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Aperitivo at Giovanna Rana

May 7, 2016

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I love going to aperitivo evenings organised by the London Italian Language Meetup group. Not only do I get to meet a great bunch of people – and mainly Italian too – but I also get the chance to try out Italian restaurants I might not normally come across. Certainly Giovanni Rana isn’t easily come by. While it’s situated just off the Euston Road and thus in very central London, it’s nevertheless tucked away a bit and you wouldn’t easily find it if you didn’t know where to look (or had an iPhone to help you!). Sixty-six guests were expected and we took over the restaurant. The standard cost for these evenings is £10 entry, which includes a drink (wine, beer, prosecco, Aperol spritz) and a buffet of Italian food. Inevitably, they vary a bit but tonight’s was excellent.

Giovanni Rana is famed as the King of Tortellini. He has been making pasta for people to enjoy at home since 1962 and his filled pasta is available in supermarkets and delis throughout the UK and in 37 countries worldwide. The first Giovanna Rana restaurant opened in Italy in 2006 and there are now 27 there, plus 5 in Switzerland and now this one in London.

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The restaurant is inside a bright modern building. I paid my £10 at the door and was given a ticket for my drink and two playing cards for two trips to the buffet. I got a glass of prosecco and then headed towards some people I knew. Not long after the food came out and it looked fabulous. I got my camera out and started taking photos while talking to the restaurant manager, who was really friendly. There were bruschette:

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Little pots of a lovely guacamole (which may not be Italian but was very good!).

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These fabulous little pots had stracchino cheese, rocket pesto and cherry tomato. And yes – they were as good as they look!

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These skewers had Parma ham and melon on them:

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And there were small slices of pizza:

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I gave my first meal card to the manager who was serving out the buffet and she put a piece of everything on offer on my plate!

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It was all really, really good. I perched with others at a bar and chatted away for a while. I felt pretty full after my plate and thought I didn’t need a second. However, then I saw that people were coming away with plates of pasta. Well, I just had to try that. So I queued again.

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While queuing, I heard someone in front asking (in Italian of course!) whether this was the same pasta you could buy in the supermarket. The manager said, no, they were freshly made in the kitchen there. And they were indeed very good. But I also now feel I need to look out for the supermarket packs to buy for home.

It was a great evening. I loved meeting up with some old friends from the group and talking to some new people. And the food was fantastic; one of the best aperitivo evenings. Let there be more!
Giovanni Rana Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 Comments
  1. Oh I wish we had a fun event like that in our town. Food, drink and a chance to visit and perhaps make a new friend. I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂

    • It’s a lovely group and they organise some great events. We have Mother’s Day in March in UK but thank you for your best wishes. Anytime is great for celebrating mothers and I hope you’re having a good day Karen.

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