Last week I ate at Giovanni’s Kitchen with four friends. We are “women of a certain age,” who get together once a month for dinner. (Some women pick books to read as a group; we pick restaurants to enjoy together.)
The Gabrielle family restaurant is tucked away in the Colonial Shopping Center on Ladue Road. Most St. Louisians know of their flagship restaurant on the Hill, that has welcomed celebrities and residents for decades. The Ladue/Clayton outpost has a more casual setting, but with the same quality food as original Giovanni’s.
Not surprising, the wait staff made a good first impression on us and maintained it throughout the meal. Our Italian-accented server addressed us as signoras, as he bravely and competently saw to our food and wine selections. I knew we were in for a treat when the basket that swiftly appeared on our table had the ambrosial scent of warm bread.
(BTW, did you know that the smell of fresh baked bread is the world’s favorite scent; the second is vanilla. I have no argument with that.)
My friends indulge my eccentricities as a food blogger. They kindly allow me to rearrange and photograph their food while it grows cold. I’ve even trained them to take pictures for me at the table when a dish is out of reach. Below is our joint effort at food photography under conditions of poor lighting and extreme hunger.
Owner-founder Giovanni Gabrielle sums up his philosophy as a restaurateur: “Treat all of our guests as celebrities and always do better today than you did yesterday.” Sounds like a pretty good formula for success no matter what you’re doing.
Giovanni’s Kitchen: Colonial Shopping Center, 8831 Ladue Road. Open: Tue.-Thur. 11a-9p; Fri. 11a-10p; Sat. 5p-10p; Sun. 5p-9p.