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Jul 14, 2008 05:29 PM

Bistro Don Giovanni--where to sit? what to order?

You Bay Area hounds have already given me some great advice regarding my upcoming Napa area trip--thanks! Based on your advice, I've decided to go to Bistro Don Giovanni for dinner one night, but I had some questions. From the website, it sounds like there are a couple of different lovely terrace areas--what is the best area in which to sit? Also, I was wondering if you had an specific recommendations on what to order? What is great there? And along these lines, I was wondering if the pasta dishes are small-sized first courses (primi) like in more traditional Italian restaurants, or if they are large portions meant to be the main course. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Regarding where to sit - my preference is for the main dining room at night. It is warm and festive. The booths are nice if you have a group. Outside terrace/patio on the north side of the building (to your right as you come up the stairs to the restaurant) is great for daytime or evening, looking over the garden and fountain. Just avoid the add-on room on the east side of the building - it feels like you are enclosed in plastic out there, which you are.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Junie D

      An absolute must is their beef carpaccio. Also, it's not on the menu very often, but they will make it if you ask - their pizza with pancetta and a fried egg. Also any of the pastas with the Sonoma Duck Bolognese is delicious. Be very careful of their spaghetti with clams and chilies. It is very, very spicy. Other things that we have enjoyed is the Risotto ai Funghi, hot Italian sausage, wild mushrooms, artichokes, fontina Val d’Aosta and the Pan Roasted Petrale Sole, Meyer Lemon Caper Butter, Sausalito Springs Watercress where the fish is presented whole and fileted tableside.

      See pics here:

    2. I totally agree with lizziee regarding the beef carpaccio. Also, their daily risotto dish is always good. Their duck risotto was truly memorable, but sadly I have yet to see it offered again on my return visits.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kresge86

        What was the duck risotto like? I had duck risotto there over a decade ago, and all I remember is a few tiny slices of duck breast on top of a pretty plain risotto, but then again I was a lot younger and would not have known the taste of fresh duck broth from canned chicken broth. I assume in hindsight that a lot was lost on me...

      2. link

        Bistro Don Giovanni
        4110 Howard Ln, Napa, CA

        1. I agree with sitting in the main dining room for dinner. As for dishes, I agree with the pasta with duck bolognese, I have also had an amazing gnocchi at BDG. The gnocchi is not always on the menu but worth ordering.

          I also really like the beet and haricot vert salad. A very nice summer starter.

          I was not crazy about the pizza. It was fine but there are much better items on the menu.

          1. Thanks so much for all the helpful suggestions!