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Mar 19, 2013 06:46 AM

Giovanni's Bar and Bistro Berkeley Heights

Has anyone been? The new chef is from Nicholas and worked under Dennis Foy...I think it's in the spot that used to be Divino's. I'm thinking of giving it a try, but the website states that the chef attended Johnson and Whales, not Johnson and Wales. I've never heard of Johnson and Whales. And if he did attend Johnson and Wales and they spelled it wrong, I would imagine that that lack of attention to detail will doom this place to every other spot that occupied that building.

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  1. As in Nicholas of Red Bank?

    1. What was his position at Nicholas?

      1 Reply
        1. Yes, the spelling is incorrect. A new chef bio is in the works.

          The location has never been occupied before.

          It's byow on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings ( a promotional invitation ). Yes, despite the restaurant having a full liquor license, they do allow byow early in the week ( for a limited time, maybe longer ). It's about the food and offering a relaxed dining experience with casual but correct service. If you use the wrong fork, no bells are rung or citations written. The waiters there smile and laugh unlike other fusty establishments where a single smile is split among fifty covers.

          Please, coldbeer, let the place succeed or fail on it's food quality and service rather than on a silly spelling error.

          BTW, this chef has real chops.

          Full disclosure: I ate there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: johnnyrestaurant

            A little more full disclosure, please, Johnny...are you affiliated with the chef or the restaurant?

            1. re: Curlz


              After eating there, I am considering a foh position. I was in the business for many years, but like so many others, I burnt out on the late nights, brunches, and lunches.

              But, if you've been involved with restaurants for any length of time, you know it never really leaves your blood. I always promised myself if I ever went back it would have to be at a place where I don't have to bs about the food to make a sale or stand at attention.

              But, my opinions are just that. You will have to visit yourself and report your own experience.

              BTW, I did try to edit my post, but the edit button vanished.

              1. re: johnnyrestaurant

                Makes sense--thanks for the clarification. So what did you eat there? Like/dislike? Obviously the 'vibe' worked for you... I'm just looking at that menu and don't see wild creativity to go along with those high (entree) prices. I realize that in BH most people won't blink, but I tend to lean towards restaurants that are making dishes that I either don't see everywhere or where the quality of the ingredients + the creativity blows me away each time (e.g., Blu in Montclair).

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