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Deserves 5 stars!
I recently met friends for Lunch and we were very pleased with the fresh pastas, well prepared salads, and friendly service. The white tablecloths and comfortable dining room created a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy our lunch. Highly recommended.
Osso Bucco which was fatty with a bland sauce, as well as seafood pasta which was suspiciously "fishy" tasting -and smelling - not usually evident in fresh fish/seafood. We then had to wait for our bill for another 15 minutes while our server was attentive to every other table but ours (at this point there were only two more tables of customers than when we had arrived). I'd hate to see what our wait times would have been like had the restaurant even been semi-full.
Overall, we had an OK dining experience at Giovanni's. The host and owner were both very welcoming and friendly, and we thought that the restaurant was well decorated. We both enjoyed our meals. However, we were greatly disappointed with our server. He was unfriendly and made us feel like a nuisance. We were hoping to have a nice, relaxed dinner, but instead felt rushed. We wanted to have coffee after dinner, but the bill was brought to us before we could order it. In the end, we felt that the meal was way over-priced for the level of service we received.
Headed to Giovanni's for a birthday dinner. Party of seven. Staff were excellent the entire time - from taking coats, to paying great attention to us for ordering and simple things like filling water glasses, removing plates/utensils etc. Server was very accommodating in allowing substitutions and changes to entrees that some people wanted. All in all, a great meal.
I have been going to Giovanni's for years and not once have I ever been let down on food or service. They have always went above and beyond when ordering. Especially if I did not want the side dish. They have always customized my order. The staff our well knowledge of wine which would compliment our food selection.
We arrived for our reservation and our table was ready,after asking our waiter,Sam,for a nice bottle of red wine he took us to the cellar and recomended aTeganello 2004 and to start a Brunello 2000 ,after we got back to the table both wines were opened and decantered wow those wines were great,food was great our waiter recomended a coombination of hot and cold antipasto and for main it was an assortment of grilled meats,fish and pasta. The food was amasing,the service was top notch. Being from Newyork city I had my doubts when our hotel recomended this place but this the best resturant i've ever eaten at.
The refined service is what i would say stands out at Giovanni's on preston st. When we entered we were greeted by the maitre Di and another younger man removed our outside coats. We were seated in very dimly lit dining room. White cloths, real silver, heavy weight dining napkins; certainly efforts were made to give an excellent dinning experience. The Food was good... atleast two of the three things on my plate were. The service was very attentive. If you drop a fork another is brought to you folded in a large napkin, unfolded infront of you and gently placed next to your cutlery . The espresso was hot and had good crema, and had that classic italian (robusto) sharp mouth. At the end my jacket was brought around and was put on by the same person who had taken it off. These sort of things may mean nothing to some diners however these are the types of things that would make the dining experience standout for an annivsary or special evening and warrant the slightly inflated prices for pasta's etc. That being stated, I wouldn't come here with kids or the group of guys. Can you get better Italian food for less? Yes. But there is more to this place then the food.
Looks like this restaurant has fallen by the wayside since they received the Best Italian Resaurant in Ottawa award in 2002. The most recent reviews are not good. We were celebrating an anniversary with a wekkend in Ottawa and were recommended this restaurant. I had reserved a table and when we arrived were shown to the worst table in the place, by the bar behind the waiter station. The place was busy -- very busy and noisy also, especially at the bar as this was the main 'road' for waiters to deliver food and drinks to the other diners. My wife is vegetarian and this restaurant was recommended by someone who is also vegerarian but there was almost no veggie selections on the menu, 2 to be exact, a gnocchi and a linguine primavera. We asked if some dish could be cooked that was vegerarian but not an oil based sauceand a penne primavera was delivered in a cream sauce which was tasteless and had almost no vegetables. My veal parmiggiano was large but again relatively tasteless. The waiter was rushed and gave us very little attention except to deliver 2 Sambucca's at the end of the evening, I suspect to enhance his tip. I did complain about the table but was not moved - the Maitre'd was busy giving other tables to his 'regulars' maybe? but no consideration for out-of-towners.
