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“Excellent reataurant”

Bistro Don Giovanni
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Ranked #2 of 283 Restaurants in Napa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Kids, Families with children, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Brunch, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Highway 29
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Excellent reataurant”
Reviewed November 13, 2013

We loved this restaurant - good menu choice, friendly service and for us, an easy stroll from our hotel La Residence so that we could leave the car behind ( albeit along a fairly dark lane from the hotel )

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank 489Mike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,446 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
SF Bay Area
Level Contributor
68 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Service Without a Smile”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

The last thing you (should) want at a high end restaurant is for a reviewer to spend the first paragraph writing about the attitude of the server. Unfortunately, our server’s demeanor so overshadowed our meal that it was more memorable than the food. We are uncertain whether she had a fight with her husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/ “whatever”, got a station she didn’t want, or just plain had a bad day. In any case, we weren’t interested in her shtick as we had come to Bistro Don Giovanni to celebrate 25 years of service with a senior co-worker. While we successfully ignored her snippy attitude and enjoyed our evening, our experience was of our making, and had little to do with the service.

We were seated on the patio cheek by jowl with the other tables. This is not a spot to have an intimate conversation as the proximity of the patio tables basically ensures that you will be a (unwilling) participant in your neighboring diners’ conversations. In addition, although we had a reservation, we were seated in the middle of the patio at a relatively undesirable location. If you plan to sit outside, make sure that you request a table adjacent to the patio railing so that you have a view of the garden and no other patrons on one side of your table.

We started our meal with an appetizer of Frito Misto and Antipasti del Giorno (a stuffed mushroom cap) which were both good. The Frito Misto was better and was a better choice to share. It was somewhat greasy as it was fried but it was flavorful and there was enough to share.

Two of us had the Bistro Don Giovanni Chardonnay and two of us had the Cabernet. We felt the house wine was good but a bit pricey. In California, there is really no excuse for charging $9 for a glass of house wine.

Two of us ordered the Piatto del Giorno which was a whole Branzini (European sea bass) cooked with tomatoes, onions and olives. The fish didn’t come with a side dish, so we each ordered sautéed spinach. The fish was good, but a relatively small portion after de-boning, since it is served without an accompanying starch. Both of us who ordered it felt that it was expensive given the portion size and lack of side dish.

Two of us ordered the Rigatoni con Polpette with meatballs and tomato ragu. One of us also ordered a side Caesar salad. Without the salad and the appetizer the pasta would not have been a satisfactory portion size even though it was flavorful.

We had to request a dessert menu as our server was eager to send us on our way. We shared two desserts. The first, “Bostini” Trifle came in a large parfait glass with layers of vanilla custard, caramel, chocolate cake, whipped cream and toasted almonds. The recipients found it very satisfactory and said they would order it again. The second dessert was a Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake which we ordered with ice cream. While the cake was good, we wouldn’t order it again. There was nothing to differentiate the cake from many others we have had.

Our overall impression of this restaurant was that it is pricey for the value. The food is good, but not particularly memorable. The portions are small and in order to put together a satisfying meal, with an appetizer, salad and/or side dish with an entrée, the price quickly adds up. There are many fine choices for dining in Napa so consider some of the others before selecting this one for a special occasion or party.

Our bill for 2 appetizers, 4 glasses of wine, 4 entrees, 3 side dishes, 2 coffees, and 2 desserts was over $250 without the tip. No extra charge for the server’s attitude, which was a pleasant surprise.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chicharone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
57 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unexpectedly good on main road”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

With all the amazing and trendy restaurants in Napa we had driven past DG for 14 years. Finally we stopped on a gorgeous fall day to have a delicious lunch. We sat on the outside deck, nestled into the vineyard fields. My ravioli was perfect. The waiter suggested splitting the sauces, so I chose lemon cream for half and tomato for the rest. The lemon was amazingly good and the tomato perfectly fresh. The Branzino fish was delicious but I can't forget the pumpkin soup. With all this, it was the dessert that makes me want to drive 90 minutes to return. It was an amazing butterscotch pudding.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cazsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Temecula, California, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice Atmosphere. Great Food.”
Reviewed November 3, 2013

For the price, this was a fantastic meal. We brought two of our own bottles of wine and didn't have to pay a high corkage fee like you do at many nicer restaurants. I highly suggest listening carefully to the specials because two of the people in our party got the specials and both were superb. This is a nice place for a larger party but you definitely will need to make a reservation. We had italian twice during our 5 day stay in Napa and this was the best meal during our stay! If you're a foodie, its worth trying!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Valerie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
250 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“An Italian Bistro for All Occasions”
Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

OK, here is the bottom line. BDG offers an excellent selection of very good food at a reasonable price in a friendly setting. Although it can be noisy, BDG is a very nice dining environment for a couple out on a date or a small group of friends. Bring a bottle of wine for a reasonable corkage fee. BDG can be very busy on any evening, so make a reservation. BDG has been a favorite of ours for many years.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rvstraz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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