Italian Fine Dining in Bangkok: Gianni Ristorante

While in Thailand enjoying my list of top things to do in Bangkok, I randomly started craving Italian food. We had just been in Italy for weeks and I wondered if it was a ridiculous wish to find some genuine Italian cuisine in Bangkok, Thailand. 

So I did a bit of research and read about Chef/Patron Gianni Favro: a well respected Italian chef who owns a highly rated Italian restaurant in the heart of the city. Of course I had to visit and share insight on one of the best Italian Restaurants to try in Bangkok: Gianni Ristorante. 

Nestled in a partially hidden courtyard and just a short walk from the Chit Lom BTS station, I arrived at Gianni Ristorante not knowing what to expect. The moment I turned into the courtyard though, everything changed. There was an associate greeting guests at the door and the Maître D' shortly followed. 

I looked around and saw guests happily dining as couples and families, and noticed there was a significant number of waitstaff waiting in every corner to immediately serve guests' needs. 

My table was off at a corner, which I initially found odd but later realized that the other seating arrangements were for larger groups or reserved. 

To start, we were greeted by a plate of assorted fresh breads and a wine menu. There wasn't an ounce of rushing in this restaurant and I loved that! It seemed like every employee had been trained in fine dining service because all of their movements were fluid and their attention to detail, spot on.

When presented with the menu, I saw that there was an elaborate prix fix degustation menu so I decided to go with that. There was also option to order a la carte, but the menu seemed so well thought out that I wanted to try Gianni's masterpieces just as he intended them to be consumed.

The degustation menu was priced at 1,490 Baht, which is about $42 USD. 

First Course:

Carpaccio di Bue al Tartufo Nero con Sedano e Parmigiano

To start, I got a beef carpaccio dish topped with rich, shaved black truffles and aged parmesan. The beef wasn't too heavy (thank goodness -- remember that really filling, but tasty beef carpaccio I ate in Dubrovnik? It was delicious but I definitely couldn't eat anything else afterwards.) Gianni's beef carpaccio on the other hand, was thinly sliced and thoughtfully portioned to be an ideal starter. 

Second Course:

Pasta e Fagioli

As part of my prix fix menu, a bean soup with pasta followed, and to my surprise was quite delicious. I do not normally choose to eat soup but after this meal I must confess, I certainly looked up how to make it at home. The soup used borlotti beans and the pasta was mixed into it.

I could've eaten three more plates of THAT! But there was lots more to come.

Third Course:

Risotto con Triglie e Rosmarino

I love risotto so much. I just can't help it - it's the best! I learned to cook it in a culinary class when I majored in Hospitality Administration while at Boston University. I got so good at it that my group always asked me to do it if we were ever being graded. I was proud of my risotto skills so I definitely love taste testing other risottos!

This dish was a cheesy risotto topped with red mullet and rosemary. Red mullet is a lightly textured white fish and didn't have a drastic effect on the dish itself, though it was a lovely addition. The risotto alone was immaculate and rosemary is always a great decision.

Fourth Course: 

Filetto di Cervo in Crosta di Pepe, Salsa ai Mirtilli

Uh oh. The true test. 

I am not a fan of blueberries or venison so when I saw this on the menu I thought, "Can Gianni prove me wrong? Can I like this dish?"

The verdict: 

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this pepper crusted venison loin with blueberry sauce. The blueberry was not overpowering at all and in fact - MADE the dish. The venison was tender and flavorful, and surprisingly enough, a crucial contributor to this multi-course adventure. 

Fifth Course: 

Formaggi Italiani

By the last course of the menu I was done. I was so full and felt like I couldn't possibly eat one more thing. I loved that I was able to try so many different dishes, though - the smaller portions made that possible. 

For the fifth course I chose from a selection of Italian Cheeses. I must be honest -- I was too full to fully appreciate the cheese in all its glory but it was certainly tasty.

Extra foods:

Despite probably looking like I was about to explode, Alex *encouraged* me to agree to share another dessert! This time, fruit. Unable to deny food, I folded and went in on a selection of dragon fruit, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, and more. There were also mini pastries for us to try. Instead of ice cream, which I don't like (goodness, I am picky), we ended the night with a crisp, fresh lemon sorbet (my favorite).

My Recommendation:

Delizioso! I would TOTALLY recommend anyone visiting Bangkok and looking for a change for dinner, to try Gianni Ristorante. Be mindful about what other activities you schedule around your reservation though, or else you'll have trouble fighting off abbiocco when you're done and fall asleep almost anywhere. #OhHeyFoodComa :-)

Enjoy!

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