Food was good, but we felt very rushed in and out. We had 3 courses and were there for only about 75 minutes! The server came to our table 3 times to try and clear our plates in the first 20 minutes of our main course!
We arrived with no reservations on a friday night. We were seated promptly at a comfortable table. Everything was great & we were not rushed.
This is a most excellant restaurant. The food is great.The prices are realistic and fair.Orders are taken promptly,and served to the table in a timely manner. The owner walks through the restaurant and asks everyone if they are happy with the meal.The decor is colourful and the restaurant is cozy, crowded and a full of the sounds of people eating well and enjoying it. The waiters refill the water without you searching for them.My wife and I always look forward to an evening here.
Excellent food at very reasonable prices. The place for lunch.
From what can remember, having been there over 4 years ago, the food was great and so was the service and value. However, when I returned, I was not impressed. Here is my take: First impressions: Upon entering, the host was very nice and proceeded to take me and my friend to our table. Before showing us to our table, another waiter offered to take our coats. I was impressed and immediately felt at home. Appetizers: We both ordered soup to start and the soup was very bland....completely flavourless....and this is coming from a girl that never uses salt, ever. The broth simply tasted like boiled hot water with tortellini in it. I had to ask for more parmesan cheese just to give it flavour. It didn't seem to help. I tried using the salt shaker but I think the salt had dried up around the holes because I couldn't get any salt out of the shaker. :/ Same goes for my friends soup, bland. So we were not impressed with our appetizers. Main course: My friend orderd Linguini Carbonara and I orderd Chicken Bella Paese. My friend liked her dish however the bacon was not cooked very well. There was fat on the bacon that gross her out. My chicken was delicious and they give you a lot! I couldn't finish it all. The white wine mushroom sauce that came with it was great but I noticed they used the cheapest mushrooms...the button-type kind. For a price tag of $20.00, they should have used the best ingredients. Aside from the chicken, the plate came accompanied with 2 tiny potatoes, a cauliflower head, a slice of carrot and slice of red pepper. I think they could have reduced the amount of meat and maybe threw in some more veggies or maybe salad or rice to balance things out. Dessert: We split a Tiramisu. It was delicious! Waiter: Our waiter was very nice but did not come around to ask us how our appetizers were. I think he may have observed that we were not impressed and probably wanted to avoid a complaint. He was a friendly waiter but he talked very fast and we both had a hard time understanding him. He was also very rushed when clearing our tables. Too much espresso or other substances in his blood, maybe. :/ Price: 2 gingerales, 2 soup, 2 main dishes, 1 dessert, 1 coffee, 1 tea - $75.00 (not including tip). Way, way overpriced!
The food was good but nothing remarkable but what was digusting was the price of their wine. First no wine menu was given, hence no forwarning of this. I asked for a glass of red wine and on the list that the waiter orally gave was an "Amarone" which I said I would take a glass. One of our other diners stated she would also have a glass of cabernet (red). I had a second glass with my meal. The price of my main course was reasonable at $17 but what was over the top was $18 per glass of wine (Amarone) and for my co-worker $11 a glass for her cabernet. Needless to say I will NOT ever be returning to this restaurant as it seems their mark-up on wines is much higher than any other restaurant in Ottawa. Shame on you.
Billing itself as the best Italian restaurant in Ottawa, Giovanni assures its guests that time here will be well spent. Ideal for an important date or a romantic anniversary dinner, there is something on the menu for everyone here. A wide variety of scrumptious soups and appetizers will have guests throwing in the napkin before the main course even arrives.
Giovanni’s excellent service, presentation of exquisitely traditional dishes, sophisticated interior decoration and extensive wine cellar are on the expensive side but unparalleled in the city. Pair one of the fancy soups like stracciatella (veal consommé with egg and parmesan cheese) with an assorted plate of veal parmesan, manicotti and lasagna. This kind of high-calibre dining experience wouldn’t be complete without some great wine and dessert like panna cotta or tiramisu to top it off.