1915 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL | Directions 3279228.600639 -81.326972
Mon. - Thu., Sun. 11am - 10am;Fri. - Sat. 11am - 11pm
Neighborhoods: Winter Park
I first experienced Giovanni's when I was in college at UCF, and completely fell in love with their food. I lived near the Winter Park restaurant, so that was the location I frequent most.
It started with the pizza - their dough, sauce... everything is made from scratch, hand tossed, and made completely to order. If you like it thin and crispy, they can make it so. My favorite pizza is "the Don," with fresh marinaded tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and cheese. YUM, just thinking about it makes me want to go on a pizza run. (they do deliver, by the way!)
Then a friend introduced me to their homemade salad dressing, a sweet basil vinaigrette. This stuff is like crack, it is so addictive and delicious. They sell it by the bottle, and in addition to being an amazing dressing for pretty much any salad, it also makes a wonderful bread dip (I love to dip the pizza crust in it too!), and even a marinade! If you try it and fall in love, don't leave without getting a bottle for yourself to take home. I don't think I've been without a bottle of this stuff in my fridge for years.
Their appetizers, pastas and entrees are delicious as well. Super fresh ingredients, all sauces made from scratch, fresh vegetables... it doesn't eve hold a candle to the Olive Garden, Carrabas or Macaroni Grill in terms of quality. And holy smokes, the calamari... so crispy and delicate, SO delicious. I cannot even pick a favorite entree, there are so many that are all just amazing. They also have daily specials - if you ever have the chance to try the Ziti Alla Vodka, do it without hesitation!
Make sure you leave room for a cappuccino and dessert! Their tiramisu is to die for - I'm very picky about my tiramisu (I've had some that were so alcoholic they knocked my socks off), but theirs is the perfect balance of sweet, creamy and not too much kick from whatever liquor they brush on the cakey bits in the middle.
Portions are very generous (just like my Italian mother likes to feed you), so compared to other big chain Italian restaurants, you really get a bang for your buck... a good thing to have in this economy. (dinner, plus lunch the next day? Yes please!) Their large pizzas dwarf that of Papa Johns.
Lastly, it's a family-run restaurant, and the owners are very friendly and often behind the counter or in the kitchen, not running it from a back room somewhere - they are working with the staff. It says a lot about a place, I think - that the owners are doing the "dirty work" too, vs just playing manager from afar. The staff is knowledgeable about the menu, prompt to refill drinks, and on top of their game. Thus far I've not had bad service here, and I've been visiting this particular restaurant since 2006. I'm all about supporting a small business, especially over the chains that are really nothing more than hype and frozen (tasteless) ingredients.
All in all, if I had to only eat from one restaurant for the rest of my life, this one would be it. Between their menu selection, quality of ingredients, and constant variety, I'd be set.
Real Italian – Giovanni's will give some really great Italian food, some of the best Orlando has to offer. I am a huge fan of the pizza because it doesn't taste like canned sauce, it tastes homemade. Portions are very generous and it's quality food. I also have fallen in love with their cannolis. Employees are very friendly and genuinely care about their customers and their resturaunt's reputation.
THE BEST – This Restaurant is the best Italian food I have ever had!!! If you want real Italian food at a decent price this is the place to go! My favorites are the chicken marsala and shrimp scampi, and for desert, try the HOMEMADE tiramisu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Homestyle with style – Giovannis is one of those Italian places that take you back to when there were no chains and everybody in the kitchen was related. The food is consistent, hot and delicious. Portions are generous with none of the canned bland taste you get from most Italian restaurants in Orlando. Pricing is fair bordering on the inexpensive. This is a comfortable atmosphere for singles or families. Hey, I love this place! Ask if Jozef is around and experience some good ol New York Italian charm! This is, I believe one of three Giovannis owned and operated by the same family.....Awesome food! Makes you wish you were Italian!
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