Giovanni

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Giovanni, 47 West 55th Street.

Located in Midtown Manhattan at 47 West 55th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, Giovanni is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11:30am-11pm. Currently, Giovanni accepts all major credit cards. For more information on private parties and reservations, please call 212-262-2828. www.giovanni-restaurant.com.

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Review by Nancy Walman

Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater. In celebration of its 15th year in business, new bright colors and flavors are being added to the offerings at the Midtown Manhattan Northern Italian restaurant known as Giovanni. Chef Patrick brings over 30 years of culinary experience to the table that began with classical training in his hometown of Florence. It is his recognized straightforward, flavorful food that he brings to Giovanni.

Butternut Squash Soup with Amaretti Cookies and Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar is a creamy, tasty starter with crunch. While Calamari stewed with chickpeas, spinach and Barolo wine served over croutons offers tender, delicate bites of succulent, savory squid. One of the newest and boldest dishes on the Pasta menu is the in-house produced Spinach Tagliolini with Wild Boar Ragout and Cocoa. For the ultra-gourmand, Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Ragout is delicious.

The chef’s healthy, light cooking is showcased in (Whole) Roasted Sea Bream with rosemary and garlic that is finished with high-quality olive oil. All of the greens, salads, poultry, and milk-fed veal are organic, and diners soon will be able to take part in monthly wine dinners, 5-course meals with wine pairings from the 500-bottle cellar.

Copyright 2008 by Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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Giovanni Reinvents Itself:
New Chef Brings Straightforward, Flavorful Fare to Classic Italian Eatery

In celebration of its 15th year in business, new bright colors and flavors are being added to the offerings at the Midtown Manhattan eatery that is the Kitchen of Northern Italy also known as Giovanni.

Chef Patrick Nuti brings over 30 years of culinary experience to the table that began with classical training in his hometown of Florence, Italy. In recent years, after opening Petrosino and Canapa on the Lower East Side to critical acclaim, The New York Times described his cuisine best, “The chef, Patrick Nuti, rolls out lively, forthright dishes that are unmarred by fussiness or pretension.” He went on to be Executive Chef at Osteria del Circo owned by Le Cirque as well as the upscale Italian eatery, I Trulli owned by the Marzovilla family.

It is his recognized straightforward, flavorful food that he brings to Giovanni. Passato di zucca gialla con amaretti e balsamico caramellato, Butternut Squash Soup with Amaretti Cookies and Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar is a creamy, tasty starter with crunch. While Inzimino di calamari e ceci al Barolo sul crostone, Calamari stewed with chickpeas, spinach and Barolo wine served over crouton offers tender, delicate bites of succulent, savory squid. For diners opting to begin with house-cured meats, they would do well with the fantastic Bresaola con patate bollite, prezzemolo e olio tartufato – Traditional cured beef from Trentino region with potato salad and truffle oil.

One of the newest and boldest dishes on the Paste E Risotti menu is the in-house produced Tagliolini verdi al ragu di Cinghiale e Cioccolata – Spinach Tagliolini with Wild Boar Ragout and Cocoa. For the ultra-gourmand, the Risotto ai Funghi Porcini e Tartufo Nero – Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Ragout is sure to sate their wild mushroom side and provide precisely al dente carnaroli rice.

Patrick Nuti showcases his healthy, light cooking in the Secondi option of Orata Intera al Forno con Rosmarino – (Whole) Roasted Sea Bream with rosemary and garlic that is finished with high-quality olive oil (never butter) that lets the fresh flavor speak for itself. All of the greens, salads, poultry, and milk-fed veal are organic at Giovanni, a philosophy that continues with the new impeccably prepared entrée of Costoletta di Maiale al Finocchio – 18 oz. Grilled Berkshire Organic Pork Chop with Fennel Seeds.

The chef’s credo of less butter, more olive oil (extra-virgin and others) along with his technique of using vegetable-based sauces and broths instead of cream and butter is exemplified in his Salmone al Pistacchio e Polenta – Pistachio-Crusted Salmon served with Soft Polenta.

Northern Italy, more specifically the Trentino region is where the man who gives his name to the restaurant was born. Over his memorable career, Giovanni Francescotti has served the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Artist Jasper Johns. He was actively involved in the formation and opening of Castellano’s, the restaurant that wrote the book on Italian cuisine for New York City in the 1980s. It was the first establishment to bring over four chefs from Harry’s Bar in Venice. Giovanni went on to get high praise after opening Maruzzella on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Mr. Francescotti personally oversees the beverage program at Giovanni that includes an extensive grappa, single-malt scotch, bourbon and port list. They are all housed behind a long, elegant marble top bar that is the genuine article from Italy. But even more impressive is the list of 500 wines available by the bottle; a list that has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year the restaurant has been open. Giovanni is all about pairing wines with Chef Patrick Nuti’s down-to-earth, perfectly seasoned food. Always available, and rotating monthly, are a wide variety of wines by the glass, so you can be sure to find a splendid match for any plate.

Diners soon will be able to take part in monthly wine dinners, 5-course meals with wine pairings from the 500-bottle cellar. The first offering will include a repast highlighting wild mushrooms for the month of October.

Giovanni also offers a price fixed 3-course lunch and pre-theater dinner from 11:30am to 7pm that includes a light main dish choice of Filetto di Branzino alla Triestina – Filet of sea bass in a cherry tomato sauce with herbs.

Designer Arturo Leone, of London and Rome, hand-painted the Pavilion Room with a Roman tent on the walls and cupids on the ceiling. This beautiful room is part of the main dining area that seats up to 130 guests. Upstairs at Giovanni are two party rooms including the Card Room that can serve up to 70 people and is adorned with life-size Italian tarot cards. Also on the 2nd floor is the Club Room that can accommodate up to 30 people at separate tables, or 18 people together at a custom-made United Nations style round table. In addition, adjacent to the Card Room is an outdoor deck that provides a smokers’ paradise.

Located in Midtown Manhattan at 47 West 55th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, Giovanni is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11:30am-11pm. Currently, Giovanni accepts all major credit cards. For more information on private parties and reservations, please call 212-262-2828. www.giovanni-restaurant.com.

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47 West 55th Street, btw fifth and sixth avenues, 212.262.2828

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