Dining etiquette requires one to use a soupspoon for gazpacho, a dessertspoon for crème brûlée, and chopsticks for fitting in when dining with walrus. Learn to harness an arsenal of utensils with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Italian cuisine at Giovanni's on the Hill.
At Giovanni's on the Hill, second-generation executive chef Frank Gabriele draws on family recipes practiced for over 40 years to craft a menu of time-tested Italian dishes named in honor of Oprah and other former guests. Eschew difficult tongue calisthenics and prep palates with appetizers including antipasto Italiano, a finger-friendly medley of prosciutto, genoa salami, mortadella, and imported cheeses ($12). While cheery conversations float amid Giovanni's chandeliers and white tablecloths, dishes named for notable past diners flow forth from the kitchen. Chefs deck flat pasta with basil pesto and ricotta in the pappardelle alla Oprah ($20), and involtini di pollo alla Presidente Bush generously stuffs two grilled chicken breasts with spinach, asiago cheese, and prosciutto ($24). As appetites drown in tomato sauce, the restaurant's namesake and original chef Giovanni Gabrielle makes occasional rounds to welcome dinner guests with hospitable chats and deft rigatoni ventriloquism.
Giovanni's on The Hill
Oprah Winfrey. Frank Sinatra. Bill Clinton. Besides being household names, these American icons all have something else in common––they've all had the honor of dining on Chef Giovanni Gabriele's authentic, award-winning cuisine. While his passion for cooking was born in his native Sicily, it was Giovanni's other great love––his wife, Fina––that eventually led him to St. Louis, where he opened his restaurant in 1973. Just six years later, he found himself cooking for President Reagan at Reagan’s inaugural dinner, and the dish he made––a creamy bow-tie pasta topped with salmon and parmigiano––was renamed farfalline del Presidente Reagan in the commander in chief's honor. Today, it remains one of the most popular items on Giovanni's menu, alongside a host of other Italian pastas named for the celebrities who supped upon them.
But you don't have to be a celebrity or a politician to get the star treatment at Giovanni's. The restaurant has earned an AAA Four Diamond Award for 22 years running, in part due to the careful attention lavished upon each and every guest. Today, nearly 40 years after its inception, Giovanni's son Frank runs the kitchen, blending its iconic sauces and forming the housemade crepes, but Giovanni still commands the show, supervising in the kitchen, greeting patrons tableside, and mining the pepper and salt from nearby mountains himself.