Italian in Mountain View

rist.jpg Courtesy of www.dongiovannis.com

If you’re ever in downtown Mountain View, specifically Castro St., you’ll never have any trouble finding a good Asian restaurant. There’s a wide selection of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese joints all up and down the street.

Unfortunately, my friend and I weren’t in the mood for Asian food. And our options didn’t look good, until we saw Ristorante Don Giovanni.

I was a little afraid upon entering the place because of it’s stereotypical Italian bistro decor of peach colored walls, dime a dozen Italian posters and the pungent smell of garlic. The place needs a facelift to make it more modern and give it some distinction.

Upon opening the menu, I noticed an abundance of typical Italian favorites you’d expect to see like pastas and scallopinis. Nothing terribly innovative or exciting, but there were a lot of choices.

If you love veal, you’ll love this place. There is a ton of veal on this menu and not as much in the way of chicken or beef. I decided on the Veal Scallopini with Marsala and Mushrooms. I LOVE marsala dishes, so I was hoping for the best.

But first, my friend and I shared the crab cake appetizer. There are so many ways to screw this dish up, but fortunately, it exceeded my expectations. The crab meat was flavorful, fresh tasting, moist, and the breading was light and crispy. A solid dish.

My friend ordered the ravioli stuffed with ricotta in meat sauce. She loved it and practically licked the place clean. And my veal marsala was surprisingly good. The veal was pounded thin and was moist and tender. The mushrooms and marsala sauce were sweet and tangy, just like it should be. It was simple, but delicious.

At one point we both stopped ourselves in mid meal realizing how fast we were eating! We enjoyed the food thoroughly, and the service was friendly and attentive. The menu and decor could stand a little more imagination, but the simple food was hearty, yet not heavy, and solidly good.

If none of the Asian restaurants on Castro are calling your name, you could do a lot worse than this place.

Ristorante Don Giovanni – 235 Castro St., Mountain View – 650.961.9749

SPECIAL OFFER: On Thanksgiving, November 22nd, 2007, Ristorante Don Giovanni will be serving their annual FREE Thanksgiving meal, as a thank you to all their loyal customers! Just show up between 11am-4pm to get a free turkey meal! Not valid on takeout orders, while supplies last. Please call the restaurant for more details.

Don Giovanni on Urbanspoon