Every dinner out these days feels so special, since I know in a few months, the amount of dining out my husband and I can do will be sort of limited, at least for a little while. Last weekend, my husband and I joined two friends at an Italian restaurant in Johnston called Gianfranco’s. I drive by it every week, as it is near my work, but never really thought to go there. Since our friends are from Johnston, they suggested it and had wonderful things to say about it that proved to be true!
Gianfranco’s struck me as very homey– it seemed to me to be family owned and operated– and it had a very comfortable vibe. We arrived around 7:30 on a very rainy Saturday night, and were seated right away by a warm fire. The restaurant was pretty empty, but I think that had to do with the weather.
The service was outstanding. I believe it was the owner herself who came over to chat, read us the specials, take our orders and serve us the food! She was such a nice woman too– as someone who is visibly pregnant, she went out of her way to make sure I had everything I and the baby needed!
We were first served amazing herby olive oil with fresh crusty Italian bread. It was delicious and addictive.
For dinner, I ordered a caprese salad and a side of French fries (which were on the kids menu, but they had no problem making them for me!). They had tons of vegetarian pasta dishes, but I was looking for a semi-lighter meal than pasta. My salad was wonderful– that mozzarella was so creamy and the addition of roasted red peppers really made the plate. The tomatoes were a little bland but hey, it’s the middle of winter! My fries were great too– they were thick steak fries that were super creamy inside.
Now my husband had the lamb chop special, which came with a side of pasta. He ordered a side of bow ties with red sauce. The “side” of pasta was legitimately entrée-sized! They gave us so much that even after I ate half of it myself, he still got two meals out of it when we took it home! I was thoroughly impressed by the huge portions!
Unfortunately, we were too full to try any dessert, but I imagine it must be good. All in all, for a small suburban Italian restaurant, Gianfranco’s really impresses. The food was plentiful and tasty, but moreso, I was impressed by the service. I really felt taken care of and will no doubt return just to see the owner again!
P.S. The reason I didn’t have dessert was because I had this Crumbs carrot cake cupcake waiting for me at home!