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“Great Food,Great Service,Great Owners!!”
Review of Giovanni's

Ranked #15 of 1,134 Restaurants in Detroit
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$15 - US$80
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Child-friendly, Romantic, Groups
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Tripadvisor was right on with this one being number #1.......my wife and I went to Detroit for the weekend to watch a hockey game and followed tripadvisors recommendations for places to dine from 1-6...........the food was great,homemade pastas,great sauces,excellent cooked meals from starters to desserts.............service was excellent and so were the managers/owners....one tip is,its a little out of the way and it was my first time in Detriot which I found suprisingly clean,super friendly people but taxi/cabs are a problem,bith for getting them and them trying to rip you off..........so make sure you can get a cab back to the hotel you were staying,as we were staying downtown........good thing the owners stayed with us and called some cabs they knew to get us back.........and me and my wife thank them.

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2  Thank MarkTwain133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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258 - 262 of 312 reviews

Reviewed 22 April 2012

We were excited to eat here based upon the reviews and were not disappointed. The service was excellent we were waited on like royalty. The calamari appetizer Wes the best we have had and the entrees were all great. The special swordfish was cooked perfectly and the pasta dishes were very good. While it was a bit of a journey, this place deserves to be supported as part of what is still good about Detroit. We will be back soon.

4  Thank cobrawillys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

I love places like this. Local, buried gems. The service was great. We had Calmari as an app it it was excellent. Our entrees were pretty good. I had the canelloni. The bolognese sauce overwhelmed the rather bland filling. My wife ordered the special which was grilled salmon with shrimp and lobster sauce. She wasn't too excited about it. Based on the reviews, my expectations were higher than my expreience. But I will go back and try it again. The location is too funkly to pass up and it's the kind of place you really want to support. Local with some history. The owner stopped by our table, she obviously wants her customers to enjoy their experience. It was a nice touch.

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Thank BertilleBun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2012

This was my first trip to the Detroit area and I do my Trip Advisor research before venturing out like all of you. That's how I made my advance reservations for Giovanni's. I am so happy that we did this. It's all been said and very accurately. Yes, use the valet. For $5 the convenience and piece of mind is priceless. At the end of the evening your car is warm and at the door for you. Has that ever happened before? And did you know you had so many best friend in Detroit? Everyone not only greets you all night long but engages conversation. When was the last time your server shook your hand and said it was a pleasure meeting you? Clearly everyone takes pride in the service and food here. Yes we met the owner. With a business like this she deserves to take pride in and share her experiences. She obviously enjoys chatting and this just adds to a pleasurable time. You've heard about the pictures on the wall let me add something fun here; one of the reasons I was so excited to try this restaurant was because we are planning a trip to Italy. This was our kick off celebration to get us in the mood for the food and culture. Well in the rest rooms you can begin your language lessons. That's right, audio lessons in the rest rooms. My husband and I both had chuckles for that. It really added to the fun.

If you're wondering what to wear; I'd say you're safe with business casual or better. There were men with jackets and men with button down shirts or sweaters. I had simple dress trousers.

If you wondering about the price don't be too scared. Wine by the glass was about $8, entrees $19-$32. I think our bill ran about $140 with tip and that was 1/2 bottle wine, two entrees, dessert, a martini, coffees and a dessert.

It's all been said, house made pasta, sauces, desserts, nice wine list. It's true, it's accurate. I would add the martini was smooth, the salad dressing was tangy and sweet, I absolutely try the cheese cake. It is what a cheesecake is supposed to be. Light, creamy, not dense a great ending to a great meal. This is a restaurant to go to for the experience. Don't rush your meal. Enjoy your time here. I love that the food is cooked in the house where you eat it and not in some factory and trucked to a table near you. Giovanni's is the kind of place I like to spend food money and calories.

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3  Thank jc17oh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

Family took an overnight vacation trip during spring break, we live ~2.5 hours away. Chose Giovanni's based on TA feedback and we were not disappointed. Dined on a Thursday, called day before to make reservation for 6PM. Took advantage of the $5 Valet parking in what is a very industrial area.

