Last night I went out for dinner at Giacomo's in Boston's South End. One of my friends had raved to me on several occasions about the excellent Italian food at Giacomo's, but I've always been turned off by the long line outside of their North End location. Estimated wait time for a table there can be anywhere between 30 minutes to well over an hour.
Fortunately, Giacomo's has a South End location that is less well-known by the tourists, has minimal wait time, and reportedly has food quality on par with their North End location.
For an appetizer we chose the fried calamari which received a large number of good reviews on Yelp. Although not amazing, this dish was decent - the calamari was chewy without being rubbery, and the batter was not too heavy
For entrees there was one stand-out choice that we knew was a MUST, given that almost every Yelp reviewer had positive things to say about it: the butternut squash ravioli. This dish completely lived up to the reviews. The creamy sauce (mascarpone cream with asparagus and prosciutto) was a perfect pairing for the naturally sweet butternut squash filling of the ravioli.
Pictured again is the butternut squash ravioli with an extra dash of Parmesan - which Souheil added to make the picture "more photogenic"
Our second entree was the grilled tuna, which I requested to be prepared rare:
The tuna was accompanied by a potato cake, grilled vegetables, and red wine truffle sauce:
Souheil chose dessert, which was delicious - but I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't remember what it was called. To top it off, after extensive online searching, I couldn't find a single version of the Giacomo's menu that included the dessert selection
Creamy and similar to frozen custard in consistency, dessert looked like a large chocolate truffle, with a topping of raw almonds and cocoa powder. The interior was multi-layered, with the outside a chocolate flavor, and the inside a creamy multi-dimensional flavor that is difficult to describe
Of note, the few bad Yelp reviews of Giacomo's that I read were primarily targeted at the poor service. Once again, the Yelp reviewers were spot-on. I'm not exaggerating when I say that service was terrible. Not only did we feel pressured and time-crunched by the server to make our dinner selections after only several minutes, but on multiple occasions we had a tremendous amount of difficulty getting his attention. Finally, to cap off the evening, before we had completed our meal, the valet went home with Souheil's car keys in his pocket.
It took a bit of effort to track those down, but Souheil was finally reunited with his keys, and we were able to go home - with less than positive things to say about the entire staff
Overall rating: 6/10 (fantastic food but WORST service ever)
431 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02116