There are a couple of restaurants in Houston to which I return again and again, because each is serving honest food that is consistently good, and selling it at prices that are fair. One such place is named Giacomo’s, and it is owned by Lynette Hawkins, who has been in the business a long time and knows what she is doing.
I had lunch at Giacomo’s this week with a friend who had never been there, and I knew that he would love the Swiss chard ravioli; it is one of my favorite dishes in Houston, and reminds me of the malfatti (also with Swiss chard and ricotta) served at al di la. (I ate those malfatti on a weekly basis at that little place in Park Slope, followed by rabbit and polenta.)
I ordered something I have had many times at Giacomo’s: mozzarella in carrozza. The menu describes them as “little fried mozzarella sandwiches, anchovy caper sauce.” Two small sandwiches come in a small bowl, the bread caressed by a delicate and very authentic sauce, a sauce so good that I would surely have no problem drinking a cup of it on its own. Capers, some olive oil, perhaps a touch of lemon juice: It’s a pan-fried wonder.
And it was a perfect lunch, because the mozzarella in carrozza I ate this week was the best I’ve ever had at the friendly restaurant on Westheimer. The bread’s edges were crisped perfectly, the cheese was warm, and the caper sauce was supremely balanced.
Have one of these, and you might give up grilled cheese sandwiches forever.