Restaurateur Giovanni Francescotti bought himself loads of goodwill simply by eliminating the garish exterior of the former Chu/Layl'a Rul space between Midtown restaurants Boundry and South Street. Instead Francescotti keeps to a tasteful Tuscan theme both inside and out at Giovanni, the opulent two-story Italian restaurant he opened in late November 2008. It's an offshoot of the Northern Italian native's 15-year-old Manhattan restaurant of the same name, which closed in spring 2009. A frequent Nashville visitor through the years, Francescotti brings both big-city aspirations - and, it could be argued - big-city prices to Italian cooking, with $20-plus for pasta dishes. A fine plate of pasta it is, though. And the restaurant's service staff should satisfy diners in the mood to be pampered. Other menu highlights: risotto with lamb shank, orrechiette (ear-shaped pasta with Italian sausage, cauliflower and fennel seeds), beef short ribs, salumi (cured meats) and sausage and peppers appetizers, and tiramisu for dessert. And the bar serves a mean made in-house limoncello.