Bistro Don Giovanni Review
Bistro Don Giovanni
4110 Howard Lane
Napa, CA 94558
Bistro Don Giovanni food
The calamari dish is one of the better ones in Napa. Calamari, fennel, a few vegetables in a nice aioli sauce. We've had the roasted bone marrow which comes in a scorchingly hot bone segment accompanied with some crusty bread and some beef and mushroom. The fried olives and almonds are also quite good too. Once you get used to the idea of fried olives and almonds, you'll be eating them like potato chips. They're great if you want to go the salty and sour route and want a lighter appetizer that you can keep around even when your meal arrives.
You aren't going to find things like Fettucini Alfredo, eggplant parmigiana, and so on. You won't find stuff drowning in sauces. Generally speaking, there's a certain lightness to Don Giovanni's food. The Niman porkchop was very good. The pan roasted chicken is quite good. Their pasta dishes are usually excellent. I had a nice risotto primavera there with aged goat cheese which I split with my wife's steak and frites. I've had the gourmet burger as it came highly recommended, but I thought the "Donna special" version had too much going on. There are an assortment of pizzas, but these are on the gourmet side as well (ie, no pepperoni, wood fired, thin).
We do like the desserts at Bistro Don Giovanni quite a bit, but our favorite is their Bostini Trifle. It's layers of chocolate, caramel, roasted almonds, and cream in a tall, slender glass. Not exactly the hardest or most complex dessert to make, but we just like the combination. It's rich, it's a cool me down after a night of hot meals, and it doesn't go all the way of being like a gelato or sorbet. Or maybe I just have a thing for caramel, chocolate, cream, and roasted almonds. This is my wife's favorite desert in all of Napa Valley. The chocolate oblivion was ah...true to its name. If you're a chocolate nut, you'll probably love it. If you're not, consider splitting it with someone who got the hazelnut creme brulee.
Bistro Don Giovanni Setting and Service
Bistro Don Giovanni is a local's favorite for the higher end folks in the area. One of those places popular for business meeting lunches, wineries, lots of people know each other, lots of people who work at other restaurants, my wife had lunch there one day and Joe Montana was there, etc. You get the idea.
Bistro Don Giovanni has one of the prettiest outdoor surroundings in the area. If the weather's right, you should eat outside or in the patio. Inside, Giovanni has a fairly big sitting area with high ceilings and a modern spin on Italian rustic if that makes any sense. Don Giovanni is fairly loud and dinner times are often crowded. Since it is popular with the upper crust locals, it's often fairly full with lots of people having a good time which means it's pretty loud. If you want some place where you can sit and lovingly gaze into your better half's eyes and not be bothered with someone else's conversation, this might not be the right place for you. Some of the smaller sitting areas has you pretty close to your neighbor. But if you like eating at places where a full house gives a lively vibe to it, then Bistro Don Giovanni will do just fine.
The restaurant cat can occasionally been seen wandering around. Not sure how the health services feels about it, but it is cute (it's a small brown/orange and white tabby with little white mittens. Aww....) and surprisingly friendly and calm given the number of strangers running around. You can see the bowl of cat food by the bottom of the front door although I wonder how it's not 20 lbs from people trying to feed it scraps.
Price for our meal
1 appetizer, 2 glasses of wine, 2 entrees, 1 dessert = $85