Osteria Gioia has intrigued me for a while now and while driving past it regularly, it has seduced me into trying it. Knowing nothing about the history, just looking through the perfectly square window into this tunnel-like restaurant which always looks too busy. Too much to resist for a man like me, so I rang up and made a reservation.

High end Italian is the offering and it is very good. Fine Italian cooking, well presented, with good attention to detail. I started with the Buffallo Mozarella which was good, and big enough for 2, followed by the pasta with Porcini mushrooms and Truffle sauce. Quite delicious, I could have eaten more of the pasta and less of the starter. The service was sharp, attentive and well timed, with good attention to detail. The restaurant is on 2 floors with the non-smoking area upstairs, which is a great plus.

Although I wanted to sit near that window I had been looking through on my drive by’s, the non-smokers are upstairs. Modern furnishings with simple uncluttered lines, pleasing on the eye and comfortable.

The menu is comprehensive and all looks very mouthwatering, to this point I have only made the one visit, so I am planning a return soon to try more of the extensive menu. A good looking wine list heavily focused on Italian wines, looks well balanced and well put together, covering a broad cross section of wine styles. One though could seriously ramp up the cost of the bill if to take full advantage of this selection. The prices generally are at the upper end of the Bucharest restaurant market, although fair as the quality of the complete offering lives up to it.

The restaurant is easy to reach, being located on 16 Ion Mihalache Blvd.

For reservation call 021 31 37 50. More details here.