Carmel's Bistro Giovanni

4.6
920 Reviews
$30 and under
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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
What 920 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
Sort by
Filters
FS
FredS
Sacramento
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always the best in Carmel! Osso Bocci is legendary.

SH
SuzanneH
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was some of the best Italian food we’ve ever had. The service was great and we really appreciated the owner checking in on us.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Austin
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Service was slow. Our server was not knowledgeable to questions regarding their wines. Food was average.

LG
vipLindaG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was excellent, and prices were very reasonable. Everyone from
this restaurant was very friendly.

F
Franny
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. We will be back next year!

SM
SandraM
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The pasta dishes were very good to excellent. The osso buco was poor. The sauce was a gloppy brown sauce, and the "risotto" was not risotto, just rice. The noise level was moderately high, and difficult for older people with hearing aids...

HE
4HappyfishEaters
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our very favorite places to eat! Sand dabs, chicken marsala and clams w/linguini were top notch. Our waitress has been there 19 years, loves working for the owner, and it showed in her attitude, her care for us and personal but professional touch. Both wives celebrated birthdays and were made to feel very special.

LH
LynnH
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We had reservations for outdoor dining, but the weather was not good, so we changed to indoor dining. When we arrived, the hostess wanted to sit us at a very small table in between two large groups, we declined, then she led us to a similarly small table in between two aisles between the front and back of the restaurant. There were at least two larger tables and I asked for those, and was told they were for groups of three or four. (we were two) So we took the busy aisle table. In less than 20 minutes, the hostess separated a table set for six and seated two different groups of two at the separated tables, and then proceeded to seat two people at one of the tables for four that I had asked to be seated at!!! I was very disappointed that we were treated so poorly at the very beginning! Did the hostess think we wouldn't notice?!
Food was good, although My cocktail order was incorrect, the garnish offered to me did not arrive correctly, but was quickly remedied. Also our appetizer was incorrect, but quickly fixed as well. Entrees were delicious and huge, we took half home, and then two desserts arrived, when we only ordered one. The dessert we didn't order had a lit candle in it and I was wished a Happy Birthday! It was not, but the cake was very good and it was a small condolence for being treated poorly by the hostess.

BB
BonniB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The food was very good; chicken piccata was tender and tasty. The crab ravioli was excellent. Service was fair but, somewhat inattentive…perhaps they were short staffed. Overall, it was a positive experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyable and delicious, worth the price of menu options and outstanding service from everyone.

E
vipEscargot
San Francisco
59 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Very pleasant staff
Ambiance very dated
Prices high for what you received
We understand these are trying times for restaurants and we try to be supportive
Food was average, caesar salad bland, crab ravioli good portion but too al dente, sand dabs overcooked and didn’t taste fresh although server assured us that they were

j
vipjames
Los Angeles
44 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We got to Carmel at least 4-6 times a year, always eat at Bistro Don Giovanni. Sublime Coppino, make boullibaise style. Never had a bad meal, the kitchen is fast, the service is very good. Love it

K
vipKristin
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The food was just ok
It wasn't bad but it wasn't omg good either.
We sat outside on the patio- that was nice. Staff was friendly.
I wouldn't rave about it but it was fine

Great dirty martini

S
vipSandy
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was friendly. Food was very good. We ate outside with our dog and the staff was very accommodating. We’re glad we found this restaurant!

VG
vipVirginiaGentleman
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and service. We were seated quickly and food was well prepared

T
vipTravelers
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service and food were fantastic and exceeded our expectations. I had the cannelloni and was the best I ever tasted. My wife had the pasta piccata and was also delicious. Bistro Giovanni is a must stop when in Carmel. Owner was on premise and visited each table to make sure everything was on point.

TJ
TedJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Anniversary

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wedding anniversary

HR
HettyR
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was just right! Every time we are in Carmel, we want to dine at Carmel Bistro Giovanni's. Finally we made. It will be on our favorite list! Everything was just right. Carina was our server....couldn't be better....everything we ordered was so good....and the ambiance and cleanliness of the restaurant was 100%. I must add we are now retired, but have had an Italian/seafood restaurant in Newport Beach, that my parents started in 1961. After 55 years of being in business, it was time to relax!!! So thank you again for a great evening. by the way, it was our last night in Carmel (after 10 days) and it was a perfect ending.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

The worst pata I ever ate, my husband was reminded of his high school cafeteria food. The salad had a strong fish dressing. The shrimp I ate was not deveined and boiled not scampi. The wine was very worm. Service was very poor and there where not busy at all. I do not recommend it nor will not come back.

