Perched on the second floor with a patio overlooking Main St. and Falls Park, Table 301's Jianna is one of the most visually stunning restaurants in town. Before you even make it to the hostess stand, you are greeted by a young pasta chef extruding and nesting fresh pasta, a not-so-subtle indication that everything is made fresh in house. Classic dishes like spaghetti and rigatoni deliver on classic Italian cuisine but some might argue that the real star of the show is the oysters. With a choice of both East Coast and West Coast oysters, they are delivered fresh from all over the country and served with your choice of Jianna hot sauce or Moscato Mignonette, both made fresh in Jianna's kitchen.
Recommended for Italian because: Table 301's contribution to the Italian scene is one of the most beautifully designed businesses in Downtown Greenville.
10Best's expert tip: The oysters are the star of the show with both East and West coast oysters shipped in fresh on a regular basis.
So, technically The Farehouse does not bill itself as an Italian restaurant, opting more for "multi-cuisine" with a "new American flare". That is fair enough but, whatever you want to call it, the restaurant's pasta and pizza offerings merit a place on this list. Carbonera, Shrimp Alfredo, and Italian Sausage with Broccolini are just a few of the pasta dishes made with the freshest local ingredients you will find. New York style pizzas and Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan are Italian enough that you cannot have this conversation without The Farehouse being a part of it. A super hip location inside Taylors Mill next to 13 Stripes Brewery does not hurt the appeal either.
Recommended for Italian because: While technically a "multi-cuisine" restaurant with a "new American flare," The Firehouse's pasta and pizza offerings are too good not to be on this list.
10Best's expert tip: Leave time for exploration of Taylor's Mill before or after your meal as there are some really creative businesses that call the mill home.
The Augusta Road area serves up a ton of dining options without the headaches of finding parking in Downtown Greenville. For an Italian option, look no further than Davani's in McDaniel Village for a great selection of pasta dishes and authentic Italian entrees. Pasta dinners range from the classic Fettuccine Alfredo to the exquisite White Truffle & Porcini Ravioli. For heavier fare, you cannot go wrong with the Osso Buco Milanese or the Muscovy Duck, a huge fan favorite. An extensive wine list means you can find the perfect pairing for your meal with options available for any taste and budget.
Recommended for Italian because: Davani's is the place to go for Italian dining on Augusta Road.
Brett's expert tip: You'll need a reservation on weekends - call ahead or reserve online through their website.
Serving the Upstate for more than 20 years, Portofino's is somewhat of a Greenville institution. Located on Orchard Park Drive, Portofino's has one of the biggest pasta menus in town, offering up all of the Italian classics you can dream of. Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna, Ravioli, Manicotti, and all the Italian comfort foods you can think of are all on the menu for a classic Italian meal. They also offer veggie substitutions for gluten-free versions of many of their dishes, making this a diet-friendly establishment for people with particular restrictions that may generally keep them from enjoying an Italian meal.
Recommended for Italian because: Portofino's has an expansive menu, offering both classic Italian dishes and inventive takes on old favorites.
10Best's expert tip: Portofino's doesn't take reservations, so arrive early if you've got a large party (before 7pm is ideal).
How good is Luna Rosa's gelato? Good enough to prompt a "just like I had in Italy" comparison by anyone qualified to make such an assessment. No one trick pony, the restaurant's dine-in menu features a wide assortment of house-made pizzas and pasta including comfort food classics like baked ziti, four-layer lasagna, and baked ravioli, all served with "the family gravy," a classic red sauce with some closely guarded secrets. Chicken Scallopini Marsala and Shrimp Scampi, and Rack of Lamb are also available for those looking for heartier fare and, at the end of it all, Greenville's best gelato is just a few steps away.
Recommended for Italian because: Luna Rosa may be best known for its gelato but its pizza and pasta options are not to be overlooked.
Brett's expert tip: Don't let the line for gelato scare you off - sit down dining is served separately from the gelato counter.
