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“Great pasta”

Giacomo's Restaurant
Ranked #30 of 3,263 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
Neighborhood: North End
Reviewed November 21, 2013

Ilove their pasta! However there's always a huge line-up and if you are unlucky, they keep skipping you saying they got the table which suits the number of party that's in the line behind you.

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Thank gonta6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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726 - 730 of 1,295 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

There has been a lot of talk about this place so it was time for me to personally check it out. The restaurant is generally small holding about 40 or more at tables and two at their small bar. For first time diners here note that there is usually a waiting line outside so you might need to get there before your stomach starts to growl. The cruelness of the line is that there is a floor to ceiling window across the front of the restaurant so you cannot miss any of the dishes being served or the reactions of satisfied customers. They offer a variety of Italian based dishes that include seafood/fish, chicken and veal. Beef in general is a forgotten child here … no steaks and no meatballs. The menu is posted on a very large chalkboard on one wall similar to Carmine’s in New York. They offer only three pasta options (linguine, fettuccini and ziti) which you can get with chicken, shellfish, etc. They also offer five sauces (fra diavolo, giacomo, pesto, red and scampi). The prices are reasonable and when you see the size of the portion you will know why it’s a great value. They also have a smaller chalk board on the adjacent wall with the special of the day.

My waiter appeared to be a veteran of the restaurant as he was charming and conversant with the young ladies but basically gave me the vibs to tell him what I wanted and don’t waste his time asking questions. A kind of Robert De Nero in Taxi Driver moment … Are you talking to me? Lol! With his demeanor he’d make a good pizzeria owner back in NJ. I went with a house salad ($4), small fried calamari ($7), and veal parmigiana over linguine with the fra diavolo sauce. They serve you decent round Italian bread in quarter-chunks that was tasty, room temperature and had several exterior burn marks on the outer crust. I complimented my meal with some house Chianti. When the food began to make its way to my table my waiter seemed to “throw” the food at me … I get it, it is his style to show you who’s the boss. The salad was nice and the calamari was tender but a tad undercooked with a nice dipping sauce on the side. My veal was generous in size, very tender and tasty. The linguine which was served on the side had a great fra diavolo sauce but was just a bit over cooked.

FYI, this is a “cash only” restaurant and seating can be a bit tight. I sat next to two younger Cuban ladies from Miami who really enjoyed their meal. I mentioned that I had Cuban dogs called Havanese but they never heard of them … interesting. I asked if they ever heard of Havana and also got a deer in the headlights look. At that point I stopped asking questions.

The total tab with tax and 25% tip was $50. I didn’t have anything less than a $50 bill so rather than ask for $2 back and get a stare down so I opted to look at the upside of the transaction as the cost of doing business. The extra tip % was the ante for the waiter to become friendly and suggest a few “hidden jewels” for espresso and Italian pastries.

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Thank MrOcho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

Here's the need-to-knows. This is some of the best food you'll ever have. The food is incredibly priced (average entrée is $14). The service is excellent. This is a cash only joint. Like all restaurants in the area, it is incredibly small and you CANNOT wait for a table inside. They do not take reservations. It opens at 4:30. If you want to eat before 6 PM, get there by 4 PM. It's WORTH THE WAIT (although, in the winter, it can be brutal). My favorites? The calamari and the butternut squash ravioli.

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1  Thank Pir8targh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

I have been past this place a few times and there is always a queue so when I walked past recently and there was practically no queue and I was looking for somewhere to eat - I though why not. The food is decent - home style Italian - big servings - quick service. Pasta is fresh the mostly seafood sauces also fresh - but I am struggling to understand how this place is so highly rated. My started of broccoli was nice - certainly not overcooked - but was like a main size dish - far too much - and it was swimming in the garlic sauce.
The linguine Frutti Di Mare - was good - except the prawns/shrimp were overcooked and tasteless - the clams and mussels were very good - so I would advise just go for that option which is available.
The Garlic bread has cheese on it - not necessary.
The wine is cheap - and for a reason - the Wolf Blass Shiraz is about $5.50 per glass and I think it sells for that much back in Australia - but for a bottle.
It is not bad - and decent value for money - but I would not queue for this.
Note: they only accept cash.

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Thank LassiComeHome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

My husband and I were on our first trip to Boston and wanted to eat in Little Italy. Our daughter had been there and recommended Giacomo's. I read a review that stated that the wait time could be up to 2 hours so we decided to get there when they opened at 4:30. There was already a party of 13 people ahead of us. The place is small so it's a little tight but the food is so good that it's worth it. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We had fried calamari for an appetizer which was very good. I had linguine with shrimp and scallops in marinara sauce. It was delicious. Make sure you have money with you because they don't accept debit or credit cards. There is an ATM right across the street. When we were leaving there was a long line waiting to get in. A couple of people stopped us and asked if it was worth it and we said "Definitely". Eat at Giacomo's and enjoy.

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Thank Pam A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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