On most day trips, restaurants are a waypoint or stopover, but some can be a destination. The Ginocchio Restaurant is definitely a destination. It is an opportunity to explore a unique dining experience that will satisfy all of the senses. The food will delight your palette, while the restored building will transport you back into the golden age of train travel. In a world of cookie cutter restaurant chains and fast food, sometimes we need to make eating a unique and memorable experience.
Ginocchio Restaurant is located in Marshall next to the railroad depot at 707 N. Washington Avenue. The original hotel and restaurant were commissioned to be built by Italian immigrant Charles Ginocchio in 1893. The enterprise would be strategically located at Texas and Pacific Railroad’s starting hub for western service. When completed in 1896, the three story establishment was considered to be the best hotel located between New Orleans and Denver and also housed a café, ball room, lobby and 40 guest rooms. The hotel hosted numerous dignitaries during its existence, including five US Presidents. It ceased operations in 1967 and the building fell into disrepair.
The current Ginocchio Restaurant is the creation of Alan Loudermilk, who bought the old building and spent a year and a half painstakingly restoring it to its previous splendor. He then assembled a talented team with a gifted chef, Reynaldo Jandres, to make your dining experience a trip to remember. In addition to the dining room, there is an upscale bar that can mix up an assortment of delicious cocktails. They serve Marshall’s own Boogie-Woogie Ale on draft and an assortment of fine wines and bottled beers. When weather is accommodating, an outside patio is a great place to enjoy drinks, meet with friends or relax by watching the trains pass by.
All of the entrees are prepared to order by Chef Reynaldo. There are no pots on the stove with food simmering and waiting for an order. When you place your meal order, the kitchen team begins its work. On the evening that I visited, the special was a Red Fish with a Champagne Leek Cream Sauce. The dish was amazing with complementary flavors and textures. The meal and dining experience was one that could not be duplicated unless we drove to Dallas or Houston. The restaurant features steaks, seafood, seasonal specials and some unique specialties like ‘chicken fried venison’. Desserts are made fresh daily and will not disappoint.
The Ginocchio Restaurant should be on your road trip list, especially if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion. While in town, train buffs can visit the Marshall Depot Railroad Museum. The Michelson Art Museum and the newly remodeled Memorial City Hall Performance Center are both nearby and host many traveling art exhibits and performances.