had a sort of retro vibe, but not in a good way. The decor just seemed outdated and may have been chic in the 70s, but not today.

The service was good. The waiters took our drink orders and brought us a basket of bread and some olive tapenade very quickly. The table had a pretty decanter that contained olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip the bread in.

My fellow diners and I ordered an appetizer of prosciutto and melon, and for our entrees we all decided to try a different pasta dish. I ordered the bucatini al amatriciana, and my companions ordered the spaghetti Bolognese and the fusilli anatra which claimed to be made with duck ragu.

Although we were expecting the best Italian food in town, we received some of the worst Italian food we'd ever eaten. To start, the bread basket contained tomato focaccia, wheat bread, and a sliced white bread. All of them were spongy and doughy. They tasted as if they were all baked in a countertop bread machine. The wheat bread certainly did not compliment Italian food at all. Having lived in Italy for two years and traveling all over the Italian peninsula, I can honestly say, I was never served wheat bread at a restaurant, nor such horrible bread. A nice crusty traditional Italian bread would have been much better.

The prosciutto and melon appetizer was average. The cantaloupe melon was perfectly ripe, juicy and flavorful, but the prosciutto was salty and had an odd grainy consistency which was nothing like the smooth, melt-in-your mouth prosciutto I had eaten in Italy.

The entrees were also very disappointing. The sauce on the spaghetti Bolognese looked a grayish brown and had very little flavor. It looked nothing like the rich brick red sauce found in Italy. The fusilli anatra which claimed to contain duck ragu, looked and tasted exactly like the sauce that was on the spaghetti Bolognese. We could not taste the presence of any duck in the sauce at all. The bucatini al Amatriciana was more flavorful than the other two pasta entrees and contained pieces of pancetta and was a little spicy, but it contained far too many onions which overpowered the dish and made it much too sweet.

After our entrees the waiter brought around a dessert cart which presented us with a choice of tiramisu, chocolate covered profiteroles, bread pudding, NY cheesecake, and creme brûlée. We ordered some coffee and a creme brûlée to share. The coffee was good and the creme brûlée was simply average.

The pasta entrees we ordered were between $22- $23, which was much too expensive for the quantity and quality of the dishes. We all agreed that we could have had better food at the Olive Garden.

If you are in Palm Desert and are looking for some good Italian food, do yourself a favor and skip this place.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Didn't Wow Me”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

I’ve heard amazing things about this restaurant. It was going to be our one nice meal out for our trip. I was disappointed because it was nice but it wasn’t great like I’d expected.

We went there with a big group and the restaurant has a great area for a large group where they keep the wine. Great table and atmosphere. The wait staff was excellent.

Another great thing is that they offer half portions of the pasta. A big plus in my book. I ordered the Prosciutto e Melone. It was just as expected and tasted good. I also ordered the Ravioli neri all' Aragosta. It came to me warm and it was just okay.

The table ordered a few desserts to try: tiramisu, napoleon and crème brulee. The crème brulee was a little too eggy and didn’t have the great crack of the burnt sugar on top. The napoleon was too soft and only one person in our group really liked it. The Tiramisu was okay.

I’m not sure if I’d go again because it is a little pricey and if I’m going to pay that much, I want to be able to give a rave review.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Zurich, Switzerland
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

We had dinner last night, Four adults. Reserved a table over the phone out of hours that was confirmed by return call as soon as the restaurant opened.
It was a Wednesday evening and nearly full.
Friendly and professional welcome by Alex, the Manager. All the staff extremely helpful and food absolutely spot on. We are Europeans and eat Italian food often so know what we expect and were most certainly not disappointed. Flavour, consistency and visuals all excellent. The taster menu is extremely good value. Minestrone soup is real Italian Minestrone.Meat and fish all cooked to perfection. No detail overlooked.

On top of that, the Tiramisu was out of this world! So light it melts in your mouth. Absolutely perfect. Don't miss that or the Creme Brulee.

Closed at lunchtime (October .2013)

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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