with arugula, evo, grana padano, red onions, caper berries and roasted garlic aioli
Love this place... Never disappoints.
This is the place you want to share with your friends because it just feels good when you walk in. But you quickly realize it's the place you should keep to yourself because it's already sooo popular.
Reservations required for dining area. You can eat at the bar, but the bar tenders control the seating. Dining at the bar is a great experience but you need to time it right or plan to wait 30-45 mins for an opening. Obviously bar seating works better for 2 than for more. (Insert reluctance here, I'm giving away my secret which will likely cause me to wait longer at our next visit.).
Jake (bartender) makes everybody that walks through the door feel like they are their best regular. Come often for this experience.
Excellent wine selection. A few tap beers. Bottles. And full liquor selections.
Two small tvs at the bar so you can keep up on the game even though you're enjoying 5 star food and service experience.
Daily specials like homemade pasta, bone in pork chop with chilton county peach glaze to just name a few. These change often. Also, there isn't a bad thing on the menu.
Drink - your choice
Fresh tuna served on a salt brick
Any special. Ask jake for his rec.
Gianmarco's brings great Italian to Birmingham. We just don't have many "true" Italian places here in the Ham, unfortunately. But everything about Gianmarco's is spot on for "true" Italian.
The service is spectacular. We can always count on being taken care of in the highest fashion - We DO have a favorite ... ask for Rachel! She will be at our table no sooner than the bread and water have hit it for our starter cocktail order! She's super attentive and also intuitive: she knows when we're in a conversation and doesn't interrupt us, yet makes sure we're always in perfect order!
Gianmarco's menu is traditional - apps, salads, pastas, mains (save room for dessert!). But the specials ... the specials in each of those categories will knock your socks off. The chef's specials are usually a cool twist on a traditional Italian dish. Something you can't get anywhere else. And they're cook and presented PERFECTLY! If you aren't trying one of the specials, I highly recc these from the menu:
Prosciutto wrapped fried mozz
Muscles in white wine sauce (if they're PEIs)
Oysters Two Ways
Veal and Cheese Tort with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Wild Mushroom Ravioli
Rigatoni with 4 cheese and sage cream sauce (my fave!)
Chicken with Eggplant - This one is a traditional dish and it's superb
Risotto with shellfish
Grouper with tomatoes and caper berries
The great thing about Gianmarco's wine list is that you have choices. MANY CHOICES. You can go Italian - Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto, etc. You can go French, you can go West Coast, and lots of bubbles to choose from too - prosecco AND champagne. For a little wine list entertainment, check the Whites section: "Chardonnay / NOT Chardonnay" :)
Atmosphere is bustling with lots of the young, hip newly marrieds in Homewood, cool folks from the Burbs, and even the "more mature" (who obviously know a good meal) from Mtn Brook. Clientele is all over the board - that tells you it's got great food!
Parking is easy - either in the front (it follows the rule of "if you have great food you don't have to have a big parking to attract people") or you can valet!
Dress comfortably - you're gonna wanna loosen your belt at the table, come round 2 of that bread basket!
Okay so I was upset about the parking situation at Gio's but now it's really not a problem. Homewood changed a street to be one way and there is tons of parking available the next block down. You can just park up front for to go orders or if you rather eat in I highly recommend making reservations for the chef's table. It's pretty entertaining and the food is just so damn good! I've had beef carpaccio, carbonara, linguini with clam sauce, Gio's Sunday special, hangar steak and so on and so forth. Oh the Mac and cheese is also the bomb! The food is always spot on. If you make reservations make sure you are on time. This restaurant is super busy and Gio will totally give your table to someone else if you are late.
The staff here is very accommodating. I screwed up on New Year's Eve by trying to get into another restaurant that didn't take reservations, only to find that they weren't going to have a table for my girlfriend & I for over 2 hours. Oops! Out of ideas, I started browsing Yelp for something a little off the beaten path & hopefully able to take us on a short notice.
Gianmarco's was the place we decided to try out. It's in a nice cozy location that you'll need your nav to find, but it's got a real nice 'local' vibe. We showed up & it was very crowded, but luckily a 2-seat table next to the bar was available, so we took it.
We ordered some Pinot as recommended & it was excellent. The service staff was very knowledgeable & provided lots of "off the menu" options & explained all the specials very well. We ended up ordering beef carpaccio for an appetizer, veal & cheese tortellini, & cheese ravioli in tomato sauce. The food came out relatively fast, but the entree came & we never received the appetizer.
The manager came out & apologized profusely, offered to take our entrees back & let the appetizer come first - I declined & said that it was fine. The entree was more than enough food anyway. He came back shortly after & said the meal was free. Again, I said that really wasn't necessary; I knew they were busy & mistakes happen. No big deal. The service was great & the food came out quick! He still insisted that the meal was free. He even provided the dessert menu, & when I asked if we could pay for at least the dessert, he again insisted that no, the entire meal was free.
Let's get back to the food. The food was EXCELLENT. My tortellini was very tasty & the cheese sauce it was in was some of the best I've ever tasted. The ravioli was equally delicious as well. We ended up ordering a tiramisu for dessert. I offered to at least pay for the dessert and wine but the owner insisted everything was free.
Would I recommend this place to friends? ABSOLUTELY. The service, food & atmosphere are all excellent. However, make sure to make a reservation. I'm thankful the girlfriend & I were able to get a table, but admittedly, it was pure luck we arrived when we did. I will definitely be back!
Drinks: A pretty vast selection of wines, nice Italian selections. We ordered the Amarone which was good.
Food: Really awesome appetizers, we ordered the Beef Carpaccio which was pretty good, a lot of sauce. Also the Fioccj were really awesome, this was the best thing on the appetizers. The Caesar salad was next and had a little too much dressing for me, but still good. Dinner was the lasagna, huge and great, but get ready for a to go box.
Atmosphere is cool, but be prepared to smell like the restaurant after you leave with the open kitchen, and a little loud.
Premier à donner un avis
The best meal I've ever eaten in Birmingham (or in the state of Alabama, for that matter) was at Gianmarco's. Run by a local Italian family, it has the ambiance of a small upscale diner like you might see in the Godfather films, but the warm welcome you expect in the south. Most importantly, the food reflects the utmost standards in quality ingredients & meticulous preparation. It's the only Birmingham restaurant with its number saved in my cell phone.
Try: Beef Carpaccio, Seafood Risotto, & the chef's table overlooking the kitchen.
Reservations highly recommended (weeks ahead of time on weekends); don't drive your Hummer--parking's a pinch.
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