Whereas it is not probably the most heralded kind of delicacies in Houston, Italian actually has its place. Each neighborhood appears to have a minimum of one red-sauce spot good for these Friday nights over an inexpensive bottle of wine, and if you’d like a romantic night with impeccable service and selfmade pasta that’ll make your eyes roll again … we have got that, too.
(Severely, have you ever even tried the pappardelle at Giacomo’s?)
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Under is a collection of our favourite spots for—amongst different pleasures—cacio e pepe, pepperoni pizza, and antipasta.
One in every of Houston’s extra lovable romantic eating places, Antica Osteria serves a surprising spaghetti aglio e olio topped with shrimp, together with Bolognese and a satisfactory puttanesca, in an old school eating room with plenty of Frank Sinatra tunes on the sound system. The restaurant’s outside patio with a pergola is ideal for cooler evenings, possibly whereas tending to a glass of Tuscan wine.
Step contained in the outdated barn off Ella Boulevard in Lazybrook/Timbergrove, and be able to take pleasure in a salad. Sure, the Caesar at Cavatore, ready table-side with selfmade dressing, is successful. In any other case, you are right here for red-sauce delights like spaghetti marinara and the veal-and-cheese-stuffed cannelloni della casa, good for splitting inside the comfortable, wood-walled eating room with tables dressed with red-checkerboard tablecloth.
Morgan Weber and chef Ryan Pera’s good-looking Heights eatery is ideal for each dates and teams. Out of doors tables sit virtually in selecting distance from the raised-bed gardens, the place the restaurant grows most of its herbs and a few of its salad components. Appetizers embody cauliflower, with pine nuts and raisins, and crackers, with smoked trout dip and pickled mustard seeds. Don’t miss the pizzas (hen and prosciutto, particularly), seafood pastas (fettuccine with Gulf shrimp), or fish dishes (striped bass with sunchokes).
Peer into the “dough room” to look at as pastas and pizzas are made by hand at this vigorous Italian spot. Standouts embody the meat carpaccio, the Houston Dairymaids cheese board, the hen parmesan, the pepperoni and goat cheese pie, and, particularly, the divine, flippantly creamy spaghetti carbonara with salumi toscano and an egg that’s damaged table-side by your server.
Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino
Proprietor/chef Lynette Hawkins has succeeded in conserving her cozy Italian café each informal and high-quality since opening in 2009. Her small plates and accompanying small costs encourage you to order, experiment, and share (don’t miss the eggplant involtini), although the restaurant is probably finest recognized for its exemplary spaghetti carbonara with guanciale and a farm-fresh egg. (Additionally, that gorgonzola and mushroom pappardelle is to die for.) A progressive bottle checklist options loads of biodynamic alternatives and spotlights Italy’s myriad feminine winemakers.
The splashy eating room on this Italian stronghold, the undisputed power-lunch palace of River Oaks, hosts Houston’s social set through the day. The beneficiant $19 prix-fixe enterprise lunch affords two dependable programs of requirements, equivalent to Caesar salad and pork chop with potato puree. For dinner, favorites like frutti di mare and brief rib agnolotti purpose to please. For greater appetites, the wild boar chop (referred to as Gallagher) in aged sherry-morel sauce makes a hefty assertion.
Positioning itself as a sexier upscale-casual Italian restaurant, this chain (previously of Arizona’s Fox Restaurant Ideas) affords shareable plates like prosciutto bruschetta and black Mediterranean mussels, plus pizzas (we advocate the Pig with spicy pepperoni, soppressata, and sausage) and selfmade pasta dishes. Attempt to snag a seat going through the glass-walled kitchen, the place cooks scurry about making delicate pastas like tortelloni and radiatori, that half-spiral that sops up parmesan cream sauce in a mouthwatering dish with brief rib.
On the patio at Travis McShane’s return to Houston is the place I wish to be. Give me a glass of Sangiovese, and order me the pork chop Milanese, a hefty and tender reduce meant for a few occasion company. I will be blissful all night with that alone. In fact, there’s additionally the half hen, completely browned with a lemony tweak. That dish is a nod to McShane’s mentor Jonathan Waxman, who created the definitive model of half hen at New York’s Barbuto. Ostia feels rather a lot like a New York restaurant with some Cali effortlessness … or precisely the form of place that will open in Texas in 2020.
One in every of Montrose’s most adored spots for consolation meals, Paulie’s continues to be going robust with selfmade pasta dishes centered on distinctive sorts, just like the frilly, U-shaped creste di gallo—tossed with sausage, chili flakes, and pickled onions in marinara—and tiny, chubby, and ear-like canestri—served with crimini and shiitake mushrooms and a creamy marsala sauce with garlic and sage. Paulie’s additionally crafts one of many finer Italian hoagies in Houston, utilizing genoa salami and ham with provolone in oil and vinegar. Do not sleep on the shocking shrimp BLT, both. In fact, some shortbread cookies make a Paulie’s meal full.
Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana
The Neapolitan pies at Pizaro’s are strong, however, for sure, the order to make right here is from the Detroit-style menu. Rectangular and workmanlike Detroit-style pie emphasizes a crispy crust and an ultra-rich topping of brick cheese, and Pizaro’s nails it. The Motown (little pepperoni cups, plus extra pepperoni underneath the cheese) is a traditional however remember the Vesuvius with ghost-pepper sausage and spicy soppressata.
Astros proprietor Jim Crane envisioned a classy area for pre-and-post-game eating when he opened this place throughout from Minute Maid Park downtown, however it’s a lot greater than that. Come right here to expertise la dolce vita, full with an opulent, gilded ambiance, refined wine service, and delicacies from longtime Brennan’s chef Danny Hint. Should-orders embody the lobster saffron bisque, caviar service, and house-made spaghetti al tartufo nero with black truffle—however in fact—shaved table-side.
Final January proprietor Shannon Scott rebranded the fine-dining eatery Sud Italia, which opened on the nook of Morningside and College in 2015, as Roma, a inexpensive, extra informal spot. Chef Angelo Cuppone focuses on traditional and fashionable Roman delicacies, whereas sprinkling in a number of tried-and-true Italian favorites. The bolognese is sweet, however our favourite merchandise on the pasta menu is the tender gnocchi served with shrimp in a smoky, velvety saffron sauce.
Chef de delicacies Austin Waiter’s inventive tasting menu, which adjustments usually, wows with the kind of dishes that ought to make the Michelin Information take discover: a duck press for 2, pan-seared Dover sole with meunière sauce, and that well-known gigantic soufflé. Add in any of the house-made pastas and the always-impeccable service at this Greenway Plaza favourite, and there’s cause to imagine that Tony’s continues to be on the prime of its sport after greater than 50 years in enterprise.
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