Every day it seems like Downtown Greer serves up yet another reason to visit and the opening of L'Incanto just adds to that list. Just opening this year, L'Incanto brings Northern Italian cuisine to the now bustling Downtown Greer with some seriously creative dishes. For example, check out the Bolognese which combines a pork and veal shank ragu with bone marrow over pappardelle pasta. For a seafood option, look no further than the Risotto Pescatore where shrimp, mussels, calamari, and Spanish chorizo are served over risotto. The list goes on and on with L'Incanto making for a fantastic new addition to the Upstate Italian dining scene.
Recommended for Italian because: L'Incanto brings seriously good Northern Italian cuisine to Downtown Greer.
10Best's expert tip: Parking on E. Poinsett St. is limited so be prepared for a short walk from one of Downtown Greer's nearby public lots.
My recent visit to Limoncello saw me almost not make it to the entrée as the list of antipasti options had us dining on Fried Calamari, Ricotta Toast, House Meatballs, and Fried Mozzarella. I persevered, however, and found room for the scallops served with herb mascarpone risotto, crispy broccolini, and lemon butter. Everything was delicious and I look forward to going back for the cannelloni, pappardelle, and capellini on the pasta menu and again for the house made pizzas. Limoncello is the Larkin's organizations contribution to the Italian dining market and they are doing an outstanding job of things there.
Recommended for Italian because: Limoncello is the Larkin's organization's contribution to the Italian scene and they have hit a home run with it.
10Best's expert tip: The outside seating area is perfect for happy hour (4-7pm), especially on Thursdays when live music is scheduled.
For the perfect Northern Italian dining experience, look no further than Ristorante Bergamo, a staple of Downtown Greenville since 1986 when, quite frankly, the city's Main Street was at its lowest point. Ristorante Bergamo's commitment to quality Italian cuisine has resulted in more than 30 years worth of great dishes coming out of their kitchen. The daily specials are the highlight of the day here with a fresh catch of the day, special beef cuts, a weekly selection of imported meats and cheeses, and daily risotto specials all deserving of your attention every time you walk in the door. For a risotto addict like myself, every visit to Ristorante Bergamo is a delightful one.
Recommended for Italian because: Ristorante Bergamo has been a constant on Main Street since 1986, dependably turning out delightful Italian cuisine.
Brett's expert tip: Try to get a table near the front windows, for optimal people-watching.
For anniversaries, birthdays, or any other reason that calls for celebration, you cannot beat Trattoria Giorgio. This is Italian fine dining at its absolute best and every visit promises to make memories you will hold for years to come. Classics like Pappardelle Bolognese and Veal Scallopini Picatta will blow your mind, as will more inventive selections like the Ravioli di Spinachi e Noce â" a ravioli stuffed with spinach and walnuts and served in a cream sauce. All of this pairs nicely with an impressive wine list and finishes with a Tiramisu or Mousse al Cioccolato for the perfect Italian dining experience.
Recommended for Italian because: The Italian fine dining experience at Trattoria Giorgio is unparalleled.
Brett's expert tip: When the weather is nice, elevate the experience by dining al fresco in the restaurant's garden.
The best restaurants are often the most unassuming and that was never more true in the case of Giovanni's. Nestled in a cozy corner of a strip mall on Woodruff Rd., nothing about Giovanni's outward appearance begs for your attention. Inside, however, you will find a new meaning for the word "cozy" paired with some of Greenville's best Italian cuisine. Enjoy Italian classics like Linguine with Clam Sauce (your choice red or white), Chicken Parmigiana, and Veal Marsala for the ultimate dining experience. The restaurant is small and they do not take reservations so get there early to avoid too much of wait â" or enjoy the wait with a nice glass of Italian wine at the bar.
Recommended for Italian because: Giovanni's has long been Greenville's go-to spot for authentic Italian cuisine.
Brett's expert tip: They don't take reservations so get there early (or late) to keep your wait time to a minimum.