The owners of recently opened Italian restaurant Giovi in Remarkables Park have brought a touch of authentic Italy to Queenstown.
Italian chef Giovanna Boventi Faroni has had a long-held dream along with her businessman husband Mauro Balzarini to open a restaurant providing genuine, healthy and affordable Italian food.
Giovanna was brought up cooking from a young age learning her skills from her grandmother.
“My grandma had a restaurant for many years. She taught me when I was young and gave me her recipes. Every day she asked me to taste her food and she showed me how the same recipe can have a different taste. Why? The tomato today and the tomato tomorrow are different. Sometimes it might need more salt, more tomato, more herbs. It’s my passion and my creation and every day it changes.”
To truly recreate her grandmother’s recipes Giovanna imports special ingredients from Italy such as parmesan, prosciutto and pancetta while also using local vegetables and meats. Catering to requests from locals she makes vegan pasta, pizza and sauces and plans to offer gluten free options in the future.
Giovi has adisplay cabinet of ever-changing, mouthwateringfresh pasta which can be either cooked on-site for eating in or takeaway or packed up raw andcooked at home. There’s also superb pizza choices and traditional Italian gelato.
Giovanna says true Italian pasta is light and low-fat and should leave diners feeling full of energy rather than over full.
“The Mediterraneandiet is good for longevity and for health in general. The sauces are made from fresh vegetables and fresh herbs. Making it fresh gives quality and flavour to the meal.”
Customers can select their pasta and sauces individually making a fun and flexible meal option for families. Pasta is made quickly in Giovanna’s specialty pasta boiler and their homemade gelato rounds off a meal. There’s also a distinctive sparkling wine from Italian winery Montina, which is owned by Giovanna’s family, and blends well with the menu.
Originally from Brescia in Italy Giovanna and Mauro have lived in Queenstown for five years after being frequent visitors for many years.
“I love my neighbourhood the people are so nice and friendly,” says Giovanna. “I would like Giovi to be a place where people come and feel like part of the family. They can come in and ask –‘what is different today?’ It’s really like a touch of Italy.”