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“things have changed,,,”

Giovanni's Ristorante & Lounge
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$14 - US$28
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Fine Italian cuisine in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Giovanni's provides an elegant and delicious Italian dining experience 6 evenings per week. Reservations strongly recommended. Patio open in summer. Everything from pastas, to steak, seafood, chicken, veal, lamb, and gluten-free options. Extensive wine list. Open from 5 pm - 9 pm. Lounge open at 12 pm for lunch.
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We always go to Giovanni's when we go up-island and have enjoyed many wonderful meals over the years. I ordered prawns provencale and my wife ordered her favorite veal picatta and we waited at least 45 minutes for our meal. My wife had decided that something was seriously wrong in the kitchen, when finally our meals arrived. Neither one was of the quality that it had been in the past and we asked the waiter if we could speak to Giovanni, only to learn that he had left in February! What a disappointment!!
We were offered a free dessert and when we refused that, we were given a reduction on our bill. We hope that in time the new owners can bring the restaurant back to the previous wonderful quality.

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6  Thank Ben L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (321)
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139 - 143 of 321 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

Friends and I were told that this establishment served excellent food and they weren't too far off, from the moment that we entered until we left we were treated to a tasty meal and excellent service. The pasta is to die for. Bruschetta was great and we had no room for desert. Highly recommended if your in Qualicum Beach.

Thank Gregory U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

I reviewed Giovanni's in December 2012, calling it a "hidden gem" and extolling the service and the food. I have been back there several times in 2013, with no reason to change my opinion, but this was the first time I had been here since the ownership changed in February 2014. I was disappointed. We were a party of four: A retired couple (us), plus my mother-in-law and my stepson (33) The main problem was that we waited a long time for our entrees and all our dishes were overcooked. The lobstertail rubbery, and the rack of lamb well done, dried out and grey through and through. The woman who dealt with our complaints (I assume the owner) deserves credit for trying to fix them, including offering a new lamb rack for my stepson, but we had waited 45 minutes for our meals and didn't feel like waiting another 45 for the solution. The compromise of free desserts all round was acceptable, but carnivores cannot survive on chocolate torte alone.

I'm not sure what was going on here, but suspect some kind of drama in the kitchen. It had to be something major to cause such across the board mediocrity in an establishment with such consistently good prior reviews

General comments: Ambience pleasant with unobtrusive bel canto musak, service attentive, nice linen cloths and napkins. Tasty warm bread rolls (option of foccacio + balsamic dip might be an idea here). Tomato juice good quality, appropriately served room temperature. Tomatoes in bruschetta and bocconcini salad NOT top quality, ripe, hothouse. In summer, there's no excuse for serving hard unripe tomatoes. My wife had a kir to start and it came with the cassis in a layer in the bottom of the glass, which looks pretty but suggests the barkeep doesn't know to add the white wine to the cassis, producing that lovely blush we all know and love. My doctor has forbidden me alcohol right now so I was unable to check whether they used real crème de cassis or (quelle horreur!) Ribena. . .

Because of my previous good experiences with this business, I plan to try them again soon and update this review.

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1  Thank spywriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014 via mobile

I don't usual write reviews, but my wife and I were visiting Parksville from Toronto and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The service was top notch with knowledgeable servers, the appetizers were incredible and the main course was even better. My wife and I can honestly say this was the best Italian meal we have ever eaten. The cost was very reasonable, and we were so full, we couldn't even order the desert. We highly recommend this restaurant. Do yourself a favor and experience it as well.

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Thank Danny A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

We have been to this restaurant a few times before the new ownership and we were wondering if the food would be as good as it was before...We are happy to say it was! We will be back again!

Thank theo j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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