Best Kept Secret in Carefree

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Nestled in the heart of Carefree's shopping centers and eateries on Easy Street located right next to a nail salon is this quaint, elegant, and sophisticated little restaurant. Inside there are about 15-20 tables. I had made a reservation for our party of 4 not knowing how busy it would be on a Friday evening at 7 in Carefree and I'm glad I did. This joint was hopping!

We were given water and a basket of delicious toasted and warm bread with an herb butter. I'm so tired of those "trendy" places that think Olive Oil and balsamic is a proper topping on bread.  Not so at Giordano's...they offer olive oil but the butter is where it's at.

We were greeted promptly by our server who suggested a great wine for us. We ordered calamari as our appetizer. Calamari isn't my favorite because it's usually so overcooked and chewy that it's just not worth the money. Giordano's used panko breading and these calamari were fried perfectly. The accompanying marinara sauce was fantastic as well. Not too sweet and not too tangy.

One of my party ordered the chicken and the other veal marsala. I ordered the Giordano's chicken which was chicken parmesan but with a slice of eggplant onto of the chicken before it was breaded.  It was fabulous. The veal was fork tender and very flavorful. The chicken marsala was not over-cooked like some tend to be and each of us had an accompanying side of vegetables and our choice of penne or spaghetti. We all chose penne and it was perfectly cooked. The vegetables were al-dente and had been tossed in a buttery sauce. They weren't dripping in the sauce, but rather, the sauce was just kissing the veggies. It was quite heavenly.

For dessert we shared a tiramisu and cheesecake. I am usually not a fan of tiramisu because the ones I've experienced had such a strong coffee flavor that it was off-putting. Not so at Giordano's. This was tiramisu with a background flavor of coffee like it's supposed to be. The cheesecake was rich, creamy, and probably the very best i've ever had, and I've had NY cheesecake in some of the finest NY restaurants.

Our server was friendly and non-intrusive. The busboys were equally non-intrusive and kept to themselves. It was a bustling place and while these servers and bus people were busy, they never made you feel like you were bothering them.

I highly recommend Girodano Trattoria Romana in Carefree. It is pricy, but you have to expect that given the location and the local clientle.  I am trying to figure out a way to make an excuse to drive up there REAL SOON! :)

(Restaurant review in the Images AZ magazine)

"Giordano's Trattoria Romana, located in downtown Carefree, is the perfect union of top-notch Italian cuisine, charming ambience and a warm welcome.  Family owned and operated, you'll notice the warmth as soon as you walk in the front door, where owner Adele meets her many regular customers with a cheerful greeting and a hug.

The delectable aroma of traditional Italian menu items and the creative nightly specials, accompanied by a wide variety of wines and cocktails, combine to tempt the palate.  Soft lighting and music form the backdrop for a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, and art provided by Wild Holly Gallery in Carefree adorns the walls to please the eye.  Beautifully presented meals are served by a friendly and attentive wait staff.

The Giordano's family invites you to join  us for a dining experience that will make you want to join the many loyal customers who consider the restaurant a local favorite. "

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