West of Minneapolis in Wayzata, Minn., the storied Gianni's Steakhouse offers carefully sourced steaks in a casual environment. Opened in 1996, Gianni’s nearly closed as a result of financial hardships brought on by the 2008 recession. In 2011, then-manager Terri Huml Fox bought the restaurant. Since then, Huml Fox and her team have focused on maintaining the quality of the historic spot and preserving its status as a popular dining experience for locals.
After earning its first Restaurant Award in 2017, Gianni’s was soon upgraded to Best of Award of Excellence for the wine list of nearly 400 labels managed by chef and wine director Steven Vranian, who joined the team in 2010. Having spent several years in Northern California, Vranian built the wine list around Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, including selections from top producers like Chateau Montelena, Caymus and Schrader Cellars. American Pinot Noirs also make a noted appearance alongside classic French and Italian selections. The list also features bottles from lesser-known grape varieties such as Tannat, Tressallier and Refosco.
For the menu, Vranian sources its USDA Prime, black angus steaks through a partnership with Creekstone Farms. Other popular dishes that have been staples on Gianni’s menu include Caesar salad spun tableside, potatoes papalette and beef-tip pasta. Along with a newly updated covered patio for outdoor dining, the restaurant is open for limited indoor dining following local protocols for COVID safety.