Giulio's Cucina Italiana - Livonia, MI
OK here is the story....I use Facebook...and I connected with my old best friends family which included his next youngest brother. I used to play with him back when we were kids. We have intersected a few times over the years here and there. Well I knew he was working as a chef at the Topic Restaurant, but I still have not visited this place....
Well being a food whore and a Facebook user I have a lot of chefs in my friends list. I just had one guy that is not a pro chef but does run a private dinner club for Chefs say this....
"I just had the best meal of my life so far. And that meal came from the kitchen at Giulio's."
Well I think we need to take a peek at this place.....the menu is standard fair Italian, but that is not always a bad thing. Classics done right are classic for a reason!
Has anyone in our little circle had a experience here? I am putting them on the short list. I will at least report back when I know something.
Giulio's Cucina Italiana
31735 Plymouth Rd, Livonia, MI 48150
Went to Giulio’s tonight. Quite a nice time. If it weren’t so late, I would have gathered more background info and written a more thorough review. But, let me type out several remarks and then leave it to you to do a more thoughtful writeup.
Location is almost directly across the street from East Side Mario’s. There surely is a tug-o-war over local clientele. Giulio’s parking lot was 50%+ pickup trucks, which was counter-suggestive of a foodie-haven. In any event, the place was about 25% full, and those there seemed to be at ease, in the way a “regular” would feel. The place is of new construction, so it hasn’t had time to age much character. Photos are on their website, but I think the place is actually a little nicer than the photos, though it’s a little too dimly lit. The pizza oven is quite pretty, but it didn’t seem to be fired up at 8pm this Thursday night. Had I been alone, the small bar with TV would also have been an inviting seating option for dinner.
Food-- The bread basket had warm, fresh focaccia and day old house baked loaf bread. The focaccia was quite good. We ordered an appetizer of roasted quail ($7). It was tiny and STRONGLY flavored with a chile-salt rub and then charred. We devoured it, but might turn to the calamari next time.
The house salad was crispy romaine, a tomato wedge and a tasty white balsamic vinaigrette. The minestrone was good, but may not have been wholly homemade. The spaghetti sauce was homemade with roasted garlic. Very enjoyable, but inarguably a notch below Picano’s of Troy. The seafood marinara ($18) was large/good, but not remarkable, other than its seemingly homemade noodles. The beef braciole ($19), comprised of braised beef cutlet (touch overcooked) rolled around prosciutto, greens and cheese, was delicious. I’d have preferred it over polenta rather than over noodles, but I’d have eaten it over saltines if necessary. Yum. For dessert, I had a nice cannoli brought in from a local bakery. The house red wine, Primitivo La Mano something another ($7), did me fine, though the wine list offered much more. I don’t mean to be a knitpicker, but the wine glasses were really crappy.
While the kitchen was slow, I must say that the floor staff was EXTREMELY attentive and genuinely friendly. There was no smug professionalism to be found, even if you wanted it. I don’t know how well this warmth holds up when things get busy, but we, and surely the other customers, felt like VIPs.
Anyway, while it’s not a value priced place, or one that serves astonishing renditions of the classics, everyone appeared to be well contented and looking forward to another visit. :-)
Hmmm. Sounds like I'll be sticking with Giovanni's, quite frankly. While I certainly appreciate great people, the food doesn't sound like it's up to the standards Giovanni's sets. Plus, Livonia's really probably equidistant from me, time-wise, when it comes to driving. Glad to hear your impressions, VTB.
Based on your guys' recommendations, I've been trying to schedule a trip to the west side to try Giovanni's (esp. their béchamel lasagna). Now, the picture becomes more complicated. Perhaps my big night out this week should be to Giulio's? The braised rabbit (limited avail) and the beef braciole on Giulio's menu sound great. They even have roast veal with wild mushrooms for Rheta and her hubby. The east side benchmark for pasta sauce, that either of these west side places will have to beat, is Picano's of Troy. Will look forward to reading / posting to this thread...not that a newbie is part of the mentioned little circle, but I'll work to earn some stripes.