My husband and I celebrated our anniversary today – 22 years together and 17 as husband and wife. As a special treat, we revisited a classic Italian restaurant in the heart of Little Italy on Ottawa’s Preston Street.
From the moment we arrived for our 6 pm reservation at Giovanni’s, the service was sublime. My coat was artfully taken and hung at my request and – no sooner than when we were seated – the server promptly took our drink orders. Although we were chauffeured by our eldest daughter to the restaurant, I was not immediately inclined to start imbibing. The first choice was the water: my preference for bubbly water was accommodated with a personal bottle of house water with a side choice of lemon or lime served in a small glass.
For starters, I chose bruschetta (crisp baguette was more akin to a cracker than bread, but the fresh and tasty tomatoes and basil were delectable!). I asked for the remainder to be wrapped and was accommodated graciously. My husband raves about his escargot and – even as a vegetarian – I have to acknowledge they looked good… bubbly cheese topping browned ever-so-slightly!.
The service was well-paced and accommodating. The server we had our previous visit three years’ prior stopped by our table and remembered our event. Very special.
As an entree, I did not have to search long to find a vegetarian option that called to me…I chose the Mafalda Alla Norma in honour of my late mother, Norma. Fried eggplant, basil, and smoked provolone cheese. Tender, flavourful and light, I brought half home for later. My husband chose a veal dish with artichokes that he enjoyed immensely.
It was about this time I ordered a light cocktail called a Summer Colada- a cool drink with vanilla vodka and pineapple juice. Very smooth. My husband tried several recommended red wines throughout his dinner.
For desserts, we each had our own. My husband enjoys tiramisu and I had crème brûlée. Both were spectacular! The tiramisu was served in a glass and had a subtle flavour with delicate texture. My crème brûlée did not disappoint… even my husband raves about the flavour and he doesn’t like crème brûlée!
My husband enjoyed his Monte Cristo coffee while I appreciated a B52 coffee. Lovely end to a wonderful meal!
The atmosphere is lovely, the service wonderful… there is the small matter of price. Good food comes at a price and it was not cheap. At just over $250 for two (including tip), you get what you pay for – a quality meal with top-notch service. Not your average weekly fare, it was worth it to splurge for a lovely anniversary dinner. Maybe next year we’ll do it again! 5/5