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There is a new Italian restaurant on College Street and it has a patio that seats over 30 people. Amidst the confusion and chaos that COVID-19 has caused for the hospitality industry, some restaurateurs are persevering through it all. Owners of Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Pizza Bar had their grand opening during a global pandemic and it was a big success.
Executive Chef and owner Marianna Andreacchi spoke with TasteToronto and expressed how excited she was about the opening of her restaurant. "We officially opened our doors on June 25th, 2020. With a patio of 32 seats and a market you can shop. The support from our community and the city has been overwhelming. We are running at full capacity most of the time. We count ourselves very lucky given the circumstances," Chef Andreacchi shared. "It is terrifying that we decided to do this and a global pandemic erupted. That was out of our control and we tried to make the best of it."
"I count ourselves very lucky that we have a very large patio because our restaurant is very wide. We have also been very fortunate with the community as a whole and Torontonians -- our patio has been fully booked and full since the moment we opened. As a chef, the most flattering thing to see is repeat customers. We have been open for about three weeks and we are closed on Mondays but we have had customers come back five, six, seven times. One customer even came back three nights in a row because they said their son loved the food so much."
On weekdays the patio at Giovanni's is packed and on weekends it is not uncommon to find a long waitlist to get a seat at Giovanni's, one of the biggest street-side restaurant patios in little Italy.
Chef Andreachhi and her husband are both Italian and have brought influences from their home regions of Napoli and Calabria to the restaurant's menu. Giovanni's serves Italian food that is made from family recipes that have been passed down to over three generations of cooks.
"The menu is honest food that we try to cook most traditionally and give it just a little modern twist. Typically Italian food isn't very fancy. Traditional Italian food is people sitting around the table and enjoying each other's company and having a good meal," explains Chef Andreacchi.
Chef Andreacchi has put her heart into the restaurant serving traditional Italian food in a modern sophisticated setting and she has not compromised on quality or taste. Everything at the restaurant is prepped fresh daily and made in-house. The front of the restaurant has a small market where fresh bread and items such as marinated chilli peppers, olives, and an assortment of Italian wines are sold.
The restaurant is a family affair, from the food to the atmosphere and right down to the restaurant's name, which is after Andreacchi's son John (Giovanni in English). If you are looking for a new Italian spot, take a trip to Giovanni’s at 760 College St.