A Taste of Mediterranean Sunshine

Experience the fresh flavors of the Mediterranean at Gertie and the Giant Octopus. Drawing on the cuisines of Italy, France and Spain, this intimate restaurant in Gig Harbor enables you to experience a wide range of seasonal small plates.

The origin of this endeavor was one of happenstance and good fortune. After working as a chef consultant, Robert DeLaura came upon a notice of a cupcake business that was closing. He made a proposal to the owners to transform the space into a bistro and bar. Now Gertie and the Giant Octopus is celebrating its third year of success.

For people unfamiliar with the restaurant’s offerings, Chef Robert, as DeLaura is known, is full of suggestions that sound delicious. “We do a brown butter chicken that is first dipped in Parmesan cheese and egg, then pan-fried and roasted in the oven completely submerged in butter. It’s served with browned butter and lemon sauce.

Our most popular small plate,” DeLaura continues, “is our champignon di Paris.” He explains that this is mushrooms sautéed in extra virgin olive oil. Then leeks, garlic, Spanish sherry wine and cream are added. Finally, the dish is finished with a pecorino al tartufo. This is an Italian sheep’s milk cheese with black truffles in it “to further enhance the mushroom earthiness,” says DeLaura.

Spring brings a wide variety of fresh produce, such as asparagus and morel mushrooms that will be featured in many dishes. Mache, the first tender spring greens, will be dressed with a simple blend of white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and hazelnut oil for a lovely spring salad.

The new season will bring other new offerings at Gertie and the Giant Octopus. Well-known for its unique wine menu, the restaurant and its sommelier, Inez Staley, will be putting together a curriculum for wine lovers to gain more knowledge and appreciation.

HILLARY RYAN

For Additional Information

chefrobertdelaura.weebly.com