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“Tourist trap ”
Review of Giacomo

Giacomo
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Ranked #80 of 3,095 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Neighborhood: North End
Reviewed July 15, 2016 via mobile

Considering you are in a haven of Italian eateries, this place falls short of all expectations. The food is ok - nothing makes you want to scream out for more. The service is rushed and rigid, where turning tables is more important to the owners than a complete meal experience. Honestly if you find yourself in the north end, there are countless other restaurants that will satiate your craving for quality Italian but with cheaper prices, shorter waits, and much, much better service.

Date of visit: August 2015
3  Thank mcaloo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 11, 2016 via mobile

This seems to be an authentic Italian restaurant. We waited in line a little over 45 minutes, but we didnt mind. The place is very small and sometimes during our meal it was loud. If you have a problem with people getting into your personal space, then this is not the place for you. I personally enjoyed the homey atmosphere. The service was great and the food was delicious. The menu is written on a blackboard on one wall and the specials on another wall. We ordered the calamari. My husband the sword fish with pesto and linguine. I ordered the lobster, mussels, clams in red sauce and linguine. We ordered a bottle of the house wine for $20.00. I believe the total bill was apprx $78. Bring cash. This place is great and we had a wonderful time. TripAdvisor has never failed me.

Date of visit: July 2016
1  Thank CFFausti
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2016

For a great video review of the North End that includes this location look up the series on youtube channel vahidrvahidr titled "Boston Down".

This place will have a line that takes a bit, but to me it's definitely one of the best places to eat at in Boston. There is a Back Bay location as well that does take reservations, but I just have memories at this one and it's in the North End so it's special. Make sure you have cash because that's all they accept.
After some excellent caprese salad we patiently await our entrees.
My wife and I got what we normally get, the House Special - comes with shrimp,scallops,calamari,clams,mussels and lobster,served over lingiune with your choice of sauce :pesto,fra diavolo,red,giacomo or scampi

The giacomo sauce is a garlicy sauce and is what we went for.
This dish doesn't disappoint with the medley of seafood and decent amount of lobster. As a Mainer I don't like being cheated out of my lobster portion so Thank you Giacomo for having my back.

Date of visit: April 2016
1  Thank Vahid R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2016

We waited patiently for over an hour to eat as they do not take reservations. It was quite overcrowded once we got in there. Small, hot, and noisy, cash only... but if you have ever been to Italy, it is just like being there. The motto I think is to get in, eat, and get out, which works for us... it's not a place you would sit down and have drink after drink. We shared the seafood meal for two, and it was amazing. If I went back though, I would try something different. We very much enjoyed our time there and would recommend it highly.

Date of visit: July 2016
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Erica J
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2016

Dining at Giacomo's was fun, cultural/tourist experience all in one, and was well worth the wait.

We got there on a Monday evening after walking all around Boston and the North End, saw the line and figured why not. We weren't starving yet and one of us could stay and hold our place in line while the others roamed around the neighborhood. If nothing else you can go check out the offerings of Mike's Pastry which is just down the street and plan your dessert.

Ah, the line. You stand there, meet the other people, most of whom are from out of town and then bond with your common situation of hunger and drooling over what the people on the other side of the window were eating. It's kind of a fun situation.

We had three in our party, which turned out to be a tricky number to seat in this tiny, ten table restaurant. If we had two, it would have gone much faster. It's kind of heartbreaking to see parties of two behind you in line get taken first, but what can you do? If you have a large party, it will take even longer.

If you ask an employee how long the wait will be for a table, they'll tell you it will be about 45 minutes--but here's a secret. We learned from the waiter (with a nudge and a wink) that they say that to everyone regardless. He figures if you've waited 45 minutes and it still takes longer, you aren't going anywhere. And he's right!

So we waited, longer than 45 minutes, which turned out okay because by the time they seated us we were REALLY hungry.

Again, the restaurant is very tiny, so if you require a great deal of personal space or have an aversion to dining very close to strangers, this might not be the place for you.

The tables offer a direct view of the busy, hot kitchen. You could see all kinds of action going on back there which was very entertaining to watch. This place just screams authentic, family-run Italian joint. And when they started blasting the theme to The Godfather over the speakers, I about choked on my bread. (This seriously happened. It was hilarious.)

Appetizers: Garlic Bread: Yum. Crusty delicious. If you get any of the marinara sauce in any of the other appetizer, dip that crust bread and go to town. Seriously yummy and one of the best bites of the night.

Mozzarella marinara: This isn't your average mozzarella sticks with a side of frozen marinara. This are yummy squares of crispy, melty cheese swimming in one of the best and most subtle marinara sauces I can remember. It's been weeks since I had it and I'm still thinking of it. Order this!!

Entrees.
Chicken Parmesan. Yum. Crispy chicken (I hate soggy chicken parm) nice depth of flavor with a delicious sauce and side of perfectly al dente spaghetti.

Lobster Ravioli: Good, but very subtle. Super creamy sauce, maybe even a little too rich. The small pieces of tomato that garnished the dish were very welcome as a fresh, acidic element to cut through the richness.

Special pasta dish: Really good, but as I'm thinking back, I can't remember very much about it. I found myself stealing my son's chicken parm.

The service was rushed, verging on frantic. (Our waitress told us they were short staffed that evening.) The waiter serving the other tables was a bit gruff, but that didn't bother me at all. I don't mind a restaurant that is all business, and they were indeed preoccupied with getting customers in and out rather than fawning over the guests with effusive customer service.

Over all? A fun and tasty experience. If you have the time for the line, cash in your pocket and don't mind a whirlwind of a delicious Italian meal, then do it. If you want something more relaxed without the wait, there are a ton of great restaurants right on that street that don't have the lines.

Date of visit: June 2016
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank mbovary2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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