Giano, Superlative Italian in the East Village

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Giano (Janus: Dual-faced Roman god looking to the future and to the past)

ADDRESS:   126 East 7th Street

(Between First Avenue & Avenue A)

New York, NY 10009

WEB SITE:   www.gianonyc.com

TELEPHONE:  (212) 673-7200

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HOURS:   Dinner:                   5:30 PM  -   11:00 PM, Tues.-Thurs. & Sun.

            5:30 PM -    12:00 Midnight, Fri.-Sat.

  (Closed Monday)

Happy Hour:           5:30 PM  -      7:00 PM, Tues.-Thurs. & Sun.

(2-Course $21.95 Prix Fixe Dinner and ½-price on select wines

by the glass.)                                          

CUISINE:   Contemporary Italian

(Restaurateur/Chef Matteo Niccoli crafts a

menu featuring an eclectic selection of

classic, traditional Italian dishes, refining

and updating them with a modern flair.)

CREDIT CARDS:  All major

PRICE RANGE:  Dinner (entrees):                     $12.95 – $22.95

2-Course Prix Fixe Dinner:      $21.95

(5:30 PM – 7 :00 PM, Tues.-Thurs. & Sun.)        

DRESS:   Casual 

RESERVATIONS:  Recommended

SEATING CAPACITY: Dining Room:                      55

Seasonal Garden:              20

NUMBER OF ROOMS: 1

(Seasonal Garden seats 20)

PARTY FACILITIES: Available upon request

DESIGNERS:  Paolo Rossi

Matteo Niccoli

EXECUTIVE CHEF:  Matteo Niccoli

PASTRY CHEF:  Matteo Niccoli

WINE DIRECTOR:  Paolo Rossi

OWNERS:   Paolo Rossi

Matteo Niccoli

OPENING DATE:  January, 2008


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Romanic, bargain-priced and excellent are the words to describe this charming Italian find in New York’s trendy East Village. There is a  sit-down bar that is custom-made and seductively curved, featuring an impressive selection of global wines with a particular emphasis on regional Italian wines.  A variety of  wines are available by the glass.  In addition, a selection of Italian beers is also available. The Dinner Menu is also available at the bar (great for single diners).

The dining room is contemporary and rustic,  reflecting the dual symbol of the Roman deity, Janus. It is enhanced by a 12-foot high ceiling,  contemporary Italian tables and chairs, wooden bench, stylish crystal chandeliers, and French doors opening onto a lively street.In addition, the rustic, romantic dining room in the middle and the rear of the restaurant, is separated from the front by hanging painted rope. there are custom-made walnut tables and chairs, exposed brick walls with openings for votive candles, a country fireplace, rustic sunflower panel on canvas, natural wood floors, and wood doors opening onto the lovely, seasonal garden to create the feel of a Tuscan-style villa.

Paolo Rossi is a welcoming host and will guide you through the short and sensible menu with its updated classics, interlaced with chef Matteo Niccoli’s original creations. We enjoyed appetizers like simple Fried calamari, tender and light with the addition of  Italian tartar sauce, rather than the overused marinara. Crocchette di ricotta e tonno are the chef’s invention and arrive as Creamy and crunchy tuna and ricotta croquettes with a stylish arugula salad and balsamic reduction. We like to eat Italian style, so while pastas are worthy of main courses, we prefer them as an in between course. Especially inventive and delicious was Bigoli al ragu d’agnello e noci tostate: Homemade Medieval thick spaghetti with slow cooked braised lamb ragout and toasted walnut powder. Ask about specials as well.

Entrees are where Giano really shines. Perfectly cooked plates that seem unexpectedly classy for their reasonable prices include a wonderful Baccala’ alla livornese con polenta
or Pan sired cod fillet with fresh tomatoes, black olives and capers served with the best crispy polenta we have tasted in NY. Also terrific, was Stinco d’agnello brasato e pure di patate or Brased lamb shank seved with creamy mashed potato.

The restaurant serves no hard liquor, but the short wine list has good choices for under $50. Service is attentive and guiding and don’t mist some very good desserts such as Tiramisu the classic Italian dessert and an outstanding Creme Brulee vanilla custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel. The cappuccino is superb.

Giano is definitely one of the East Village’s more pleasant and affordable options.

Copyright 2013 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

 

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SEASONAL GARDEN: A lovely seasonal landscaped garden seats 20 people.  It

features potted plants, wooden fence, Italian metal tables,

imported Italian metal and faux wicker chairs, antique

lamps, and century-old lush oak trees overlooking it to

create a relaxing, modern setting with a rustic look.

In addition, there are custom-made cedar wood boxes

and benches with colorful flower boxes that separate

the garden into different dining areas.   The garden is

open April through October.

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