Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Life: Giacomo's Ristorante vs. Ristorante Lucia

 When making an itinerary for a trip, I very rarely include specific places to eat.  If I do, it's for a very good reason.  This held true when I planned our trip to Boston.  Well, almost.

There was one restaurant that I knew we had to try while on our trip.  That place was Giacomo's Ristorante in the famous North End of Boston.  When researching "the best restaurant" in the city, Giacomo's is what came up every single time.  As if this wasn't enough to convince me, Giacomo is my father and grandfather's name so eating there quickly became a sealed deal.

I pre-planned meeting up with my cousin a Boston resident at Giacomo's for the night that we arrived.  While trying to find our destination in the North End, we passed another restaurant called Ristorante Lucia.  My daughter immediately insisted that we had to eat at HER restaurant since we were eating at Nonno's.  That's when the competition began.

the best place to eat italian food in the north end of boston

Giacomo's Ristorante (link) | Boston | MA

Upon arrival, I was immediately annoyed with Giacomo's.  Since they are one of the most popular spots in Boston, they're INSANELY busy.  They don't take reservations and they won't even let you put your name down for a table.  Instead, they make everyone wait in a single file line until it is their turn to be seated.  After waiting on this ridiculous line, I asked the hostess to sit us outside because, you know, COVID.  She told me that she has one table available and it's inside.  If I don't want it, get back to the end of the line.  Needless to say, I agreed to eat inside and immediately regretted it.  It was cramped, packed, and our own table wasn't even big enough to fit our meals.

Not wanting to ruin our first night in Boston, I remained optimistic.  We ordered glasses of wine for the three adults and calamari for the table.  Before the appetizers came out, they wanted our dinner order which we gave.  Ladies and gentlemen, our wine, appetizers, and our dinner came at almost the exact same time.  There wasn't enough room on the table and the waitress started HUFFING that my husband wouldn't take his dish.  He finally said to her a lot nicer than he should have, "Would you like me to put that on my lap?".  She continued to hover until my daughter gulped down the calamari and made room for his dish.

So far they fail for a ridiculous seating system, poor service, and unheard of seating arrangements.  Now, let's talk about the food.  I'll start with this.  My family are off the boat Sicilians.  I'm also from Long Island, an Italian foodie destination.  Knowing all that, I'll say that this place was OK.  That's a compliment coming from me about Italian food.  I ordered the linguine with scallops in pesto sauce and I also tried their grilled octopus.  The octopus was chewy, but the sauce was good.  The pasta dish was alright.  

When we were about halfway done, the waitress put the bill on the table and said "No rush".  No rush, my ass!!!!

the best place to eat italian food in the north end of boston

Ristorante Lucia (link) | Boston | Massachusetts

While we started our trip with Giacomo's, we ended it with Ristorante Lucia in honor of my daughter's name.  This Italian restaurant was nowhere near as crowded as Giacomo's which made me a little hesitant at first.  The low crowds ended up being a blessing.  We were seated right away and was accommodated with our request for outdoor seating with just one caveat.  You can't order hard liquor drinks outside, instead you can only have beer or wine.  This may have been a negative for some, but this totally worked for me!

The kind and PATIENT waiter walked us through the menu, made recommendations, and even engaged in some small talk with us.  While we were sipping our wine and enjoying our appetizers, the owner of the restaurant came outside to engage with the customers as well.  This was Lucia herself!  She was warm, welcoming, and engaged in a lovely, brief conversation as well.

Now, let's talk food.  I ordered something called Mare E Monte which basically means land and sea.  It was a pasta dish with a tomato based sauce.  It had mushrooms from the land and clams from the sea.  Despite being an Italian food snob, I have to admit that this was one of the best dishes I've had in a long time!  It was delicious.  The kiddies ate all of their spaghetti and meatballs, which is saying something because they're both meatball snobs.  My husband loved his so much that I think he fell in his dish.

At the end, the waiter asked for our opinions and offered any other services that he could provide.  When he was satisfied with our satisfaction, he handed over the check, thanked us, and wished us a safe trip back home.

What is the best restaurant in Boston?

Ok, so I can't talk for the entire city, but, I can say without a doubt that it's NOT Giacomo's.

Raviolis & Waterworks is giving the win to Ristorante Lucia for service, environment, and food!

Next time you're in the North End, skip the line at Giacomo's and walk the extra few feet to Ristorante Lucia.  Trust me when I say that you'll be thanking me.

Were you ever let down by good reviews?


  1. Your son in that pic! Lol!!!! Great reviews of both restaurants. I’m so glad you found Lucia’s. Was the owner tickled that it’s your daughter’s name, too? I HATE when they bring the app with the meal . . . So rude! That’s unusual about the outdoor drinking. I’ve never heard of that, but I guess the liquor license must be different for inside/outside?

    1. LOL That's the face you get when you ask a three year old to wait a second to eat his meatball. hahaha

      Yes, the owner loved that! Especially when my daughter told her "My restaurant is better than my Nonno's". The owner was like hmm I thought this was my restaurant. lol I haven't heard of that either. Must be a MA thing. (Shrug)

  2. Giacomo sounds like a place from hell, but the food must be great there otherwise because why else would they have such crowds?

    1. The food was mediocre, at best. I'm pretty sure I make a better pesto sauce than them! If I had to guess, the line is so long just so people can say they've been there.


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