Set on the River Sence, fine dining Italian restaurant San Giovanni is the place to go if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion.
Hidden away in the Warwickshire countryside in the small village of Sheepy Parva, the lakeside restaurant is totally breath-taking, and wouldn’t look out of place in a bustling city like London or Liverpool.
But being out in the sticks by no means would suggest the venue is quiet – in fact the opposite is true. Jake and I called over a week in advance to reserve a table and the helpful staff were able to squeeze us in at 9.30pm on a Saturday night, just before kitchen close.
On our arrival, we were shown to our table upstairs which had been beautifully laid, and ordered some drinks – Jake a beer, and a cocktail from their list of classics for myself. A mojito, to be precise.
We’d already had a good, long look at the extensive Italian menu before our arrival, and I’d chanced my mind on what to order around seven times.
The menu sees Italian classics take centre stage, with a selection of bruschette, followed by cold starters and hot starters, from antipasti boards to mussels. There’s an entire page dedicated to pasta and risotti, alongside the ‘secondi piatti’, which is a list of mains such as veal, chicken and eight different kinds of steak.
The six page menu continues through to salads, fish dishes, pizzas and vegetables, with one of the most expensive times being the lobster thermidor, sold at market price, which can be around £36.00.
Jake ordered the Bistecca alla Griglia – a 9oz sirloin steak topped with a garlic herb butter for £23.95, whilst I opted for the £13.95 Penne Toscana, a dish of penne pasta with ‘salami, pancette, parm ham, white wine and light tomato sauce’. To share, we also ordered a side of frittes, green beans with parmesan and saute potatos with bacon, onion and rosemary.
We watched in awe as other people’s food was delivered to their table with total grace and elegance, including a seabass that was rolled to the table and cut up in front of the diners. San Giovanni say their ‘team of Italian chefs work hard to create imaginative dishes to tempt and delight’. And delight they definitely do.
Our food looked incredible as it was placed before us, with our server offering us cracked black pepper and fresh parmesan, as well as a glass of white zinfandel to go with my dish. If you’re feeling spendy, though, the Dom Perignon Rose can be yours for a cool £395.
Everything was really authentically Italian – and in fact better than the food I’d ordered in Florence. Vibrant colours and complimentary flavours, with very generous portions that traditional Italian food is renowned for, I almost forgot to leave room for dessert.
I couldn’t wait to dig my spoon into their raspberry and honeycomb chocolate bombe, which came served with a hot chocolate sauce that our waitress poured over the top of the chocolate dome to reveal the raspberry ripple ice cream centre with honeycomb pieces and fresh raspberries. Rich, velvety, and the perfect sweet to finish off a beautiful Italian meal.
San Giovanni offers an exclusive fine-dining experience. Open seven days a week from 12pm to 11pm, guests can experience a taste of Italy with superb service, breath-taking surroundings and mouth-watering authentic dishes.