“What’s the Scoop?” Giovanni’s: An Italian Addition to Storm Lake


Photo by Allyssa Ertz

Allyssa Ertz, Arts & Life Editor

Walking into the classy, romantic atmosphere of Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant is an enveloping experience.  Classical piano music plays in the background as smells of pasta, seafood, and rich desserts float through the air.  Giovanni himself can be seen walking throughout the restaurant, interacting with customers while strolling through his domain.

Charming paintings line the deep red walls on the restaurant side, while burnt orange walls decorate the full bar side. Two TVs are on opposite sides of the restaurant, and lights with glittering fall leaves garnish the walls above every booth adding plant decor to the furnishings.

Giovanni Zequiri embarked on his Italian restaurant journey in the United States in 1990. Employed in this business in Italy starting out in the 80s, he moved to the U.S. in 1985.  Zequiri opened up his first ever Italian restaurant in Dallas, Texas, in 1990, and has since opened up another restaurant in Fort Worth before coming to Storm Lake, Iowa. 

A friend of Zequiri’s told him about a place for sale in Storm Lake, at 723 Lake Avenue, a perfect downtown location for a restaurant. When he visited, he noted that the former steakhouse would be a perfect addition to the Storm Lake community as an Italian restaurant, which the town did not previously have.  Zequiri fell in love with the location and establishment, and decided to begin his journey in Storm Lake.

Zequiri hopes the community here will support him, and has already established himself effectively by distributing a large number of flyers and advertising throughout the area.

“We already have some of the BVU football players come here and eat regularly,”  Zequiri said.

Popular dishes at Giovanni’s are Giovanni’s chicken, all of the seafood and pasta dishes, shrimp fettuccini alfredo, and classic ravioli.  Tiramisu is the favored dessert at the restaurant, which is a layered sponge cake soaked in coffee with chocolate topping.

“I have my family here established, and I am hoping the community will support me and I’ll be here for years to come,” Zequiri said.

Every dish is a Giovanni’s original, straight from his own creation. A large party room, full service bar, and full wine list are the cherries on top of the excellent high-class addition to Storm Lake.

Zequiri says he hopes the combination of the excellent service, kind waitresses, relaxing atmosphere and abundant amount of room for customers to sit makes Giovanni’s a wonderful place for an entire family, a few friends, or a couple to eat.  Giovanni’s is booking parties for Christmas now, and the entire staff is excited to welcome the community to Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant.

Zequiri is also open to hiring new applicants.  He is looking for new help on the waitstaff. He requests that potential employees be friendly and able to provide quality customer service. Giovanni’s is open from 11 PM to 2 PM for lunch, and i evenings from 5 PM to 9 PM, 10 PM on the weekends.