Giovanni’s.

Giovanni's is a new Italian pizza place on Thimbirigasyaya Road. It's pretty much a one-man show, with Dimuthu making pizzas in a clay oven right there next to your table. There's a small bistro kind of feel to the place and the pizzas tasted amazing on our visit.

Updated: We found out that the guy who runs Giovanni, Dimuthu, was also once the force behind the pizzas at Michaelangelo and Rocco's.

The Pizzas

Giovanni's pizzas cost Rs. 850 – 1300. The pizzas are large, very thin, generously topped, and as far as texture and flavour go, taste pretty authentic. The menu options, chalked up on little black boards on both sides of the restaurant, include salami, misti, pepperoni, eggplant, tuna and onion, mushrooms, caprese, margherita, ham & mushroom, chicken and mushroom, nepolitana, 4-cheese and spicy chicken.

We got two half-and-halfs – the first had 4-cheese and spicy chicken. Giovanni's pizzas have a very rough, sloppy, freestyle sort of topping – but we're not complaining. It works. The 4-cheese is definitely a safe bet if you visit here, and as the name suggests, is just dripping with good old mozarella cheese and more. There was a lot of meat and veggies on our spicy chicken as well. The pizzas here seem like they're very obviously home-cooked, by someone who has been making Italian pizzas for quite a while. 

Our other half-and-half had chicken & mushroom and a special 'experiment' that the chef hadn't put up on the menu. He said he was just trying it out, and it was my personal favourite – it basically just had huge square chunks of mozarella, basil, fresh tomato and a tangy sauce poured over it.

I don't say this often but looking at the pictures we took at Giovanni's, it's one of those places we just felt like going back to the next day – the pizzas were that good, and not in a predictable sort of way either, since it felt like everything followed the chef's own special recipe.

Service & Ambience

Giovanni's is a small place, and the guy in charge Dimuthu says he prefers to keep it small, following the tradition of street-side Italian pizza places. You get just two tables and the cooking area downstairs, so you get to see the whole pizza making process. There's Italian pop art and photographs on the walls.

But if you want to stay away from the oven heat and want some A/C, there's also a comfy room upstairs with windows looking out on the street and mellow music.

We loved the service, which was basically the chef chatting away with us and other customers like he knew everybody so well. That's the nice thing about small places, it's easy to form a relationship with customers. Dimuthu is quite friendly and open to questions about the restaurant and how he does what he does, and might surprise you with an unexpected new cooking experiment or two.

Conclusion

Giovanni's impressed us on our visit. The pizzas were delicious and filling, and we spent only Rs. 2500 for three people, the place was charming, and the service was pleasant. So as far as fresh, hot-hot Italian pizzas in Colombo are concerned, this is one place you should give a shot.

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