Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top 10 Italian Restaurants
Photo from VoicePlaces Pasta without pretension at Paulie's.
A favorite among neighborhood patrons and industry bigwigs alike, Paulie's is most similar to a casual Italian osteria (in spite of the names, neither Osteria Mazzantini nor Coppa Osteria are as casual and laid-back as an actual osteria). The food is simple but excellently prepared, and the pasta, made in house and served in either full or half portions, is something I find myself craving on a regular basis. Regulars look forward to Thursdays, when osso bucco is on the specials menu and never leave without at least one of Paulie's famous decorated shortbread cookies. The fact that Camerata, a great wine bar, is right next door doesn't hurt either.
Photo courtesy Tony's Tony's has evolved to be so much more than a simple Italian restaurant.
The original it-restaurant for fine dining in Houston, Tony's hasn't slowed down at all in the nearly 50 years since it first opened. Tony Vallone's flagship restaurant has continued to evolve with the times, and the well-oiled kitchen turns out beautiful and challenging dishes that remain true to the restaurant's taste and aesthetic. Of course, if delicate tasting menus at an Italian restaurant aren't really your thing (I tend to prefer big ol' bowls of pasta myself), Tony's has all the steak and noodles you could want too. The butternut squash pansoti and the veal chop valdostana will prove to any diner that Tony's isn't old and stuffy. It's just as tasty as always.
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