uandursister (uandursister) wrote in boston_eats,

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G'vanni's ~ North End

Let me say right up front that I have very high standards when it comes to Italian food. I lived in Bologna, Italy for two years and I'm an excellent cook myself. So, it's fair to say that generally I'm a little harder on Italian restaurants than others I know. 

Having said that... 

G'vanni's is simply awful. The absolute worst place I have been to in the North End. Ever. It would have been simply so-so if it weren't for the completely brutal service. I went there with my boyfriend and another couple on Saturday night. We had made a 6pm reservation and we weren't seated until almost 6:45. Thank goodness it's summertime because the only place to wait is outside on the street. Practically the second we were seated the waitress wanted to take our order, but we hadn't even finished perusing the wine list. She seemed rather put out that she would have to come back. As the evening wore on we discovered this was because they were trying to turn over tables faster than the patrons could actually eat.

The menu is extensive, but I don't personally find that to be a point of favor. To me it says the kitchen doesn't know what it wants to be. In fact, they had something on the menu they called Tuscan Fusili Bolognese. Um... ok... do you want to serve food from Tuscany or from Emilia-Romagna? It was fusili with tomato sauce with carrots, celery & onion. OK, that's the start of a bolognese sauce. Where's the pancetta? Where's the pork? And they added "chunks of primo sirloin." OK, so you're trying to say you added a bistecca alla fiorentina? Well that's essentially a porterhouse. I see neither porterhouse nor a true bolognese in this. GACK. Then they had saltimboca (Roman) and a valdostana (Torino). Make up your mind!!!

We ordered one grilled scallop entree, one pumpkin ravioli, one pollo carciofi and one pollo marsala. The bread we were served while waiting was absolutely delicious - very fresh - and the olive oil was rich and fruity. Along with a glass of cabernet, this was the most enjoyable part of the meal. I had the pollo carciofi (chicken with artichokes). An insipid piece of chicken arrived with a thin tomato-cream sauce and two pieces of fried artichoke. The artichokes were ok, but a bit bland. The chicken was completely white - it was certainly cooked, but it had no color. The sauce was lacking. It was almost like tomato soup had been drizzeled over everything. No body, no richness. I am told the chicken marsala was "ok", the pumpkin ravioli were "good" and the scallops were "good." We were given a plate of ziti with marinara sauce for the table to share. 

The waitress cleared plates the moment someone finished eating, even though others were still eating. I find this incredibly rude. 

We were given dessert menus and ordered 3 bombe, which were good. Can't really screw up ice cream with chocolate coating. The waitress practically took my plate away as I was eating and brought the check before we had finished. 4 entrees, 4 glasses of wine and 3 desserts came to $160.

One friend had to use the restroom and we were joking that there would already be people eating their appetizer at our table by the time he got back. The rest of us waited outside and when he came out he said, "I was kidding, but there really were people already seated at the table!" 

Considering how long we had to wait to get a table we had made a reservation for, they sure couldn't wait to shove people out the door. Since the food was way overpriced for it's so-so-ness, I will never, ever, be back there. 

Incidentally, if people are looking for decent places to go, I have had good meals at Antico Forno, Saraceno and Monica's. I haven't been back to Monica's since they rennovated, but I probably will go there in the next few months.

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