Carmel's Bistro Giovanni

4.6
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473 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Do you love Italian food? A world famous restaurant executive chef says it all by saying, “the best meals in California are at Carmel Bistro Giovanni!” An artful, romantic setting with an international wine list and amazing cocktails.

Try some of our specialties: the "Mamma Mia" features mouth-watering meatballs with pasta and southern Mediterranean-spiced sauce, Veal T-Bone or Veal Osso Buco, Lamb Shank, certified Angus steaks, and a plethora of seafood including halibut, seabass, salmon and local sand dabs! For our gluten-free guests, we can also provide gluten free pasta, pizza and bread.

Enjoy a seat on the pet-friendly patio with fall off the bone short ribs and a glass of red wine or a cocktail from our full bar. We look forward to seeing you.
What 473 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MG
vipManishG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Read great reviews so was looking forward to dining here--but we didn't end up enjoying the experience. We arrived at 9pm. It was cold outside, and although they had several tables available next to heat lamps, they seated us at one far away from them. We requested to be moved, and they accommodated--but not sure why we had to ask. We ordered the artichokes, crab cakes, and Osso Bucco. The artichokes were ok (seemed a bit over-ripe), crab cakes were mediocre-to-good, but the Osso Bucco was below expectations. The meat wasn't very tender, and the vegetables had a slight "fishy" taste to them. Overall, we left unsatisfied and didn't feel we the quality justified the price. On the other hand, the Italian Margherita was pretty good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Wilmington
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Had a wonderful Saturday night out with my husband and myself. Our first time eating at this restaurant. We enjoyed everything.

G
vipGeorge
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great restaurant...very nice and tasty menu !

AS
vipAnneS
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food2service2ambience3

We had made a reservation, and despite many open tables, we had to wait, and the hostess kept disappearing. We finally got a table against the wall next to the storage unit. Our server worked very hard. The cocktails were good. These are trying times, so we don't want to be harsh. We just felt overlooked. My husband's pizza looked like it had been under the warmer for a while-waxy cheese and sausage was dry. The coffee was luke warm. Not great.

MC
vipMovedtoCali
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food here. We ordered the pasta with salmon medallions. More salmon that I ever expected. Pasta cooked perfectly. The mixed fried appetizer was fresh, a hearty serving and not greasy at all. Definitely coming back!

MA
MichaelA
Central Coast
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Ambiance low not the fault of the restaurant. Outdoor seating in a alley due to covid. Food was delicious and service was good.

GL
GailL
Hawaii
16 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was great. The waiter was very friendly yet he was not very informed regarding gluten free items on your menu. He tried to tell me that I couldn’t get veggie pomadoro gluten free and it took a while before he could figure out that I could order gluten free garlic bread. Other than that he did a good job. Nice setup outside for dining.

S
vipSteven
San Francisco
133 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wonderful experience...great italian! Will be back!

TB
TaissiaB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visited Bistro Giovanni to celebrate a birthday. The service was very good and attentive. The food was delicious. We are picky eaters yet everyone was pleased with how tasty everything was. The paella here was the best paella I've tasted thus far. We will definitely come back here!

OT
OTHDiner
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Excellent service and ambience. Food very well prepared and tasty. Menu includes most Italian restarant offerings. Preparation and selections not imaginitive or different if that matters to you.

P
Picarota
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! The food was amazing. Service was perfect.

BT
BethT
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent and the staff were great. My picky eater friend was also made to feel very welcome and says his steak was the best of our trip.

L
vipLarry
Los Angeles
54 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great job!

CW
ClaytonW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

With COVID dining being somewhat challenge to find GOOD restaurants open, Carmel Bistro Giovanni is truly a good one. I have been there now 3x in the last few months. Food has always been wonderfully prepared and good. The Paella is very good

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great. Service and food was awesome !

S
vipSteffi
Orange County
31 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is a perfect place to dine with our dogs. Great food, outdoor patio tables and service were all perfect.

S
Sadie
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Consistently good food. Been there 3 times and its yummy each time. Try the veal and flatbread so yummy. Heaters outside so its no too cold. Staff is friendly though sometimes they are a little busy but they are apologetic if they are a little slow. Highly recommended.

SP
vipStephenP
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Vacationing from Florida.
Perfect dining experience!
Service and food was amazing!

ML
MaryandLisa
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came in at noon Jack and another female hostess were wonderful.

TH
TraceyH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Wonderful dinner for our 37th wedding anniversary. Ordered cocktails for the 2 of us along with Carpaccio and Garlic Toast. The Carpaccio was so thin (Too thin?) it had to be scraped off the plate with a knife, but the combo with the Arugula salad served on top with a slice of The garlic toast was devine!

