We have to thank Italy for birthing and showcasing some of the most delicious food in the world. Amongst the offerings are authentic pizzas, luscious pastas, imported meats, succulent seafood and decadent desserts. Luckily Pattaya has a plethora of good Italian restaurants, but connoisseurs with discerning palates reserve a special place in their hearts for Gian’s, strategically placed in the run of high class eateries on Jomtien’s Thappraya Road.
The restaurant was founded in 2006 by Guido Vietri who still maintains a daily supervision to ensure consistency and quality. Although a professional restauranteur, Guido spent many years in Asia as a businessman specializing in clothing and fashion accessories. Google has several pages devoted to his brand name and the on-line store which is still based in Italy. “I was introduced to the restaurant business in the Philippines in the 1990s and I proved to be a quick learner, having cooked for myself since boyhood,” he explains.
Guido recalls that 20 years ago, Italian food worldwide was symbolized by red and white checkered tablecloths, carafes of indifferent wine and menus heavily dependent on red sauces and mass-produced pizzas. “From the very start, I wanted to create a unique dining experience which used only genuine imported products from Italy and combined bold flavors with traditional cooking methods and hearty hospitality.” His famous house wine, imported from Italy, is named Guido Vietri and epitomizes the owner’s personal style.
Gourmets know that the origins of Italian food are based on the regions of the mother country. Gian’s menu, which incidentally rivals the best that New York’s elitist Italian restaurants can offer, is a gourmet’s dream. Favorites include Guido’s grandmother’s recipe of egg fettuccine with beef tenderloin (imported from Australia), ravioli with ricotta and spinach served in diced tomato sauce, and penne with smoked Norwegian salmon and cream sauce. There’s a large meat section, including Australian lamb chops and Angus steaks, and seafood treasures such as grilled Barramundi fillet, again imported from Australia. All desserts are home-made, with panna cotta, tiramisu and crepe suzette leading a packed field. Not to mention the imported cheeses.
Yet food and wine are only part of a success story. A fine-dining environment is also crucial. Gian’s relaxing and elegant decor is unique and has to be seen to be appreciated. Prints from Italian greats such as Leonardo da Vinci mingle with art nouveau, sculptures and objets d’art. Meanwhile, the staff are encouraged “to be their natural selves” and the chef Khun Rea has worked with Guido ever since the foundation of the restaurant. In a nutshell, you go to Gian’s to dine in style in every sense of the term. The price range is higher than average for Italian food in Pattaya, but that reflects the totality of the experience. Gian is the real Dolce Vita.