MG
vipMargieG
Central Coast
53 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Soo good!!
We enjoyed every minute of it!!
We had the salad with raspberry dressing, the burrata with prosciutto soo good
Lobster ravioli, 2- lamb shanks
Everyone enjoyed they’re meal, along with cocktails and wine!!
Service top dollar will be back.
Yes very busy, slow service but only because she was so busy, but always kind!!

c
cherylm
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food was good. The burrata with prosciutto was excellent

BL
vipBobL
Seattle
55 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience.

F
Foodlover
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent, service was professional and efficient and the ambiance is really wonderful. I appreciated the space between tables, not only for social distancing, but for the sound.

LP
vipLaPlaza322
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall3food1service5ambience5

I ordered the special which was scallops on linguini. It was bland and had no taste. Cost $30 and complete waste of money. the calamari and sauces were equally tasteless-felt like eating hospital food. Will not return. Angel the server was wonderful as was the rest of staff and elderly owner was kind checking on tables. Boy they need a new chef

DL
DeLa
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We eat out once a week and have had many disappointing meals since the pandemic started. We were pleasantly surprised by this family-owned classic. The owner and his daughter were tremendously kind and our experience was perfect. Zero complaints here. From the crusty bread and the sun dried tomato olive oil dipping sauce, which simply made me happy to the deliciously charred filet and the well-balanced Paso cab. If you like your food tasty and straightforward you will appreciate dining here. We will definitely be back.

l
luvfood
Hawaii
10 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and friendly service. They were able to accommodate us when we arrived before our reservation.

J
John
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

eat location and the food was very good. We were seated at the back of the outdoor dining area and seemed to be forgotten most of the time. Again food was very good, not the best value for the $$, but eating in Carmel is never kind to your budget. I would definitely go again and bring my patience

JH
JackH
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Rigatoni and meat balls is my favorite. The dish lived up to my expectations, sauce similar to a vodka sauce. Six small meat balls were very good. Service was excellent. Restaurants in Carmel are generally expensive but cost was not over the top.

r
richardv
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great service. Best in carmel

NJ
NJDiner
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience2

While there were a lot of staff and everyone was hustling, our server had to be asked several times for bread (we finally got it from another server) and had trouble getting our order straight. The food was displayed attractively, but was just okay. The portions were small for an Italian restaurant. The average age of the diners was high, so the place seems to appeal to the older set. The staff serves tables as a team, and some staff members are just better than others. The restaurant is large, so there is plenty of seating inside and outside and diners are spread out nicely. The meal ends with a complementary shot of port wine, which is a nice touch. Overall, the place is past it’s prime.

M
Mars
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Was a nice dinner. Loved the food. Celebrating 30th anniversary.

M
vipMaggie
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very pleasant outside dining. Also good food am friendly service.

VF
vipVilleFranche
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great location in downtown Carmel. Service and food was very good. Manager came to our table to greet us. Nice touch!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food, good selection, great service. Nice intimate little restaurant.

T
Tawnee
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Absolutely love this Italian getaway. Food always excellent, service is efficient and friendly, and the ambiance is festive! The perfect place to meet friends or even dine solo...they always make you feel welcome.

BA
B93923AndFamily
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Giovanni is a terrific little place for an upscale dining experience. The food is excellent, perfectly prepared, and elegantly served. We started with a shared order of the Crab Cakes, then shared a Caesar Salad, both very delicious. For my entree, I enjoyed the lamb shanks (I recommend this over the veal Osso Bucco), while my better half swooned over the Lasagna. Dessert was the Apple Crisp (very good, but the "crisp" was crazy hard to break apart) and the Chocolate Mousse, which packed an unbelievably intense chocolate flavor into a modest sized cup. Next time we go, I'll try the Cannelloni. If it's anywhere near as good as the Lasagna, I'll be in heaven. Parking is now even more challenging than ever; we found a spot on Dolores, downhill on the return.

H
Heather
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner was fantastic! Our waiter was personable, the owner was present and frequently interacting with guests. The food did not disappoint one bit. From appetizers to the main dishes and of course the dessert everything was delicious with fantastic flavor! As a patron with celiac disease it was safe with so many options it was overwhelming! If we make our way back to Carmel we will certainly be going again!

LM
LouiseM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Appetizers and dinner very good. Service and ambience very good. Great location

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
105 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Need to stay on top of table water..had to ask multiple times

FAQs

Carmel's Bistro Giovanni offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 626-6003.

Carmel's Bistro Giovanni is rated 4.6 stars by 920 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.