Established in 1999, Giammarco’s has recently set up shop at a brand new location in Westerville, Ohio, just northeast of Columbus. It’s classy, it’s contemporary, and it provides a real culinary challenge to the chain restaurants down the street in serving up masterfully done Italian food to locals and travelers of the busy Interstate 71 corridor. Giammarco’s has a mantra of fresh ingredients and simple dishes anyone would recognize as Italian food. It’s a resounding success; this restaurant knows how to make a good dish. In fact, it’s the best Italian food I’ve had in Columbus.
Though it has a sizeable and apparently popular house pizza menu with carry-out option, Giammarco’s is not primarily a pizza place. Though it has a large bar room which gets packed on weekends, it’s not primarily an adult restaurant, either. Instead, Giammarco’s manages to integrate all of them perfectly as a classic Italian food place. The bar is off in its own room if you’re in to that, the delivery service is in its own area, and the main dining room is in between. A lot of places shoot to add these things into one concept, but here it seems perfect; you can comfortably come out with kids for pizza or with a group of college friends for beer, and not be in a place that has the wrong feel for your group.
The pasta is delicious. Ample pasta is decorated with delicious ingredients (I wish they made their own pasta, but they don’t.) The spaghetti is a very old-fashioned family-variety recipe with delicious tomato sauce, and the option of meatballs or Italian sausage to top it off. The fettuccine Alfredo has a rich and creamy sauce; it’s a simple take on the dish, but the addition of chicken really hits home well. The dishes taste very fresh. I tried the bruschetta as well, and it’s a simple cheesy Italian bread with spices. It comes together nicely with a very sweet marinara sauce, which is just perfect. I only wish the salad was made with fresher ingredients; the lettuce tastes bagged and the house vinaigrette is unremarkable. It’s an unwelcome miss at a place which does so many other things just right.
The food is wonderful, the staff are friendly, and the entire experience at Giammarco’s is just pleasant. This is a nice part of town, and there are a lot of other restaurants in the area trying to capitalize on highway traffic. If you’re passing though, though, I think you’ll find Giammarco’s is a dining experience you’ll want to repeat.
- The pasta here is outstanding for dine-in. Take-out is available too, though I would limit that to the pizzas, as I don’t think the other food really travels well.
- There’s a large-party room specifically for large groups which is very pleasant. Alternatively, Giammarco’s also caters.
- The food is priced like a dressier restaurant, but Giammarco’s is really a casual dining place. Don’t worry, it’s worth the price.