This is the first time we've put a restaurant through the Nana Test with a large group of 15 people. [Click for our previous Nana Test reviews.] Did Giorgio’s live up to a true large Italian family experience? Yup.
Atmosphere: Giorgio's is your typical small BYOB with tables close together. Conversation throughout the restaurant was plentiful, relaxed and loud like any Italian meal should be. A highlight of the night was a couple sitting next to us who asked why our group of 15 was there (answer: dinner before a Mask & Wig show). This led to a hilarious exchange about members of each party dating, the pleasures of drinking wine and fond experiences with the laugh-so-hard-you-cry Mask & Wig club.
Any place that enables such a conversation gets a perfect score on the atmosphere portion of the Nana Test. My family would fit in at Giorgio's anytime. 5 out of 5 points
Simplicity: Definitely a classic, straightforward preparation. The bucatini and gnocchi kept to the basics of what makes a good dish - fresh pasta, good sauce and plenty to eat. The rest of the menu consists of standard options such as spaghetti, linguine and veal. Even our waitress was simple and brutally honest about what to order (and not). I like that sassy attitude out of a BYOB. Note: Giorgio also offers many gluten free options, which one member of our party said tasted ok. 5 out of 5
|Gnocchi with 12-hour braised beef ragu|
The Sauce: The white wine spicy marinara with the bucatini was lick-the-plate-clean good. I was really impressed with the nice sweet flavor of the sauce I also didn't have to ask for extra since Giorgio's was the kind of place that knows to give you plenty already. I’d eat that dish any day of the week.
Kristy's gnocchi came tossed in a 12-hour braised beef ragout. The gnocchis were light for the potato variety (ricotta is the other version and much lighter). While 12-hour braised beef wasn't quite on par with the wild boar ragus of Osteria and Melograno, as expected, it was still solid. Other members of our party raved about the soup of the day, the ricotta ravioli in a tomato cream sauce and the special osso buco. 5 out of 5
|Bucatini with pancetta, onion and white wine spicy marinara|
Antipasti: The one part of the meal that left something to offer. The prosciutto and mozzarella plate was average. I've made mozzarella that was just as good. Kristy’s roasted caprese salad, with tomato, eggplant and mozzarella over balsamic dressed romaine, was a little bland and expensive at $9.50. No home runs here. 2 out of 5
Serving size and bread: Plenty of bread was provided throughout the meal and we never had to ask for more. The serving size would have pleased my Nana. 4 out of 5
Sambuca test: A flat no when requested, unfortunately.
Final score: 21/25 points
Giorgio's is one the best BYOBs we've visited and put through the Nana Test. The failure of the secret sambuca test was a real disappointment though. I almost want to take away points since any BYOB with a score this high should also pass the sambuca test. Maybe they'll add it someday.