11:30 am-2 pm and 5-10 pm Tuesday-Friday, 5-10 pm Saturday. $$$ Exspensive.
Open for a decade, Giorgio’s is a founding father of the upscale Italian restaurants that have proliferated in the Pearl, and like most fathers, Giorgio’s isn’t flashy. Its nondescript façade opens into a reserved interior. Well-heeled patrons clink glasses and chat quietly in an understated wash of muted colors and crisp, white tablecloths. It’s all very clean and classic, but unmemorable. Meat-tomato-cheese Italian standards dominate the menu, like homemade pappardelle with wild boar ragu ($24), which was satisfying if slightly heavy. Ingredients are superb and preparations competent, but few dishes veer far from the tried-and-true. At its best, Giorgio’s allows those good ingredients to carry the weight, avoiding slow-cooked heaviness in favor of higher heat and fresher flavors. Take the highlight of our meal, a starter of grilled and skewered octopus ($13), its meaty bite cut with green-garlic puree, an elegantly simple contrast of textures and flavors. ETHAN SMITH
Ideal meal: Octopus skewers followed by gnocchi with lamb ragu spiked with olives and fresh mint ($23).
Best deal: Running $11 to $13, simple pastas on the bar menu—like spaghetti with anchovy, truffle and garlic—are a better value than dinner.