Welcome, my friends, to Bistro Don Giovanni...unobtrusively nestled right off of St. Helena Highway in the heart of California wine country. Underdog summed it up best when he said "dining at Bistro Don Giovanni is almost more like dining in Italy than actually dining in Italy". The professional service staff (most if not all melting my heart away with their Italian accents) along with this view from our patio table under a robin's egg blue sky on the most perfect 70 degree day God ever created had even my most evil and antagonistic of inner quintuplets dutifully nodding and sighing in mellow agreement.
While we waited for our dining companion to arrive, we sipped Drusian Extra Dry Sparkling Rose from Veneto, Italy. Pink, dry and (as promised) sparkling, there was nothing not to love here. Prosecco pretty much delivers everything Champagne does without the hefty price tag as far as this redneck bubble palate is concerned. Moist and tender focaccia slabs with EVOO for dipping were presented alongside for nibbling as we perused the menu
The party shifted into high gear with the presentation of Fried Olives with Anchovies and Marcona Almonds. Be still my heart. Okay, anchovies don't actually "still my heart", but their minuscule presence in this app must've simply served to add salty goodness because I wasn't even aware that they were on the guest list as I heartily snorted these savory bites from Heaven.
The soup of the day...Butternut Squash with Candied Hazelnuts, almost made me lose consciousness from ecstasy. Decadence apparently knows no bounds in Napa. Silky, sweet, savory and crunchy...and I sensed that it might've even been nutritious. Now there's a buzz-word you don't often see around these parts.
The delivery of a hefty antipasti protein platter (Salumi Misti laden with Prosciutto di Parma, Salame Toscano, Mortadella and Parmigiano) had the boyz already begging for mercy by the time our entrees arrived.
Jeff's Seafood Risotto special was the entree star of the day. This bowl of dreamy al dente perfection was liberally studded with fresh shellfish and topped with two perfectly seared jumbo scallops. Someone cleaned his plate in veryshortorder with no prompting from mom.
Whenever salty, sweet and savory converge, I'm on-board...and my Pear and Prosciutto "Pizze" with Gorgonzola, Balsamic, Caramelized Onions with its light and crispy crust delivered on all points. Closest thing to be found in Tampa Bay is the Pear a Dice Pizza at Slyce Pizza Bar in Indian Rocks Beach. Amazing.
UD forged ahead in his attempt to consume his MDR of fishy goodness and carbs in the form of Golden Potato Pizze with Anchovies, fresh Rosemary and Pecorino Cheese. I believe it's safe to say that he succeeded.
Did we have room for dessert? Hells to the no!
Bistro Don Giovanni is one of the most ethereally wonderful dining experiences I've had on this planet (not that I have dining experiences on other planets with which to compare it to).
Authenticity, stunningly beautiful surroundings, wonderful staff and mind-blowing cuisine make it a must-do in Napa.
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.