The Giacobbi’s Cucina Citta Facts
59 Allen St., Buffalo / (716) 834-4000
Cuisine: Italian / Price: $$
Hours: Mon- Sun 5:00 PM – Close
Parking: On street, the lot adjacent to restaurant in evenings, lot on Virginia.
WEBSITE / FACEBOOK
Giacobbi’s Cucina Citta on Allen opened in early June at the corner of Allen and Franklin in what has been many businesses, most recently Presto. They have done a nice job sprucing the place up with gray and burgundy paint, rich wood accents and carpeting. The space offers a clear view of Allentowners strolling past. The restaurant is an off-shot of Carmine’s on Transit that burned to the ground while owner Michael Jacobbi was receiving a Taste of Buffalo award for his bacon-wrapped casino-stuffed shrimp last year. Michael is joined as host by cousin Billy (formerly at Giacobbi’s in Hamburg) and Alex Jacobbi. Their website indicates they are open for lunch but it is actually coming soon so you might want to call first.
Sure Buffalo is flush with quality Italian food, but as we say at SOB you can never have too much of a good thing. Giacobbi’s offers a great location, a robust menu and memorable food at attractive prices. The atmosphere is comfortable and the service friendly. While they are still in a bit of a soft phase we have no doubt you’ll enjoy.
Classic Italian they offer something for everyone. — craft beers on tap, special cocktail menu plenty of apps, salads, a couple soups, pizza and entrees that come single or family style (first price below is single, second is family). Entrees include pastas, veal, chicken, steak, Braciole and more -‘some of (Jacobbi’s) cherished family recipes as well as some new culinary offerings’. They offer catering too.
The wine list is short but adequate and no doubt expanding.
We stopped on a brilliant Tuesday evening. We didn’t have a reservation, but were seated immediately. Entry is into the bar area that is well decorated with a stately wood bar and fully stocked bar case backdrop. The restaurant is separated into what was once different shops that are now joined together. It’s a little different, but seems to come together rather well. The first area is the bar followed by a space featuring high tops and another two more with traditional seating.
Spinach bread $8 – Fresh deck oven baked loaf with garlic spread, spinach, Asiago cheese and Parmesan
Bruschetta Trio $9 – Caponata, Ciliegine pesto & bruschetta tomatoes with grilled Italian bread & fresh grated Romano
Burrata Plate $10 – Fresh Burrata cheese , caponata, & roasted yellow peppers over arugula draped w/ EVOO and a balsamic truffle glaze
Short Rib Meatball $7 – Shredded short rib, ground sirloin, garlic, breading in a mushroom Espagnole sauce served with grilled crostini.
These were all delicious and each might stand out as a star in many restaurants if not for the magnificence of the Bruschetta Trio, and the Burrata Plate. Both included a luscious caponata (cooked eggplant, zucchini, garlic, onion etc with olive oil) and plenty more to love. It’s a tossup between the two. The others were merely very good.
Chicken Leonardo $15/$28 – Pan sautéed chicken breasts with spinach, artichoke hearts , marinated tomatoes , garlic, cream, white wine & feta cheese. Served over Pappardelle pasta.
Lasagne $14/$26 – Ground beef & pork , ricotta, mozzarella & Nonna’s Red sauce
Chicken Piccata $15/$28 – Sautéed egg battered chicken breasts in a lemon-caper wine sauce with mushrooms & artichoke hearts served with a side of pasta with Red sauce
Eggplant Lasagne $15/$28 – Eggplant cutlets layered with ricotta cheese, marinara & melted mozzarella … with side of Penne. The menu read “a Carmine fav”. Not sure who Carmine is but I do know that Carmen loved it.
Everything here was outstanding. While we are all suckers for Pappardelle I’d say my personal fav was the Chicken Piccata which was cooked to perfection and served in a rich lemony “piccata” sauce. We all went with the single servings which were very generous and a tremendous value. The family portions are probably cheaper than cooking at home. You can even afford to bring the mother-in-law.