355 Hanover Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02113
(617) 523 – 9026
Open Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm; Sun 4pm-9:30pm
I vividly walking by this restaurant when I was with family and showing them around Boston, and had originally wanted to eat here, hearing that it was a very good restaurant, but decided not to due to the absurdly long wait. What a poor decision that was a few years ago. This time I went with a small group of friends, and luckily seating time was less that 30 minutes.
Even before entering, you can already see that it is a tiny establishment. There are only about 8 or 9 tables in the restaurant, and a small section of the bar that is open to seating. So this place really doesn’t hold that many people at one time, so you can assume that table turnover is pretty quick, so this isn’t exactly a place where you want to have a long chatty dinner. Continuing on that, it was definitely not quiet inside, with such close proximity between the tables AND the open kitchen, this place is NOT for the claustrophobic. But the open kitchen is definitely something that was very interesting, you can really see the chefs preparing the food, and it allows you to see just how freshly prepared everything is, and also the handiwork of the staff. The waitstaff were very nice, though it took a little while to get a replacement fork, it was understandable because of such a busy restaurant. Overall I like the semi dim atmosphere, it had a real homey feel to it.
This is where the stars come out. Beginning with the bread, it wasn’t extraordinary, but it was quite good with butter, fairly standard except the bread was slightly heartier than what I am usually accustomed to. Now onto the appetizers. The mozzarella sticks were AMAZING. Now it seems like a very simple concept, breading pieces of mozzarella cheese, frying up these pieces, then finally putting these strips into hot marinara sauce. But somehow these sticks were absolutely astounding, and must absolutely be eaten while still hot and gooey. Next up came the calamari. The calamari was pretty much standard calamari, with both the rings and the tentacle pieces. Nothing really special about their calamari, except that they put in battered and fried pickled jalapenos or banana peppers in with the calamari, which was an interesting and appreciated touch. Onto the entrees! These are definitely the main course! I got the mussels, clams and half lobster over linguini with Giacomo sauce (lobster based red with a touch of bechamel). The seafood was extremely fresh, and the mussels and clams were not chewy at all. The sauce was also the right amount of flavorful, and the lobster was of a good size, definitely not a runt lobster. I also had the honor of trying the lobster ravioli, which I might actually have liked more than my own dish! It was in a white sauce and was absolutely delicious. There were generous amounts of lobster in each pocket, and the raviolis were huge! Definitely a good deal at the restaurant as I walked away with an insane food coma.
I definitely enjoyed my experience at Giacomo’s and would definitely return if I wanted to have Italian food and seafood. Though personally I am not all that into rich foods, their food tasted well balanced, and very well priced, as my lobster dish was roughly $20, and as you can see from my pictures, the amount of seafood was quite generous. Since the portions are pretty big, I suggest splitting dishes with you companions or date so you can survive until dessert, which none of us could fancy.