Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews โ€” 23 November 2011
Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats: Now Open For Business

Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats
1657 8th Avenue, between Prospect Avenue & Windsor Place
Brooklyn, NY
Getting There: F,G to 15th Street – Prospect Park

ย The fine men and women who immigrated to New York City almost two hundred years ago, brought with them a great work ethic but also some of the most delicious food sensibilities in the world. No where is this more true then in the borough of Brooklyn, equipped with a rich history of Italian culture. Long time restaurant owner and chef Giovanni Tafuri holds these ideals sacred and wears them like a badge of honor. His newest incarnation, “Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats,” continues his adherence to tradition by serving authentic classic Italian cooking to the hungry masses.

The recently opened “Giovanni’s” is located in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood, closely bordering Park Slope. It’s corner, Eighth Avenue storefront, provides residents with their first “joint next door” since the block has been mostly residential for some time. The restaurant’s design and layout is comforting as the owners and construction team painstakingly created an old school Italian place with modern flare from a location that was never a restaurant to begin with. Guests will be able to dine while enjoying plenty of people watching, fully equipped with views of the neighborhood with window exposures located on either side of them. Pictures of Giovanni’s family from way back when, line the walls giving the place an extra dose of old-fashioned charm.

One of Giovanni’s signatures dishes is “Nonna’s famous meatballs,” ($8.95) which are served with tomato sauce, fresh ricotta, and basil. The recipe comes from Tafuri’s grandmother, giving the restaurant staple a direct lineage to the ‘Old Country.’ These meatballs were too good to just hear about, so we had to try them. The plating presentation was excellent, with each large meatball equally covered in sauce, cheese, and garnish. The first bite showed off the care that went into making them and the meaty balls were packed densely and were cooked perfectly enough to make them melt in your mouth.ย 

For many hard-working New Yorkers, brunch is the highlight of ones weekend. It is a time when you can relax, eat some tasty food, and enjoy a few drinks. Hey, you deserve it! Giovanni’s knows this, and has a brunch which is tailored made to that idea. On Saturdays and Sundays from 11am – 3pm guests can enjoy a choice of an antipasti, and a secondi (entree) dish, while celebrating the end of a long week with unlimited mimosas and bloody marys. All of this for the fair price of $16.95. Some of the brunch highlights include, “Uovo al forno,” an oven baked egg over polenta, tomato, and ricotta cheese, and “Double egg-plant” baked eggplant parmesan topped with a fried egg.

Before departing we were able to catch up with Giovanni himself to discuss the focus built around the new establishment. He said, “Customers should be able to enjoy a great meal without being hammered on the price, and that’s exactly what we have set out to do.” And with most dishes coming in at very reasonable price points, “Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats” will fill you up with classic Italian dishes, in a cool space, all without breaking the bank.

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