The New Giovanni's in Murrieta

If you find yourself dining out frequently in Menifee, you've probably dined at Giovanni's, the Italian restaurant in the shopping center on the corner of Newport and Bradley. It's been a favorite place for my wife and I.

Well, yesterday we had dinner at their new location in Murrieta.

I was quie impressed with it. First, it's not like the Menifee location, but it does borrow some of its ideas and concepts. You'll still find the salad bar (though expanded), you'll find many of the same menu items, though prepared differently, and you'll even find a biblical quotation about friends and family somewhere.

The inside is decked out with a Tuscan decor. The tables, chairs, plates, silverware, are all upgraded to a more modern and stylish appeal.

My favorite pasta dish at the Menifee location is the linguini with clams in alfredo sauce. I ordered the same thing here. The most noticeable difference is that Murrieta uses whole pieces of clams, whereas Menifee uses chopped pieces. I'm no connoiseur of Italian food, so I won't go into the subtleties of the pasta and sauce, but suffice it to I'm now a fan of both locations.

Another difference is the bread. Murrieta presents you with bread before you order, for everyone at the table to enjoy, kinda like when a Mexican restaurant gives you chips and salsa by default. Menifee, however, gives you bread with your order, and only if the dish comes with bread. The bread is much different as well. I don't exactly what kind of bread it is, but it's very fluffy, almost sour-dough-like, and they give you oil and seasonings to go with it.

I mentioned the salad bar being expanded. First, they put out bigger plates, yea! You'll find spinach greens there, some of that "pickled garden mix", and fresh strawberries. Otherwise, it has all the same pickings as Menifee. Another difference is that in Murrieta, it's not a "one-trip only" salad bar, you can go back for seconds if you want.

The Murrieta location is generally an up-scale version of the Menifee location. One thing that makes Menifee great, is that it has an informal feel to it. You might walk in there and meet your neighbors (which we have on many occaisions), or know someone else, or have a conversation with a waitress. The Murrieta location definitely has a more formal feel to it, just based on the "up-scale" nature of the place.

We're planning to return to the Murrieta location because I still haven't tried the pizzas yet.


  1. cool. i think i might be taking my girlfriend there for our 6 month today (late planning). this little summary of the place helped so... thanks. :D

  2. This has become my favorite place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is upscale for a shopping center location, yet casual and friendly. The price is reasonable and the food is well prepared and generous proportions.
    The lunch buffet is a real deal.

  3. The Menifee location is "as good as it gets" for a restaurant in Menifee. The pizza is very good. The service is not friendly. When I asked about the menu items, 2 different wait staff had to go ask. The wines offered were awful. When the new restaurants open nearby, I guarantee they will notice a change in their revenue. Too Bad. In addition, the religious stuff is a little too much. Did I say "a little", I meant "way too much". Upscale, it is not. The carpet is dirty and they have had a rating from the County of Riverside that is less that an "A".

  4. The 2 locations are different owners. Menifee is totally seperate from Murietta.

  5. The owner of the Menifee Giovannis is awesome. He interacts with his guests, sings delightfully-never too load, and enjoys his business. They have wonderful pizza. I would say one of the best in the area. A broad variety menu as well. Although the staff is very young, they are trying to give good service, and have been friendly every time we eat there. I highly recommend this restaurant, it is very family oriented. I have been in the restaurant business for 30 years and find this a wonderful place to dine. Go check it out.