DINING OUT: GIACOMO’S
BY MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK & ANNA SPIVAK
It’s all in the family at Giacomo’s Wood Fired Pizza and Trattoria, according to Giacomo Santangelo, who grew up a part of his father’s business at the now shuttered Scotti’s Pizza on Fifth Avenue and, years later, opened his own top-notch trattoria in the heart of Bay Ridge.
“We’re like one big family here,” said Santangelo, a father of three from Dyker Heights who, despite ditching the restaurant industry for a business gig in Manhattan, returned with a passion in September, 2011 for the opening of Third Avenue’s Giacomo’s. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of Bay Ridge, and I couldn’t wait to get back into the business.”
It’s not about the gimmicks, said Santangelo, whose menu offers up nothing but the best at unbeatable prices.
“It’s a casual dining experience,” he said. “Sure, our menu prices could be higher, but we don’t want that. We don’t want you to come here once a month; we want you to come here twice a week.”
Giacomo’s sure has its locals, he said, many of whom come craving their faves – from the Italian Tuna Salad (romaine lettuce topped with tuna, corn, chick peas and tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette) for only $12.95 to the classic Margherita Brick Oven Pizza (12”- $10.40; 16” – $14.50).
We sampled the Calamari Oreganata ($12.95) to start. Baked in the eatery’s wood fired oven, it’s tender with the perfect bite and, paired with a rich marinara sauce, is likely to please just about anyone’s palette.
The Eggplant Napoli antipasto ($9.95) featured diced, warm eggplant atop tangy black olives, basil and a touch of marinara sauce. This savory appetizer hit all the bases with flavor, combining salty, rich and sweet.
Then came a customer favorite, the Calzonetti ($8.95), featuring three miniature cheese calzones and served with a marinara dipping sauce. The soft, rich ricotta filling contrasted with the outer doughy, crispy shell.
Next, we tried two of the eatery’s over 20 pasta dishes. The aptly named Penne Vodka Giacomo ($16.50) featured penne pasta, grilled chicken and peas floating in a sea of rich and creamy vodka sauce. The Linguine Estate ($16.50), studded with fresh shrimp, cherry tomato and arugula, was smooth and rich enough to make us want seconds, though Giacomo’s friendly portions left us feeling more than satisfied.
For entrees, we enjoyed the Shrimp Sinatra (sautéed shrimp, garlic, capers, artichokes, green and black olives and fresh tomatoes, $25.95) and Chicken Balsamico (sautéed chicken, garlic mushroom Portobello, balsamic vinegar and sundried tomatoes, $20.95), both dishes paired with a delicately soft potato croquette and plate of string beans marinara.
Finally, we indulged in the Nutella Calzone ($7.95), an invention all Giacomo’s own, according to Santangelo. The sweet slice of dessert heaven is filled with rich Nutella and sweet mascarpone cheese served a la mode. The blissful dish is enough to put you over the edge and sure to have you coming back for Giacomore.
Giacomo’s Wood Fired Pizza & Trattoria
7902 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Sunday-Thursday: noon-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: noon-11 p.m.
Kids eat free from the kids’ menu on Tuesdays
Large party room; catering and delivery available