Carmel's Bistro Giovanni

4.5
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275 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 275 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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L
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit. The first time our calamari appetizer was enough for the four of us and was delicious. However, for our second visit, our calamari appetizer was still delicious but was hardly enough for the four of us. Definitely not consistent. Otherwise the entrees were delicious.

OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here based on previous reviews of it being quiet because my parents are hard of hearing and soft-spoken. It was comfortably quiet in the restaurant, so that element was perfect. The service was fast and friendly, and we all really enjoyed our dishes. Highly recommend.

BF
Tahoe
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another wonderful dinner at this fantastic restaurant!

RH
Western NC
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our new favorite restaurant in Carmel. It is a great Italian restaurant from appetizers to dessert.

M
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food is OK but not impressed. Ca

MW
Dallas
10 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service with great food. Love this place!

JA
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dined here 2 nights in a row. The owner, food, service & attention to detail are amazing. Our 2nd night was our Wedding night, we were welcomed with hugs & congratulations, followed by complimentary glasses of Champagne.
Our wedding night couldn't have been better. Thank-you to everyone there.
This is a must for anyone visiting Carmel by the sea.

DC
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Nice spot. Food tasty but not exceptional

NJ
Hawaii
6 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

This restaurant has a wonderful cozy atmosphere and good service. As a vegetarian I found it to be a little disappointing. I was hoping for cheese cannelloni, eggplant parmesan, or an inspiring vegetarian pasta dish. I ended up having spinach filled ravioli which was just average. My husband really liked the halibut special with veggies, and my broiled artichoke appetizer was good. There is an outdoor seating area which I suppose would be nice if you want to bring your dog, but it felt like sitting in an alley next to the restaurant.

M
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

A good combination of traditional favorites and more imaginative items. A creative and well-executed menu. Pleasant but small outdoor seating. Can be recommended with confidence

R
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Lovely dinner. An unexpected find in Carmel.

OT
Hamburg Area
8 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Wir waren zum zweiten Mal im Bistro. Es war eine total andere Besetzung am Start. Leider nicht so gut und freundlich wie beim ersten Mal. Essen war wieder lecker.

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OT
Hamburg Area
8 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ein sehr nettes, gemütliches Restaurant. Gutes Essen zu akzeptablen Preisen.

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OT
Yosemite
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

The staff and the food was very good . The noise level was very loud and we were seated in far back corner which was not very comfortable.
Please do away with these tables . Our food came out very quickly since we did not order an appetizer - it might have been a bit too quickly.

R
Orange County
42 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Atmosphere was nice - seated outside with our dog. The Sand Dabs I had had an aftertaste, however - couldn't tell if it was the fish, or the lemon-caper sauce. Won't order that again!

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

We have been here several times and looked forward to dining again with 2 other family members. The food was excellent as usual. However, we were shocked and disappointed when the bill came and we were charged a $35 corkage fee per bottle of wine. When I inquired about it and asked if perhaps that was an error, the lead hostess( manager) just said”that’s what we charge”, and processed our payment. I normally let things like this go, but I did feel obliged to tell them how I felt this was an outrageous amount for them to charge for corkage and was not within standard practice for Carmel (or anywhere else, for that matter). I don’t think that I will return.

H
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restraint for my wife’s birthday. Even our dog enjoyed herself.😋

ME
Sacramento
32 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful service and outstanding food! Hope to return next time in Carmel

BH
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great atmosphere. Our waitress was terrific. Thanks for the complimentary port after the meal. Highly recommend Bistro Giovanni.

K
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We eat here regularly with friends & family or for date night. Love staff, food and drink. One of our most favorite in Carmel-by-the-sea.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely evening! Good friends, good food, and second night of a beautiful trip to the Monterey Peninsula!

TT
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated my husband’s birthday. Great service and wonderful food. It was dog friendly and welcoming. I highly recommend this restaurant 😋

r
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very efficient service. Great food

RM
Phoenix
38 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good food at reasonable prices. Cozy and lively atmosphere.

G
Sacramento
21 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time here and I brought a group of 11 during car week. I was a little apprehensive because I was able to get a reservation so late minute for that many people. Everyone loved their dished and the wait staff was very good. We did not have to wait long for our food and everything came out just right.

MG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Owner and his daughter took amazing care of us. His wine from the Alexander Valley was a great value and everything we ate was delicious. We finished the night with some complimentary home made port. A great experience....warm family atmosphere with great food and wine.

k
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely staff, delicious food, warm ambiance. Highly recommend.

RM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was great. Appetizer plater was a bit on the small portion size. Martini was perfect They sat us right away. Waiter was a bit inattentive. When I told him we were ready to place our order he stated “Wait a minute I’ll be right back”. Pizza was good. Had to ask for a second drink. Was not offered or ask if would like a second martini. Party of 6 next to us was seated served and left before we even received our entree. We were a table of 3. Since I live in Vallejo, don’t think I will frequent this Restuarant again.

M
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Overall the food was good but kid's pasta was hard on many ends.

CC
New England
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful meal!! Service was excellent and it was a wonderful setting. Delicious food. Highly recommend

JW
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We dine here frequently as we love their pasta bolognese, Italian bread and dip, Veal scallopini and many other dishes. Sometimes the servers are handling a lot of tables and service is not as attentive as some people may like. The atmosphere is very quaint. We love it here!

SM
New Mexico
82 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was great, service was outstanding. Wonderful meal.

BF
Tahoe
6 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Firok and Kelly always make us feel welcome whenever we dine in their restaurant.
Our waitress, Corinna, always gives us excellent service and special attention.
Our food is always so amazing and delicious, no matter what we order (we try to have
something different each time).
The Block 57 Cabernet sauvignon is one of the best we have ever tasted, you can only
get it here at the restaurant.
If you don’t see what you want on the menu, they will gladly see if they can make your
desired entree.

RR
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had dinner reservations at 5:00 on Friday, August 2nd, 2019.
Great Atmosphere, welcoming and professional staff, peaceful...
Carina was our server...PERFECT!!
We were a party of four and tasted each other's food choices.
EVERYTHING was delicious and perfectly cooked.
My Martini was spot on.
Many restaurants fail to close properly with desserts consistent with the quality of the meal.
LOVED the quality of your desserts also...
THANK YOU for a great "first time" dining experience at your restaurant.
We are 3rd generation locals...and now 1st generation REGULARS!!

CO
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The service was rushed and inattentive. We received our meals one minute after our appetizer was delivered.Seemed uninterested in us as tourists however we return every year to the area.

K
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Seated outside. Mostly ignored. No one came to check our
Dinner. Food not hit. Had to wait 10 minutes to get salt.

YY
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 5

We had to wait for over 30 mins past the reservation time, the table was shaky, the service was inattentive. This Italian 'authentic' cuisine restaurant doesn't even make their pasta, the waiter told me they just buy it in the grocery store! And that's at the price level of a really good true Italian restaurant. The cocktail was served in a water glass, the seafood dish and Osso Bucco were mediocre at best.

It's a totally mismanaged place, would not recommend it even if their prices would be two times lower, truly shameful spot...

JR
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Was on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance, food and drinks were great. The bartender was very knowledgeable about the wines and made a perfect vodka martini!

CT
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic place. Truly enjoyed it🍷

SW
Tucson
6 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Overall a very enjoyable experience, this was our second visit and the food did not disappoint. Would definitely return.

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