The first time that I called Giannotto’s over in Wailuku for a pizza, I got my hand slapped over the phone when I pissed off the owner–David Giannotto himself—when I asked what the size difference was between a large and a medium pizza. See, a pizza at Giannotto’s is 16 inches in diameter. Period. The “size” question marked me as an Italian cuisine flunky and I wasn’t going to get away with it.
It was at that moment that I decided to order something simple, like the pepperoni, to avoid another screw up.
“Cash or credit, Ma’am?” he asked.
“Ah, I love cash,” he said. “I really do. I like to roll around in it naked. A big pile of it… I hope I didn’t offend you by the size comment, ma’am. I just want people to know real pizza.”
None taken (to either comment, actually). You see, after the pizza arrived and I ate three or four slices, I vowed that I could live with any and all disturbing visuals that ordering it may produce.
The pizza was ridiculously scrumptious with a nice thin crust that’s super flavorful and doesn’t have any of that creepy wet doughy action going on. The sauce is tangy and causes an instant taste-bud celebration. Then there’s the fresh cheese and the pepperoni… God, the pepperoni! It’s nice and thick and hearty–nothing like that paper-thin flimsy stuff that seems to sit on everyone else’s pizza.
I’ve also tried the tiramisu. I love tiramisu and am super picky, to the point of being a snooty bitch about it. Giannotto’s stuff? I swear I had to leave work early because it was so rich and creamy that all I wanted to do after enjoying it was lounge around the house in a silk robe and kitten heels.
The eggplant parmigiana sandwich is also awesome. In fact, I can wolf one down in five minutes flat. That’s not to say that it’s a wimpy sandwich, because it’s super filling–it’s just that it’s so damn tasty I can’t control myself.
The prices are good and the service is quick—and very Italian. Don’t be surprised if you get the vibe while ordering that you’re being time-consuming.
Giannotto’s probably just worried about the people in line behind you. He doesn’t like people to wait. But when he hands you your food, expect him to be the most gracious restaurant owner that you’ve ever met. It’s a little unnerving until you get the hang of the system and then it’s all G.
Since that first call, I’ve become something of a regular over at Giannotto’s and have met Giannotto in person. Without getting totally hot and bothered, I’ll just say that he reminds me a lot of Richard Gere back in the days of Leaving Mr. Goodbar. And, incidentally, the thought of him rolling around in a big pile of cold cash makes me really, really hungry. MTW