Giacomo's on Malone Road.

Giacomo’s on Malone Road.

One of the pleasures of the return of the rugby season is the chance to indulge ourselves with some pre-match dining experiences.

To kick off this season we tried out the newly opened Italian restaurant Giacomo’s at 42 Malone Road, just across the road from the Bot, and I must say I’m glad we did as the food was excellent.

One of the pasta dishes on offer at Giacomos's on the Malone Road.

One of the pasta dishes on offer at Giacomos’s on the Malone Road.

It’s a good start when Ulster tops are welcomed and the host engages you in a discussion on differences in style between Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble over a glass or two of wine but when it comes down to it the true measure of a dining experience is, well, the actual dining experience.

Here, frankly, Giacomo’s exceeded our expectations. With five in our party, and all sampling different starters and main courses, I can honestly say that not one of us were disappointed. The service was friendly and prompt and the food was of a high standard with the Italian dining experience captured perfectly in a relaxed setting.

The pizza, pasta and risotto were generally of a much higher standard than other Belfast Italian restaurants and great value for money. It came to less than £30 a head (including tip) for the two courses and a substantial drink allowance of three bottles of wine and five beers between five included.

I’ve no problem recommending Giacomo’s to the rugby fraternity and hopefully they will keep us informed of rugby specials an other offers through the season. We’ll definitely be going back.

You can follow Giacomo’s on Facebook here and view their Menu and Prices here. I would recommend booking in advance on match night as this one is going to get busy!