Food review: Gianni's Italian restaurant on King's Road

A tasty bruschetta starter at Gianni's
A tasty bruschetta starter at Gianni's

It’s not often that you can go and eat out somewhere that feels quite fancy but homely at the same time.

The trendy decor and colourful lighting gives a meal at Gianni’s a sense of occasion, but it’s also somewhere you can go for a relaxed family meal or a catch up with old friends.

And the attentive waiters and front of house team fit in well with the vibrancy of the place, where you can get your old favourites - your pizzas and your pastas, as well as some traditional dishes with a twist.

It’s a place where, even when you say you don’t want ice-cream, they will bring you an extra spoon with your friend’s dessert just in case. You might not have wanted it in the first instance, but you definitely will be glad of that extra spoon once you’ve tried it.

There are a lot of Italian restaurants in and around Harrogate, but what makes this one really stand out is just the sheer quality of the food - it tastes great, and there is so much choice that it would take a lot of return visits to get through the menu.

And when the food is great, the rest comes naturally. When you’re confident in your offer as a restaurant and you’ve perfected your dishes, waiters can concentrate more on giving the full experience to customers.

Sitting across from a mum who has brought her little girl with her to enjoy their first restaurant meal together, it’s a memory as well as a meal. And around them are a number of regular customers who have grown up with the place and you can imagine that they might bring their friends and families there every week.

You know they’re regulars from the warm greeting given by Gianni’s staff as they come in - happy to see them, and asking how they all are. In terms of food to recommend, the margherita pizza is beautifully done and tastes a lot more authentic than some places, and the simple bruschetta starter with mozzarella is a real treat, and not too heavy before your main arrives.

The fries at Gianni’s are definitely a top pick if you’re thinking about a side order, but don’t load yourself up too much because you’ll need room for one of the desserts - you don’t want to learn that the hard way when you could be tucking into a delicious panna cotta and can’t!

The location is ideal too - if town is quite congested on the day you’re going to see a show at the Royal Hall, or going to a conference, it’s perfect.