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Good Food, Friends Part Of Appeal At The Waters Edge at Giovanni's

Sal and JoAnn Latorraca own and operate The Waters Edge at Giovanni's on the Stamford/Darien border.
Sal and JoAnn Latorraca own and operate The Waters Edge at Giovanni's on the Stamford/Darien border. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. – JoAnn and Sal Latorraca have a standing invitation for neighbors to come to their Darien home for dinner any night of the week. It is that atmosphere that has made their “home,” The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s, one of the most enduring restaurants in the community.

“We take providing great customer experience personally,’’ said JoAnn, whose father started the business in 1987 at 2748 Boston Post Road, on the Stamford/Darien border. “We want our customers to enjoy the experience of being here. It’s like you were invited to our home, and we’re here to serve you.”

Service, food and overall customer experience are what keeps guests coming back to The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s. Whether it’s the beef, seafood, appetizers or wine selection, customers know they are getting quality.

“We’re family-owned and run,’’ Sal said. “We butcher our own meats, and it’s all hand-trimmed by our staff. That’s not something we want someone else to do. The beef is all Certified Angus Beef, and that’s the only thing we buy. We’re in the Certified Angus program and they come in and inspect that we’re using their meat.”

The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s provides the freshest seafood, Sal said, because there is no middle person. “We get our clams and oysters direct,’’ he said. “We’re able to bring a fresh product to the table. Our clams and oysters have been harvested that day or the day before.”

“Our meals always include a salad and a side order,’’ Sal added. “A lot of places these days are a la carte. We’re giving people a great value and a great meal. We’ve been doing that for 25 years.”

Repeat business has been one the keys to the restaurant’s enduring success. Some guests may have come for banquets, wedding receptions or other social functions – the facility hosts parties ranging from 20 to 600 people – but their bread and butter, so to speak, is the core restaurant business. Sometimes that business transcends generations.

“We have people in their 20s and 30s, and they want their kids to experience the tradition,’’ JoAnn said. “There was a 9-year-old recently who was trying a Porterhouse steak. His father wanted his son to experience it with us. Restaurant legacy experience drives part of our crowd.”

The restaurant scene in Stamford has seen a lot of players since the restaurant opened. The Latorracas have been in direct competition against some big chains with corporate support and deep-pocket advertising budgets. The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s counters with great food, service and owners who are delighted to welcome you.

“People like trying new things and sometime it hurts us for a small period of time,’’ Sal said. “But they come back. If you stay consistent and give them good value and service, and a friendly atmosphere, they’ll return. I think it helps that at our restaurant you’ll see the owner. That helps grow our business.”

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