Italian in the East Village
The other night, I met up with my dear friend Christine for a lovely Italian dinner. She was coming from the East Side and lives in Brooklyn, so I wanted to find somewhere yummy near the L. After reviewing suggestions on Yelp, I landed on Giano, a quaint Italian restaurant.
Based on the reviews, I knew I wanted to order the lasagna at a minimum. Christine and I decided to get two pasta dishes and one entree to split to maximum the variety of dishes we could experience.
The lasagna was quite tasty. I would note that the pasta to meat/sauce/cheese ratio seemed a skewed. I'm used to the lasagna I grew up with that has just enough pasta layers to hold it together (it can barely stay together once out of the pan).
We also got the Rigatoni Amatriciana. Christine is a huge fan of this prep. I thought it was ok. This likely wasn't due to how the restaurant made it but rather my preference for a tomato sauce that is cream based (like vodka sauce) vs. a pure tomato sauce.
For our entree, we split the braised lamb shank. The lamb shank wasn't melt in your mouth tender but rather a bit stringy and tough. I was disappointed because our server had raved about it.
As a dessert, we got the molten lava cake. Again, a bit disappointing. It seemed like a premade frozen dessert that was popped in the oven. It was a bit overdone (not much lava in the middle). It was fine, but not restaurant quality.
Overall, don't think I will be returning here. I found the service to be a bit lacking as well. One of Christine's glasses of wine had a lot of sediment at the bottom of the glass. Unfortunately, she didn't see it until the glass was empty! It was basically sludge. We asked our server about it and he said that is just how some wine is...yeah...but...there could have been a better response. There are simply too many restaurants to discover in NYC!