Venue Review: Giacomo's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant
The Charlotte Observer
10230 Berkeley Place Drive, in Pinnacle Point.
When I think of Giacomo, I think of the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner. The stallion Giacomo won as a 50-1 long shot. I'd give odds that Giacomo's the restaurant would place and show.
In fact, Giacomo's made it to the Elite Eight in the Observer's Tournament of Pizza this spring.
Here's something else to like: Giacomo's is wallet-friendly. Even after ordering salad, a slice of pizza, pasta and veal, I made my $25 budget for dinner for two with pennies to spare.
If atmosphere was something you could eat, Giacomo's should put theirs on the menu. Garlic and tomato aromas drift through a dining room painted the color of pale orange sherbet. It was obvious the silk grape leaves and vines weren't real, but they made the dining area feel cozy and intimate.
Giacomo's, open almost two years, is co-owned by Italian natives Salvatore Illiano and Giacomo Virgadamo.
The pizza crust is chewy, but not overly so. If you order a slice of pepperoni, don't attack it the moment it comes to the table. The cheese and pepperoni will head south, down your hand and onto the table. Putting everything back onto the slice showed led me to see the kitchen didn't skimp on the topping.
Giacomo's lasagna features thin sheets of pasta on ground beef. Tomato sauce and mozzarella were piled on top, where the cheese melted and sort of shrink-wrapped itself onto the pasta, ensuring gooey goodness in every bite.
A small antipasto salad with capicola ham, salami and provolone spiraled together was a good companion to the lasagna.
The veal in the scaloppini don Giacomo wasn't exactly fork-tender, but it wasn't too tough, either. The dish included artichokes, mushrooms and green peppers in a sauce with strong lemon overtones.