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Nov 2, 2011 09:43 AM

In the mood for GREAT italian. Bacco or Giovannis???!!!?? [DTW]

Want to go out for a nice dinner Saturday night with the wife. We are both in the mood for good Italian. First thought was Bacco....then we thought Giovannis. We are torn, any comments would be appreciated.

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  1. I'm not a local so have only eaten at both places once, but I thought the food at Giovannis was far superior to the food at Bacco. Bacco had a marginally nicer ambiance (and of course, the neighborhood is much more upscale), but really, Giovanni's food was so good it elevated the experience. We'll go back next time we're in town to Giovannis, but not to Bacco. G's is also less expensive than B's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Niki in Dayton

      I totally agree. Giovanni's is the BEST Italian restaurant in Metro-Detroit. If it's good enough for Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, then that's where I want to be!

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Here it is, right up front: I have never been to, nor tried the cuisine of, Bacco. I can't speak to that.

        What I *can* say though, with absolute confidence, is just go to Giovanni's Ristorante. Just go. I have never, ever had a bad meal, bad service...heck, I've never even had a bad *course* here. Read that again: I've never sent *anything* back. Ever.

        You must, you must, you must try the pasta. It's otherworldly. By leaps and bounds, it's the best I've ever had, and it makes my mouth water any time I think of it.

        Oh, you know what? Don't just take my word for it. Here:

        Click the link. Read. Then go. It's spectacular, and I can't think of a single thing to complain about.

        Giovanni's Ristorante
        330 S Oakwood, Detroit, MI 48217

        1. I think you'll be pleased with the food at either establishment.

          I'll also suggest Maria's in West Bloomfield. A (very) small upscale
          italian restaurant. Resv required. A bit less expensive than Bacco.

          1. went to giovannis last night. not half bad...really nice people and service. not a very imaginative menu though...gnocchi was nice, soft, can taste the potatoes. Likewise for the cannelloni. no dessert or apps for us.

            8 Replies
            1. re: gan911

              "Not half bad"? I wrong, or is that a thinly-veiled backhanded compliment? Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

              I hope that you were able to get the side of pasta (linguine) and tried that. You definitely made a mistake in missing out on the me, it's absolutely dynamite. I think their calamari app is great, but it's *very* large, and between two people, it probably would have been too much. I've found that their touch with seafood is marvelous, as well, from perch to shrimp and whatnot. Be that as it may, I could be absolutely, thoroughly content with a plate of their linguine and their meat sauce.

              Gan, I've gotta ask: can you define "imaginative" in this context? I think their menu is wonderful, and they certainly offer specials off the menu that are great, too. If you're looking for "redefined" or "new" or "avant guarde" or "gastronomic" Italian, then no, Giovanni's isn't the place, but for true fantastic "real" Italian food, I don't know of any better place.

              1. re: boagman

                I don't know what else to say other than not half bad... i mean they do the classics well. I was thinking that this place is along the lines of vetri or osteria in philly...(
                I look that menu, and i say, wow everything looks interesting and imaginative...more exotic cuts of meat, different cooking styles, textures, flavors...There's nothing wrong with old school italian pasta with 4 sauce choices, which after tasting the bolognese and pomodoro, are absolutely solid. I was just looking for something more inventive.
                The special was swordfish with a lemon/butter/caper sauce ... I mean I can sear a piece of swordfish, deglaze with white wine, add shallots, lemon, capers, and ended it with some old butter. Old school, solid, but not exciting me a single bit.
                I didn't get the linguini on the side nor the tiramisu because I didn't have much room. perhaps next time.
                THe only other thing that bugged me about the place is the $5 valet. I chose street parking across the street.

                Giovanni's Ristorante
                330 S Oakwood, Detroit, MI 48217

                1. re: gan911

                  Okay, that's fair. As stated before, I don't consider it to be anything nouveau, but I fully believe that, at least in the traditional sense, they're absolutely fabulous for Italian food. I'm not sure that "inventive" would be an ideal descriptor for Giovanni's.

                  It's a *darn* shame that you didn't check out the linguine and/or the tiramisu.

                  About the valet: I'm right there with you, and I do the *exact same thing* that you do. I hate valet, and avoid it at all costs. Not hard to park on the street, either.

              2. re: gan911

                > not very imaginative (innovative)

                Concur. The kitchen sticks to the classics. Not the place to go when I'm seeking innovative.

                1. re: rainsux

                  Gan's comment re imaginative/innovative got me thinking ... and struggling to suggest an
                  italian restaurant that may qualify.

                  Anyone been to Duo Venti?

                  1. re: rainsux

                    No, I haven't, but I haven't had the money to go there, either. It does look pretty nice, but I'm never around there around lunchtime, either.

                    1. re: boagman

                      Thanks to everyone for thier input. We have an 8:00 reservation tonight for the Olive Garden. Looking forward to it. Thier chefs train in Tuscany you know.... JK!! Giovannis it is. I will post a short review in the next few days.

                      1. re: Quit2Chef

                        Okay; it's been ten, count'm 10, hours since your trek to Olive Garden. We're all
                        waiting for your report. (Tap, tap, tap.)