River Oaks Italian eatery Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino marks 10 years

Giacomo's owner Lynette Hawkins curates an extensive wine list from Italian and French wineries.

Giacomo's owner Lynette Hawkins curates an extensive wine list from Italian and French wineries.

Image description
Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino
To keep up with Houston’s active restaurant scene, the menu at Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino adapts to newcomers.

“There’s so many wonderful restaurants in Houston; you can’t be too rigid,” owner Lynette Hawkins said. “You have to be willing to change and adjust to people’s taste and play around with it.”

One consistency customers have come to expect at Giacomo’s over the last 10 years, however, is its comforting atmosphere, Hawkins said. Previously the owner of Houston restaurant La Mora Cucina Toscana, Hawkins closed it after nearly two decades and took time off to care for her father. When she returned to the business, she said a less formal, more relaxing environment was her priority.

“I want customers to feel like I’m serving them in my kitchen,” she said.

Dishes such as Polpetti Puccini, or beef and pork meatballs, and Salsiccia di Pollo, or chicken sausage, are inspired by the authentic Italian cuisine Hawkins said she remembers from portions of her childhood and adolescence spent in Italy.

“The best compliment I ever receive is that my pasta reminds [customers] of their mother’s or their grandmother’s [pasta],” Hawkins said.

A variety of small, shareable plates mimic the offerings at a bacaro—a style of wine bar with small plates common in Italy. When Giacomo’s first opened in 2009, many Houstonians were not as familiar with the format but the dishes have since become customer’s favorites, Hawkins said. Other dishes draw influence from France and even the Middle East, where Hawkins’ father spent time working in the oil industry.

Larger entrees include tortellini, gnocchi and ratatouille and are accompanied by an extensive wine list Hawkins updates frequently. As Hawkins approaches Giacomo’s 10th anniversary in September with decades of previous restaurant experience under her belt, she continues to spend most of her time in the kitchen creating new recipes and helping prepare time-intensive dishes, such as homemade pasta and bolognese.

“Here, I really get to just stay in the kitchen and do what I love to do,” Hawkins said.

Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino


3215 Westheimer Road, Houston
713-522-1934
www.giacomosciboevino.com
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11:30 a.m-10 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

ExxonMobil moved employees from its Springwoods Village campus to a Hughes Landing to cure a default on a Montgomery County tax abatement. (Courtesy ExxonMobil)
ExxonMobil resolves tax abatement default; Home Depot distribution center taking over superfund site; and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic college in Houston. It also has a microcampus in downtown Conroe. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas offering free tuition to first 500 students who apply

The online degrees are in the following fields: cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug dependency counseling.

houston firefighters rally
Appeals court rules in favor Houston firefighters in collective bargaining case

The 14th Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the fire union in a case that originated when the city and the union failed to reach an agreement on a labor contract in 2017.

The Texas Department of State Health Services projects a significant shortage of nurses by 2032. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Why Texas faces a growing nursing shortage and what can be done to address it

In 2018, the state health department estimated about 11% of the demand for nurses was not able to be met, and that number is expected to rise to 16.3% by 2032.

Rumi's Place will open on Post Oak Boulevard in fall 2022, specializing in Persian food with a contemporary twist. (Courtesy Zadok family)
Persian restaurant Rumi's Place announced for Post Oak mixed-use development in Uptown

The eatery will occupy the last available restaurant space at the newly opened Post Oak Place, alongside Uchiko.

I-69 Southwest Freeway at I-610 West Loop will be closed May 7 at 9 p.m. until May 10 at 5 a.m. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
TxDOT: I-69 Southwest Freeway at I-610 West Loop closed through weekend

From May 7 at 9 p.m. until May 10 at 5 a.m., the lanes will be closed.

Legacy Community Health is bringing COVID-19 vaccines to historically underserved communities across Beaumont and Houston. (Courtesy Pexels)
Legacy Community Health vaccine rollout targets underserved communities in Houston, Beaumont

The health network is partnering with other entities, including Beaumont Independent School District.

HTV
Houston, Harris County annual addresses no longer hosted by Greater Houston Partnership over Texas voter bill dispute

Local leaders criticized the area chamber of commerce for not taking a definitive stance on two voting access bills currently being deliberated in the Texas Legislature.

The new location is Chipotle's first in Magnolia. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle opens in Magnolia; get a sneak peek of new Houston aquarium and more metro news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The Original ChopShop is targeting an early September opening in River Oaks, one of the first two locations of the chain coming to Houston. (Courtesy Facebook)
ROUNDUP: 5 summer openings planned in Heights, River Oaks and Montrose areas

A crafthouse, a massage therapy spa and a corner store that doubles as a Mediterranean cafe are among the new businesses that hope to open this summer.

The business specializes in customized in-home consultations during which families will receive a fire safety plan specific to their house's floor plan and an age-appropriate, individualized plan for each family member. (Courtesy Fire Smart, LLC)
Fire Smart, LLC celebrates one year of providing fire safety education across Greater Houston area

The business specializes in customized in-home consultations during which families will receive a fire safety plan specific to their house's floor plan and an age-appropriate, individualized plan for each family member.