Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Rise of the Casual Italian: Giacomo's

The corner of Westheimer and Bammel has been a revolving door of restaurants over the past several years... Sausalito, Palazzo’s, Pan y Agua. All epic fails. Now the space is Giacomo’s, a casual Italian eatery offering hot and cold dishes and drinks at reasonable prices.

The once-dingy space has been converted into a light-filled sanctuary, sort of a modern 70’s look with its mint green tables and color splashed walls: There’s a bar for a pre-meal prosecco, a small outdoor area for when the weather allows, and an accommodating staff for all your questions and needs. But of course, the real draw is the food.

Take the minestrone soup, for example. It’s a clean and delicious combination, heavy on the carrots and kale, swimming in a complex vegetarian broth that’s made in house daily. And then there’s the orecchiette, ear-shaped pasta topped with broccoli rabe and lamb meatballs in a light, brothy sauce. The pasta, itself, is good, but the stand-out is the super-spiced waterfall of lamb meatballs which add just the right kick to the otherwise vanilla dish.

The real show-stealer, though, is the half-moon pasta filled with Swiss chard and goat cheese in a sage butter sauce. The handmade pasta packets have that exact texture we wish every noodle could emulate, and the creamy, flavorful filling provides just the right accompaniment. Simple, satisfying, dreamy.

So lovely was my experience that I placed a to-go order on my way out the door to use as my next day’s lunch (and dinner): four of the vegetable sides for $10. Cauliflower with hazelnuts and capers, beets with gorgeous chunks of goat cheese, crisp carrots in a vinaigrette, and a colorful array of roasted peppers -- all of it prepared from scratch daily. I was the envy of the lunch room.

Giacomo’s - 3215 Westheimer at Bammel Lane


Fat Baby said...

that sounds fantastic, that I'm bumping it up to the top of my "must try" list!

Jim said...

I had the Papardelle del Telefono (?) this week at lunch and it was amazing. So simple, so good. I can't wait to go back.

Ruthie Johnson said...

- Fat Baby, really hope you made your way there... Let me know if you enjoyed it.
- Jim, so glad you like it, too! I'll have to try the Papardelle on my next trip.