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“Good food and a good tease”
Review of Giovanni's

Giovanni's
Ranked #3,977 of 22,659 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Covent Garden
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good food and a good tease”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We had an excellent dinner, reasonably priced. Pino Ragona took the trouble to find the kind of 'dry' pasta dish that I like. Their service is quick and efficient and they know how to deal with pre-show diners who are watching the clock. And they have humour. They arrived with the food but before putting it on the table announced that it was "two pizza margheritas". We protested that we had not ordered any such thing, so the 'manager' was called who confirmed the order......only for the plates to be put on the table with the bresaoli and sardines that had indeed been ordered. We fell for it completely.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Rod P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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505 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
200 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Food good (but not superb) service very slow”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Business dinner for two. Quite liked the traditional decor although the shere volume of photos of famous patrons were a bit overpowering. The food was pretty decent but not to rave about. The irritating element was the slow service. Trying to get attention from a waiter was like pulling hens teeth. Finished courses were left far too long on the table. Having said that, when their attention was finally gained, the service was friendly. Overall a not unpleasant experience, but too many other better Italian restaurants in London to repeat. Having said that, maybe if I was having a romantic dinner, I wouldn't have minded the service and enjoyed the decor more.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Marcus K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Not Good at all!”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Strange enviroment. I felt like I had fell into a time warp. The place is covered in cheesy autographs and photo's of famous people that have eaten there. As we sat down we felt uncomfortable at the fact that most of the staff if not all were standing behind / next us chatting. We didn't go for the starter as we struggled to find one on the mixed menu cards. My main meal chicken was chicken and chilli came within a matter of minutes uuummmmm. Mushrooms were amazing the chicken was not. My wife's pasta was amazing and she said if it wasn't for that we would have walked. On paying I said to the owner put £5 tip onto the card, he put £10.

Reading a previous review, I saw first hand a couple who asked to sit a the window and the owner said no you must sit here (the table by the door next to the till) poor buggers.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank UncletravellingMack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glendale, California
Level Contributor
233 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“If you are willing to play, sitting down for a meal can become a party.”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Giovanni's is very difficult to find. We had a map and an ipad to help guide us, and even asked a couple of Bobbies for help. They used their map and said, "It should be right here". After they left, we finally came upon it. Giovanni's is not on a street, or on an alley. Rather, it is off of an open corridor lined with doors on either side. I must admit that it was well worth the search. The restaurant is small and intimate and the walls are covered with pictures of the owner posing with famous people. The guests are welcomed so warmly, that they are eager to interact with the other diners seated next to them. We had a nice chat with a newly married couple who told us all about their recent visit to Japan. A group of Australians at another table, were eager to share the pictures they were posting on social media. If a lady comes in without an escort, the restaurant provides a large size doll of one of the Mario Brothers to sit with her. Everyone feels free to be silly as they dine on delicious Italian fare. Our group of five began the meal with a shared plate of caprese and a bowl of fresh mussels in garlic butter. Two of us ordered swordfish, which was cooked to perfection and topped with cilantro and fresh tomatoes. My husband ordered the special Dover sole, and the others ordered rolled beef topped with tomato sauce. We drank two bottles of wine and were happy to join in the party atmosphere. We didn't catch the name of the owner, but by the time we were ready to leave, he had made us feel like family.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lorraine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
89 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Pinot is wonderful!”
Reviewed June 7, 2013

We saw this restaurant during a walking tour and it smelled so good, we came back to eat later. Although we did not have a reservation, we were accommodated after only a few moments of a wait. The food was very good, but the atmosphere was incredible! Small, intimate, friendly and attentive. We enjoyed our time spent with Pinot, the owner, as well.

According to some of the reviews, perhaps the service/food is a bit hit or miss, but everything was good for us. This is a small, intimate place where it would be difficult not to chat with the table seated next to you. We truly enjoyed a wonderful evening and felt like we were leaving a friend's home by the end of the night. It is expensive, but everything in London is expensive!

For those of you who may be searching out Harry Potter sites, the back entrance of Giovanni's is in the supposed inspiration for "Diagon Alley".

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Momsterof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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