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“Great meal, fine Italian food!”
Review of Giovanni's - CLOSED

Giovanni's
Price range: US$20 - US$25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Route 444
Rochester, New York
Level 6 Contributor
3,085 reviews
2,035 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 986 helpful votes
“Great meal, fine Italian food!”
Reviewed 2 November 2013

We ate at Giovanni's tonight for the first time, and had a great meal with several very nice surprises. First of all, the only reason why we went is that we purchased a Groupon, which gave us a discount. I originally looked at the menu online and found the food to be very expensive, with some entrees going over $40. (That is a lot for this area of Upstate NY.) However, do not be scared of that if you look online. The prices have dropped a LOT over the past couple years, and are now in line with most other nice restaurants in the area.

We made a 5:30 PM reservation for this Saturday night, and arrived to find a restaurant that had yet to start filling up. No problem; we were shown to a very nice table in a front room that was attractively decorated and lit. I asked about the Groupon right up front, and the manager at the front desk told us that they did not accept Groupons on Saturdays, but she was nice enough to make an exception as we did not know. (It was in small print on the Groupon printout.)

For starters, they brought out some very nice, freshly-baked warm rolls, which were paired with a nice garlicky-red peppered olive oil dip. It was a very nice and simple "spread" that accentuated the rolls. I enjoyed it!

For dinner, I had a seafood diablo dish over pasta. It had a tangy red sauce that was NOT out of a can...it tasted very homemade and gooooood! (Yummy!) The dish was loaded with very large and high-quality shrimp, scallops, and clams. This was all served over pasta with the red sauce and parmesan cheese, which was sprinkled on by our waitress. Very nice! My wife had a pasta dish with beans and sausage (I think), which she really enjoyed as well. Our daughter had a plateful of chicken parmesan that would have fed four kids her size. (It's going to be my lunch tomorrow!)

The service at this restaurant was very good as well. Our waitress was very prompt and courteous, and we were also visited by the manager as well, who informed us about the history of the place. This was a very, very nice meal, and we will be back!

Two things to know, though: first, as I already said, they do not accept Groupons on Saturdays, so know that in advance. (I wouldn't take advantage of their good natures by asking to accept one again.) Also, they are not open on Sundays at all. So, don't buy a Groupon if you only dine out on weekends, as you won't use it. But don't let that stop you from trying this wonderful restaurant. It is very good, and is not more expensive than other restaurants in the area. I will be back!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Larry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    17
    6
    4
    3
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, New York
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Quaint yummy Italian”
Reviewed 20 October 2013

We recently moved to the area & were looking for a quaint yummy Italian experience. Unfortunately our hopes were way too high on Giovanni's. We immediately thought service was not up to par from the beginning, bartender told us she was new & needed to catch up (would have been completely fine until someone else stepped in). Bartender was very kind but never caught up. We are seated and proceed to order drinks and appetizers. On the menu, it offers "Chef's choice soup"; "Lobster Bisque" and "French Onion Soup". I inquire only to find out that tonight the only soup available is the Bisque, which I order, it's good but a bit watery. The main meal offerings are VERY basic, I order a pasta dish that is offered with Penne pasta. When my dish comes out, it's some sort of spiral pasta, we point it out to our waitress and she said "oh yeah, i noticed that too, if you don't like it let me know." Sorry, she should have said something before we did. As we left, there were 3 people standing at the front door, not one person said "goodbye", "hope you enjoyed your meal"; "Come again" or " [---]". Basically service absolutely sucked!! The fact that I took the time to write this should tell you something. Sooo much potential bur TRULY sucked and will not be back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank neet9499
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victor, New York
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Eh.....”
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Giovanni's is going for an upscale casual experience. The décor fits and the outdoor dining area is kind of unique, being built against an old stone wall. We were seated at a table that was crowded into a dining area in the bar. Too close to other patrons! The food is good but overpriced and the server was stand-offish and slow.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kate G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Confused...”
Reviewed 1 August 2013

We were looking forward to our dinner at Giovanni's as we have gone there several times before and have had great Italian food...not the case this time.
We were unaware they changed their menu...Giovannis=Italian, right? Well..then WHY the ribs-coleslaw-burger, pork sliders-and much fewer upscale Italian dishes on the menu? (and no daily specials offered) We have always gone there expecting to pay a little more for great food and have been happy to do so!!!
Well, it looks like they've dumbed down their menu/prices to bring in a different crowd/clientele...let's say those who think Applebee's and the Olive Garden are fine dining.
To start our meal, we ordered two apps...calamari and arancini . The arancini were well prepared and a great starter. However, the fried calamari was less than exciting...a very small portion and brought to the table cold.
My main course was unexciting and my husbands was overly sauced and poorly executed. Not only did they miss the mark in taste, they were prepared at a snails pace...we waited way too long for less than average food. I could go on and on, but Ill save you the time.
I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone looking for a great evening/dinner out.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank FingerLakesFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upstate N.Y.
Level 6 Contributor
257 reviews
207 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 194 helpful votes
“The busser was attentive. Maybe she should have cooked.”
Reviewed 31 July 2013

She ensured our water glasses were always topped off, offered more bread when the basket was empty, was pleasant. We have been here a few times since I raved about this place last November. We sat on the patio, listened to some of the best melodic soft jazz I have heard in a restaurant. Ackkk! There was no lobster bisque. Our server told me you can't go wrong with steak. Yes you can. I ordered a strip rare with a side of Marsala, great sauce last 2 times, and still on the menu, but whoops, unavailable. After a very long wait I got a tough chunk of really salty meat- beef jerky?- that was wayyyyy overcooked. My spinach risotto may have been undercooked minute rice with lots of onions on some scattered spinach leaves. My mother-in-law had chicken french which had an unusual flavor but wasn't bad. My wife had prime rib, also a strange preparation, but also not bad. A mac and chz side was boring. Cole slaw was shredded cabbage with mayo. Wine was good. Service was slow. I guess I could rate this dinig experience higher, but my meal was such a disappointment I won't.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank swampknot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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