Giacomo’s: A Go-To You’ve Got to Get To
It’s 2:30 p.m. on a Thursday, and my parents have just arrived from New York. They are hungry and want to sit on a patio to enjoy the spring sunshine. My dad wants Italian food and my mom wants prosecco. Giacomo’s.
A client asks if we can meet at a restaurant instead of her Galleria office for a working lunch. We need room to spread out, and lots of vegetarian options. Giacomo’s.
After searching every “Top 10” and “hottest restaurant” list we can find online, my husband and I decide to stay home and cook for our wedding anniversary. We just want great Italian food with a wine list that won’t break the bank yet nothing inspires us, until we remember--Giacomo’s!
Let’s dispense with the obvious—the food at Giacomo’s is excellent. My Italian grandmother would approve; my Italian father definitely approves. What makes Giacomo’s special to me—the reason I love it there so much--is their magical ability to be “the perfect spot” no matter the occasion. Whether it’s a dressed-to-the-nines dinner before an evening at the theater or a last-minute, post-Christmas shopping lunch in jeans and Converse, I feel completely at home at Giacomo’s. We’re always greeted warmly by the staff—frequently owner Lynette Hawkins herself—and often gently scolded by our favorite waiter when we stay away too long.
(Oh, and did I mention the competitively-priced wine list? Unique and varied options that pair perfectly with the wide-ranging food menu, all at astonishingly reasonable prices.)
I asked owner Lynette Hawkins to share her secret recipe for creating such a warm, welcoming environment and she said the most important ingredient in her success is people—both her staff, and her customers whom she describes as “amazing, like family”. “I think I just got really lucky,” said Hawkins, on a short break during a very busy lunch hour. “I hire people who are very good at what they do, and make our guests feel welcome. They are attentive, making recommendations and pointing out what’s new on the menu, and customers love that. Also, our customers themselves are amazing; we are fortunate to attract wonderful people, and they make this place feel like home away from home. Plus, with a dog-friendly patio, we attract a lot of dog-lovers, and in my experience dog lovers are the best people!”
While the food is indeed outstanding, with a focus on fresh local fare (Ratatouille Marti! Shrimp diavolo! That porchetta e fagioli! And I haven’t even mentioned the house-made pasta), what keeps me coming back to Giacomo’s is that family feeling I get each and every time I step through their door. For a Yankee who still considers herself a “Newstonian” that’s an even bigger deal than the wine list.