Ends up it was a slow night, 1/3rd to 1/2 full, which is what makes the event special as you will see. Most of the decor on the walls was photos of the family over the years (weeding, graduation, etc) and a few of the cognoscenti (George Clooney recently) who have partaken. Wife is a wine drinker, I prefer beer. The wine list was extensive and varied, she chose a glass of a cab. For the beers, there were not a lot of choices, the typical Peretti, and Moretti, but they also had Moretti la rossa, which I like alot, so that was my selection.

We had heard the portions were good sized, so we did not order any apps. Wasn't a large selection of them, I recall 5, of which 2 were pizza, one was a sausage and peppers dish. 4 soups on the menu, minestrone, bean, chicken noodle one other, maybe pasta fagiole? The 4 of us each ordered a different entree, will discuss all as we shared bites. Salad or soup offered with entree, we all chose salad exc one chicken soup, the house dressing was a honey balsamic, wife said it was good.

Manicotti - 2 regular shells and one spinach, with generous amount of tomato sauce. Wife's choice in most Italian restaurants we visit, was one of the better manicotti meals she has had, the sauce, pasta and cheese all complimented each other.

Lasagna - Daughter #1's regular Italian choice, a massive portion but she was up to the task. Many many layers of pasta, meat and cheese and again the combination of everything made for excellent flavor.

Cappelletti de Panna - Daughter #2 is not a red sauce person, this dish was meat and cheese filled ravioli in an alfredo sauce. Got to taste this as well and it was OK, but again I am not the alfredo type myself.

Cannelloni de Fruili - Mine was seafood filled shells (3) in a tomato cream sauce each with a large shrimp on top. The shrimp were cooked just right, not chewy, and everyone else at the table thought the flavor of the sauce was what made the dish.

During our meal we observed the owner working the tables. She appeared to know some of the people personally as we overheard one of the conversations. She eventually made it to our table and chatted it up. We told her how we had found their restaurant, and how good the food was, and she proceeded to tell us the story behind the making of some of their meals. Eventually she offered a sample of the lasagna (though daughter had some already) and who were we to say no? Ended up with 4 mini servings, LOL. Gets better, she comes back and asks how it is, we say we like of course, and then she mentions how they have made several of the lasagna meals to go, in servings for 4 or 12. Comes with a side of sauce. We ended up getting a to go lasagna as well.

Dessert time, a massive tray of options. Again we each chose a different one.

Daughter 1 - Cannoli, - she didnt share! But said it was good
Me - Chocolate Torte with a chocolate ganache, and a thin layer of red raspberry glaze. It was not bad, but I was last to choose on the dessert tray.
Daughter 2 - took their signature dessert, a home made cream puff with some local ice cream (cant rem the name, but been in Detroit for years) and topped with Saunders chocolate, was awesome!
Wife - a Creme Brulee Cheesecake. Yes thats what I said. Literally one of the best cheesecakes we ever tasted, how does one describe rich but light and fluffy? And the flavor was outstanding!

Service was polite but professional, seemed to have a good grasp of time for the staging of the courses. Prompt to arrive and take a plate when it was finished.

If there was a critique, the coffee wasn't the best. Double espresso for me to negate the sugar, not sure if it was the beans or the water. Dont get me wrong it was OK, but have easily had better.

While we were waiting (briefly) for out vehicle to be delivered by the valet, we again got to chat it up with the owner at the entrance. Had to compliment the cheesecake and asked if that was regular on the menu. She said no, that it changed often and that last week they had tried out a Chambord cheesecake. Her son (business partner and head chef) comes up with most of the ideas and she has a stable of folks that make these. Got to hear a lot of the story which you can read on the website, the sudden death of her grandfather. Her son's commitment to get an engineering degree, then coming back to help run the family business, and on...... Glad we came on a slower night, probably would have not received the extra experience.

All the best Frances, you won us over, we will be back!

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1  Thank BeachLeech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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