Since 1953, Giovanni’s Italian Ristorante has been a staple of the Fairborn community. Offering authentic Italian food and pizza, it serves and delivers to Dayton residents and Wright State University students alike. While pizza brings the students to the business, the rest of the clientele is drawn by homemade pasta and Italian sandwiches. This place is the epitome of the “hole in the wall.” It’s been in its present location on main street since 1984.
It’s got a very simple interior, yet this place is so friendly. Long tables are set up, seemingly to accommodate large family groups and numerous close-together tables allow groups of friends to sit together. It’s strange; other places would make you feel crowded in this arrangement, but instead at Giovanni’s it’s more like a friendly thing; like they want you to be close to the people around you. Maybe it just seems like you’re supposed to be enjoying your meal with a family.
- Salad: Now, the salads here are very fresh. I would call them standard but they do meet expectations of a good salad. The meals also come with a nice Italian bread that complements the pasta nicely. Those are very typical of Italian places and they’re not really where the restaurant has its place to shine.
- Manicotti: Giovanni’s best trait lies in the pasta. It’s very soft and warm, cooked perfectly in every iteration. The pasta ranges from simple, down to earth spaghetti and meatballs to complicated tortellini and ravioli dishes. There are a lot of basic options, but suffice it to say this is a great place to go for a plate of pasta. It’s served in a very taste tomato sauce that has a very distinct homemade taste. It’s good to have sauce that is distinct and well-seasoned, and this certainly is done well.
- Spaghetti: Meatballs and meat sauce are two options for your pasta dish, and I do recommend you give one of them a try. The meatballs are very rich and complement the tomato sauce wonderfully. It’s a very satisfying dish overall, and a perfect serving. At the very end I was well impressed by what I tried. The different pasta dishes came together well.
- Pizza quesadilla: A bit of tomato sauce and a good mix of cheeses. Tricky dish, but it works.
Service was good, and I felt despite a rush I always had someone looking out for my table during the time I was there. The food came a little slowly, which disappointed me, but I have to say when it eventually came I was satisfied. All in all, Giovanni’s is a good experience, and certainly both pizza and pasta should be tried. This is definitely a place to bring your family.
- Pizza is what attracts college kids to Giovanni’s, but don’t forget the pasta dishes; they’re just as good.
- This place is seemingly designed for families to come in together; large groups are encouraged.
- A small menu of wines is available with the food. Ask the servers which to try with the dish you are ordering.