After a long day at work, my friends and I were starving, which led to a series of recommendations that didn't lead anywhere. That is, until we stumbled upon Giovanni Rana's at Regent's Place, just a stone's throw away from Great Portland Street Station. Ready to eat just about anything and everything at that point, our stomach lead us into this pastificio.
Rana's has a large open plan dining area decorated quite modernly.
We came at an off time, around 3pm; not quite lunch and too early to be dinner service, so the restaurant was fairly empty. They actually have a pretty large dining area, with an attached separate dining area able to be booked out for private events. Soft music played quietly in the background, matched by equally soft lighting that creates a warm and inviting environment.
What might not be so inviting is the service. Upon being seated, our server treated us in a way that left my friends and I confused as to if he was being dismissive and insulting or just trying to be efficient. There were other times when our drinks would run empty, and when we would try to get any server's attention, it was almost as if they were ignoring us! I had to resort to topping up my own glass from my personal water bottle that I happened to be carrying around with me.
The pappardelle with duck ragu....was so hungry that I couldn't wait to take a picture when it first came out!
Wait staff aside, the food was incredible. Since they boast about their pasta, I felt compelled to try it for myself. I ordered the duck ragu, and it came less than ten minutes after ordering, which really speaks to how fresh the pasta was. I was served a mountain of unbelievably fresh and tender pasta, perfectly coated with the tasty duck ragu.
Another point that might make people hesitate before trying Rana's restaurant is the cost. Rana's is a bit more expensive than your typical Bella Italia, Strada, or other commonplace Italian joint. That being said though, I mentioned earlier how starving I was, and I was only able to finish half of the portion they gave me! So portion wise, you really are getting your money's worth (especially if you take the rest home in a takeaway box for later!).
Long story short, would I eat here again? Definitely, but I would maybe just stick to takeaway or delivery so that I can avoid the slight pitfalls that Giovanni Rana's does have.