My girlfriend Tiffany and I decided to try this Giancarlo Trattoria in the heart of Little Italy that is rumoured to be a favourite of Sophia Loren when she was in the city. There's a brick arch way that you walk under leading you into the bar area. The ambience was very warm because of the exposed brick treatment - You check in here and then I was led into the vast dining area which was separated with these gorgeous hot pink cabinets filled from top to bottom with delicious and well known wines. I was really surprised of the size of the restaurant as you would have no idea about it in the bar area. We were seated near the windows overlooking the patio on Clinton street. I assume this place is really kicking in the summer but yesterday was still a bit nippy and while the sun was shining - we were happy that we were indoors.
Our service were 2 very chirpy men - who alternated between filling up our wine glasses to bringing our plates. Each of them were conversant and playful in their own way, entertaining us laugh with their jokes and made our dining experience enjoyable.
Now onto the menu and the food- the menu was divided up with antipastos, pastas, meats/fish and sides. I salivated when I read the different antipasto offerings and ended up ordering 3 of them to be my main courses. I had an excellent wild mushrooms mix on top of fluffy and perfectly prepared polenta as well as beef carpaccio with shaved parmesean and rare yellow fin tuna with capers. This was such a great spread for me.
Tiffany had one of the whole fish specials. The fish was stuffed with fresh bay leaves, thyme and other herbs. The server fileted the fish for her at the table which was definitely a nice touch and although the fish was tender, it was a bit oversalted. After a conversation with our chirpy but adorable waiter, he convinced us to get dessert, which was this decadent molten chocolate lava cake with salted caramel sauce - I don't even like chocolate and I ended up devouring the majority of the dessert!! I swear Tiff didn't even have a chance!
Overall our conclusion was that this was a nice place for a good Italian meal but it's a bit overpriced and perhaps meant for our business dinners where we can expense it!
Giancarlo Trattoria- 41 Clinton-
College and Clinton
*** stars (out of 5)