Monday, November 21, 2011

Giovanni's On the Hill

I will be the first one to tell you, I love anything fancy. Say what you will, but I enjoy getting dressed up, great atmosphere and wonderful food. When my fiance told me that he wanted to take me a nice dinner at a fancy, well known, Italian restaurant for our anniversary, I didn't hesitate.

The last time we went to The Hill, we did not have a great experience. My fiance wasn't wearing a jacket and we were not allowed inside. This time, we would be prepared. He wore dress pants, dress shirt, nice shoes and a jacket. I wore a dress, and we were both looking pretty snazzy. When we looked at Giovanni's website, I was very impressed. President Ronald Reagan, President George Bush and Oprah Winfrey have all visited and have pasta dishes named after them! We decided that we needed reservations.

We made reservations for 6:30 on a Friday night. When we walked inside it was very quiet and had many tables open still. I felt a little silly that we had made reservations. I then thought about our 6:30 reservation. What was I thinking? That's way too early for the distinguished set! Oh well, at least we will get great service, and I won't be ready to eat my hand by the time we're seated.

We were seated in the dimly lit back room and greeted by a handsome looking, middle aged man with an Italian server's attitude, but an indistinguishable accent. We started with water, which probably made him think, "oh great, I got the cheap youngsters". I was just trying to be healthy, and I was really thirsty! I looked to my right and there was a couple wearing jeans. That's fine, I thought, just being casual. Then I looked to my left and saw a disheveled looking twenty something with a hoody and tennis shoes. This is it, all formalities have officially left the country. Although we didn't have to get dressed up after all, I was glad that we did. In a way, it marked the occasion.

I decided on the Pappardelle alla Bella Oprah. How could anything associated with Oprah be bad right? On my strong recommendation, my finance went with the Bucatini all'Amatriciana. Both were good, but mine was definitely the winner and if I went again I might order the same thing. The Bucatini all'Amatriciana tasted a bit too normal, like a standard spaghetti. I always grade a restaurant on their bread, and the bread here was very good, and served with olive oil.

I was a little shocked at how rudely the staff spoke to each other, loud enough for customers to hear. It made me a little uncomfortable. That was the only thing I disliked about Giovanni's. I highly recommend it and I hope to go back some day.