So many menu options - it was really difficult to choose just one. Husband ordered Veal Piccata and I had the Canneloni. Both were excellent. But there was a Salmon Dijon, and a steak, and some very good sounding pasta dishes that I would definitely go back and try.

We had espressos with our desserts and received 2 small glasses of complimentary Port. Nice ending to a special celebration!

p
phien08
Austin
5 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. The staff and owner were extremely attentive. We were especially thankful for the owner sending us a dessert and port wine in celebration as newlyweds.

M
vipMarkus
Sacramento
25 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

One our first night in Carmel, my wife and I were looking for casual dining and Italian food sounded good to us. Our food was delicious. My ossobucco was cooked to medium rare, as I had requested and was almost fork tender. This was a good effort, but the real star was the cioppino my wife ordered. It was chocked full of clams, musssels, and a few baby scallops. My wife raved so much about her dinner a couple at a near by table ordered the same entre. The service was good, not great. Our server was friendly and attentive. We enjoyed sitting outside since the team had set up an ample number of heaters to keep us warm. My only semi-complaint was that we were charged a $35 cookage fee. This seemed a little high, considering they style of dining.

G
vipGreg
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Decent food but not noteworthy

L
Lance
Houston
15 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are here visiting Carmel for 4 weeks and we have already dinned here twice. Under the circumstances they have made it really enjoyable to eat there. We love their food, the service is great, and the ambiance very nice too.
We plan on coming back to Carmel next year and you can bet this will be one of the first places we eat.
Give it a try you will be back for more!

KW
KarenW
Dublin
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, very nice atmosphere and safe Covid practices.

b
blancad
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Chicken parm was awful! Very sweet sauce on beef ravioli.

JB
JuliaB
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Good experience overall. Food came out quickly. Courteous efficient service.

R
vipRudsie
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time here and will be back. Delicious lasagna! Their “alley” is so cute with little lights strung up. A perfect date night restaurant

K
Kelly
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outside donning was very European

DF
vipDanF
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food

KB
vipKB2014
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pasta Pecatore was the best I ever had!
Same with the Ricotta Flan!

d
deanna
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food, service and location. One of our favorite restaurants in Carmel.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dined here on our honeymoon and had a wonderful meal together. We will comeback.

SH
ScottH
San Joaquin
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We had a reservation for 7 PM on Saturday night and got there around 15 minutes early. There was no inside seating due to Covid-19 but we were greeted and seated right away. The service was good.

I had crab cakes as an appetizer and they were really, really good. I also had the Misto Di Mare for my main entre and my wife had the Pasta Piccata with artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes. The shrimp and scallops in the Misto Di Mare were cooked perfectly and almost melted in my mouth so tender and flavorful. Its the best meal I have had in a long time. I have already recommended Giovanni's to several friends.

M
Maggie
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great. Very pleasant!

SR
ShonnaR
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love, love, love this place! My friend and I were in town for a few days for my birthday and ate here 3 times. The beef braised ravioli are my favorite so far. The waitress, Fannie, was amazing! Very nice and professional. Also very courteous to my friend being gluten free. Even brought a gluten free dessert to our table for my birthday. We saw the owner there 2 out 3 of our visits and he came by our table both times. We even share the same birthday! Bistro Giovanni is a must when you’re in Carmel. Everyone there made us feel like regulars. We will definitely be returning!

w
vipwarmspringslocal
San Francisco
62 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Lots of nice tables set up outside. We had great service but mixed on food review. The appetizer Fritto Misto was very tasty with a good assortment of seafood. I had the sand dabs for my entree but was disappointed. This fish is very delicate but it was just swimming in lemon caper butter sauce which completely drowned the flavor. I would ask for the sauce on the side next time. Also we had gone wine tasting so wanted to bring one of our purchases but corkage was $35. Yikes. There are a lot of choices in Carmel-By-The-Sea but I would try this place again as we enjoyed the ambiance.

TG
TimG
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Of corse every dining experience is a challenge with Covid, but the restaurant did an excellent job with our outdoor seating. The food was excellent. I had eggplant Parmesan which was excellent - very flavorful with nice crust on the cheese and excellent vegetables. My wife had seafood pasta which was loaded with seafood and a very good sauce

DW
vipDavidW
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful outdoor setting with great service and food.
Absolutely wonderful.

SR
ShonnaR
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding! I’ll be having dreams about the beef ravioli. Loved that they had gluten free pasta options as well. My friend and I will be back tonight for my birthday dinner.

FAQs

Carmel's Bistro Giovanni is rated 4.6 stars by 473 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.