Saturday, January 23, 2010


I cannot get tired of Giovanni's and feel fortunate to live about a mile away. I have never had a bad meal here and in general, all my experiences here have been above average. Add the fact that it's a local small chain, and I'm a big fan of this place. On top of that, their lunch special can't be beat: my favorite is a stuffed slice and a house salad for $6.95. Great value and great pizza! But I digress...

My friend Tommy and I had spent Friday evening in downtown Sanford for the monthly Fourth Friday "Art Walk," a monthly event. Tommy is an artist ( and has some of his work on display at Art Affair Gallery in downtown Sanford, a fun place to visit and hang out and meet all sorts of very interesting people. Anyway, after a fun evening there, though we'd had a few appetizers and a few wine/champagne sample, we were hungry. It was almost 9:30 and I knew many places were thinking of closing, so we decided on Giovanni's. It was, again, a good choice. 

Giovanni's was not extrememly busy when we got there, but it was late. I've often seen people waiting outside during "prime hours." The front dining and bar area were busy, but the dining room proper was fairly empty. Nonetheless, we were promptly seated by the hostess and our waiter, William, provided excellent and attentive service. I started out with a bottle of Sam Adams, Tommy with an iced tea. After hearing all the specials, we decided to start with the Crab-stuffed Portobello. It was a good choice. We were both very impressed by the flavors of this appetizer.

The crab stuffing itself was not overpowered by the wine-based sauce but rather highlighted by it. The crispy bruschetta served as a nice contrast to the creaminess of the mushroom and crab stuffing. Served alongside some house bread, we found ourselves sopping up all available sauce--it was that good!

Both of our meals were served with a house side salad which was fresh and delicious. I had the house balsamic dressing, an in-house, homemade dressing that I love, it's my favorite. The salads included carrots, grape tomatoes and some cucumbers. They were refreshing, more than ample, and delicious.

Deciding on a main course was tough. One part of me wanted pizza, but there were so many good things to choose from. A few of the specials sounded so good as well. Finally, we were able to make the hard decisions. For his main course, Tommy chose the Lasagna, layered pasta wtih homemade meat sauce, ricotta cheese, and covered with melted mozzarella cheese and sauce. I had a taste, it was absolutely delicious, all that a lasagna should be. I would not pronounce it the best lasagna I've ever had--Mom gets the accolades for that, and she's Polish!--but it was certainly better than average, a very good choice. Tommy agreed, saying it was very good and tasty.

For my main course, after much vacillation, I eventually settled on the Pasta Silva--advertised as Ziti topped with diced chicken, mushrooms, shallts, marsala wine, and a touch of creme. It was very, very good. quite tasty. I noted that it also had some sliced garlic in it--very nice and sweet, well roasted and not burned. The zite, though, really were penne rigate, sorry to be so picky. They were cooked will, not over cooked and mushy. Actually, I almost did not select this dish because it was touted as having ziti, so i was glad for the penne rigate, I thought that would be a better choice. I guess I was right! The chicken, though tasty, was just a bit dry. But the mushroom and marsala sauce that gave this dish the preponderance of it's flavor was excellent. It was a very good dish and I'd recommend it to anyone--and hope that you, too, got the penne rigate. 

Our total damages for the eveninig came to just under $38 for the beer, iced tea, appetizer, and two entrees--not bad at all for the excellent for meals we had or will have. Yes, meals, because we both have doggie bags with enog for another fine meal of leftover. I am a bit jealous of Tommy, as we all know hat lasagna is better the next day! But I'm sure my pasta silva will be equally good tomorrow. I am quite fortunate to live so close to this Giovanni's. I hope you'll give them a try some time, too!
Giovanni's on Urbanspoon


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