I’ve been craving Italian food so for my birthday this year, SF took me to Giardino. Located in downtown, the restaurant is quite tucked away and I’ve actually driven by many times without noticing it. The restaurant has been around for many years now and is known for their Tuscan cuisine. We were taken to their patio which is in the back of the restaurant and this was the best decision because the backyard patio is amazing! It felt like we were in Europe with the textured walls and garden. They even had this arch of greenery in the middle of the courtyard which was aesthetically pleasing. Super cute, rustic spot for date night!
Complimentary Flat Bread
To start, we were given complimentary flat bread which was flavoured with olive oil and sea salt. They also gave us focaccia bread with butter which was spongy and I enjoyed it much more.
To start, we shared the Creamy Burrata which was served with a carpaccio of zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and baby arugula with pomegranate dressing. This was not bad, but I wished the burrata was creamier. Also as pomegranates have seeds, it was difficult to enjoy the flavour without being cautious of mistakenly swallowing the seeds. It made enjoying the dish a bit difficult.
Diced Pacific Ahi Tuna
Another appetizer we shared was the Diced Pacific Ahi Tuna which was served on top of avocados and a grape tomato medley with microgreens on top. We told them we were sharing this dish, so I loved how they split the dish in half for us. Pictured above is therefore only half of the dish. I loved this small gesture as it makes it easy to share plates without having to awkwardly portion the food ourselves. As for the dish itself, the tuna was seasoned well and tasted great with the ripe avocados. A great starter!
Spaghetti Al Nero Di Seppia and Oven Roasted Pacific Sablefish
As for our mains, we shared two dishes and again, they were able to portion our meals so we didn’t need to do the work. Therefore, pictured above is half of the spaghetti and half of the sablefish. The Spaghetti Al Nero Di Seppia is spaghetti made with squid ink and therefore features a black colour. This was served with Atlantic lobster medallions, and a cherry tomato sauce. The pasta was served al dente and the tangy sauce paired well with the sweet lobster. Our server shaved fresh Parmesan on top to make the dish more creamy. As for the second main, we had the Oven Roasted Pacific Sablefish which featured a horseradish crust and a variety of vegetables on the side. The sablefish was moist with a nice crispy crust. You can never go wrong with sablefish!
To finish, we had the Almond Cannoli which was filled with a zesty ricotta lemon cream and served with a side of blood orange sorbet and fruits. It was a nice gesture that they also added a candle and birthday message. As we were beyond full, this dessert was light and small enough to enjoy.
Overall, I really enjoyed my food at Giardino. The food felt rustic and although I didn’t think the dishes were presented in a very fancy manner, the food tasted great. As for service, I found it to be a bit slow between courses, but I think it’s a great spot if you don’t want to be rushed and just want to have long conversations. It felt relaxed and our waitress was extremely friendly and warm. I think we were even served by Umberto himself at one point if we’re not mistaken! Prices are definitely on the steeper side, but the ambiance and service is why you’re paying that premium.
– Well executed dishes
– Friendly service and beautiful patio
– Steep prices
Price Range: $50-60 per person
1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent
Food: 4 Service: 4.5 Ambiance: 5 Parking: Meter parking Overall: 4.5