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“A southern Italian gem hidden in suburban Greenville”

Giovanni's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #51 of 917 Restaurants in Greenville
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Located near Hampton Inn on Woodruff Rd.
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A southern Italian gem hidden in suburban Greenville”
Reviewed May 31, 2012

First, let me share my credentials. I was an American Field Service student in southern Italy, so I am very familiar with the cuisine as it is prepared in its home country. Giovanni's, as its owner was proud to declaim, and truthfully so! - is food "like Nonna (that's "Grandma" for you non-Italian speakers) makes." Our bruschetta was a flavorful topping of tomatoes, spices, excellent olive oil and garlic on delicious Italian bread. My dining partner's chicken parmagiana was not the over-breaded, microwaved concoction that has given this dish a bad name, but fresh chicken, excellent Parmesan, and fresh tomatoes cooked into a slightly spicy sauce. My veal marsala was tender and the sauce was light and not (unlike some places) sweet. Our pasta was al dente and the tomato sauce adorning it redolent of the fruit from whence it came. The owner recommended a delicious red wine that complemented the meal. He has an excellent knowledge of Italian wines and a very good selection, moderately priced. For dessert, we shared the homemade cheesecake. If you enjoy a New York-style (not too sweet) cheesecake, you will be very happy with this, as we were.

I think the reviewer who alleged that this restaurant had slow, unfriendly service must have confused this place with somewhere else. The waitress and owner welcomed us immediately with a smile. Both were helpful concerning the menu items, even though the restaurant was very busy (all but two of the tables were occupied at 7:30pm on a mid-week night). In fact, the owner frequently checked the patrons at each table to see if they had any needs, questions, or additional menu desires. A patron sitting at the table next to ours shared her dietary needs with the owner. I overheard him say that he would be happy to change the sauce to be served with the sea bass, which was one of the specials for that night.

While the restaurant is tiny, the tables are not jammed together. The thermostat was at a moderate temperature (all too many places turn their A/C to 68F or worse; the sweaters we brought in "just in case" were unnecessary).

When I return to Greenville, I will be delighted to dine here again.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Sophy0075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 28, 2012 via mobile

Food was delicious! Best marinara sauce, great selection of wine!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Cm562012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurens, South Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2012

Giovanni's came highly recommended, so we tried it with high hopes. It didn't live up to our admittedly over-the-top expectations, however. The food was good, but not spectacular to my mind. The service was a bit slow and not the friendliest I've ever experienced. The dining room felt crowded to me. I was so cold even with my coat on that I rushed through the meal just so I could go outside and get warm. I mentioned the cold temperature to our server and he just said, "Yes." We will probably not return.

Visited March 2012
Thank MissM54313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Dont understand any of the bad review....LOVE this place”
Reviewed January 5, 2012

I went to Giovanni's last night..>Wednesday 1/4 and got there at 5:15 for dinner...place was empty and before too long completely full. the owner came over to greet us.....we chatted & discussed Italian wines....he made some recommendations & we tried his last bottle of Amarone...amazing wine...he also chatted with us about food recommendations...we tried all three..my wife & 20 yr old daughter who is semi fussy about food. again...all were amazing....being Italian & growing up in North Jersey I am really fussy about good Italian food...this place was great...super atmosphere, intimate, cozy & the owner was very involved with the operation of restaurant. We will be back often......now we have two great Italian restaurants in area....

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Meatdog624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
134 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Terrible food at a terrible price.”
Reviewed January 3, 2012

The food tasted microwaved and the plance is tiny. Ther owner was very rude and we will never come back to this restaurant.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Davmehh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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