Giovanni’s – A Lip Smacking Dining Experience in Covent Garden, London

By Lakshmi:

It was our first visit to the Covent Garden area.  Yes, in all our visits to London, we had never visited this hip and happening spot, till a friend from the US suggested we meet up there for dinner.

From the moment you emerge from the tube station, the energy of the area just draws you in.  Well dressed youth milling around in animated conversations, elegant opera goers, dapper business folks and tourists all make the area a totally fun place for people watching.  Amid this hustle bustle, we decided to scout out our place to hang for the evening.  We were too late to watch Daniel Radcliffe, too hungry to eat fast food, did not want to go into any of the pretentious looking places that charged a gazillion pounds, passed on Koshary as too much of a quick bite and finally settled on Giovanni’s.  The restaurant was small, the menu enticing and the atmosphere cosy.

A sixty year old institution in a fabled old area, the people and the food at Giovanni’s made for a perfect evening.  We decided to share three dishes accompanied by the mandatory prosecco!  Here are the dishes that made us savor every bite and not leave even a morsel on our plates.

Pappardelle “Maestro Pavarotti” – Pappardelle (ribbon pasta) with broad beans, garden peas, spring onions and parmigiano with a little fresh chilli pepper

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This was the perfect summer dish.  The pappardelle ribbons making the perfect bed for the fresh summer veggies.  A light pasta dish so perfect for al fresco dining experiences.  A pasta I had never tasted stateside and yet appeared so easy to create.

Bufala di Aversa – 100% Bufala mozzarella served with sliced beef tomato, fresh basil leaves and cold pressed olive oil

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Eating really fresh mozzarella is a subliminal experience and this salad with the summer fresh tomatoes and basil drizzled with really good olive oil could not go wrong in any way.

Orecchiette con Broccoli – Shell shaped pasta with broccoli, garlic and chilli

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If there was a “crowning glory” to our meal, it would have to be this dish.  A pasta dish so simple, with good for you ingredients, that a recreated version now features on our dinner plate at home.  The orecchiette was tossed with finely chopped steamed broccoli and flavored with just olive oil, garlic and chilli.  Simply perfect – with the only regret being not having enough room in our belly to tuck in a second plate!

We ended our meal with a Tiramisu and espresso, emerging in a blissful state into the throngs of folks leaving the opera.  Our meal was the music for our soul that evening.

To learn more about Giovanni’s please visit their website at

http://giovannislondon.co.uk/

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