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Discount Dining: Giacomo's Cibo e Vino

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Last month, Nicholas Hall found out that Giacomo's Cibo e Vino is surprisingly kid-friendly. I never would have thought it would be, considering wine is in its name. With a $40 voucher in hand from Houston Entree and an idea of what I wanted to order, I was eager to try it after having driven by this ever-changing location so many times.

During the early evening, the restaurant was still empty, with just a few tables occupied. I was glad about the restaurant's switch to table service, since I like to have a seat and be able to relax and peruse the menu at my own leisure. And this is one menu you want to read through. Although the prices seem low, the little tapas-style dishes do add up. Ordering wisely can definitely stretch $40, and two people can leave more than satisfied.

I knew we had to order the Tortelli di Bietola, Swiss chard and goat cheese ravioli in sage butter. Any review on Giacomo's mentions this dish and with good reason. The fresh, made-in-house ravioli was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was not overwhelmed by the fragrant herb.

We also ordered the Trota alla Garfagnana, the grilled whole rainbow trout with rosemary and lemon, and paired it with vegetable sides of rapini and brussel sprouts. The fish was served with the head on, sealing in the juices leaving the meat very moist; it was expertly de-boned and grilled. While fish skin can sometimes be unappetizing, this was crisp and not at all slimy or "fishy."

The little side of herbed olive oil was not needed but delicious. Both vegetable dishes were solid. The rapini had generous amounts of crispy garlic bits, and the Brussels sprouts still had a crunch to them, as did the pancetta bits strewn throughout.

Would I dine at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino without a discount? Absolutely. It is a charming place with fresh and simple but flavorful food.

As we finished our early dinner, the restaurant began to fill up. There were mostly couples, but in the corner there was a table with three ladies chatting away as their kids played around in their chairs. Giacomo's really is kid-friendly.


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