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Favorite Italian Restaurants in Houston

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My wife and i just got back from a meal at Fratelli's. We try to go about once a month and always enjoy the excellent food, service, and welcoming atmosphere. The staff goes out of it's way to make every customer feel like a friend and the food is always delicious. Tonight I had the house salad (a must!) and a margarita pizza. I had the Neptune pizza once before with shrimp, calamari, and pesto sauce. Sounds a bit strange, but with crisp white wine, mmm mmm. On previous visits we have had chicken, veal, seafood, and pork and all were wonderful. My wife had the grouper special toniight with capers, sun dried tomatoes, onions, in a lemon butter sauce with veggies and pasta on the side. She cleaned her plate but shared one bite with me. We also adore their spumoni/ice cream dessert. Oh, they also bring us special treats on the house; tonight's treat was bruschetta - a lovely touch. Fratelli's is a friendly, down home restaurant with some of the tastiest italian food in Houston.

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Fratelli's
10989 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77092

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  1. Prego on Amherst in The Rice Village is excellent. Kathy, Marvin, Luis, Raphael all make you feel like family. This folks that own this restaurant are part of the family that owns Hugo's, Trevisio and BackStreet Cafe, as well.

    Definitely my favorite Italian spot.

    But my favorite Italian dish is at Carrabba's on Kirby. The pasta Tagliarini Picchi Pacchiu is unbelievably delicious and simple.

    1. I really like Fratelli's, too. Glad to hear someone else say good things about it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: danhole

        Same here. The 290 location was the go-to spot when my mom used to work in the area and I'd visit her for lunch. I still get Fratelli's cards on my birthday!

        I also like Da Marco, Dolce Vita, and Arcodoro & Pomodoro.

        1. re: air

          I was going to mention DaMarco's as well, but there really is not much of a comparison, sine you can eat an entire meal for 2 at Fratelli's for the price of one special at DaMarco's. But it is worth every penny!

      2. Carrabba's on Kirby has become my favorite Italian Rest in Houston.. Should you visit,, grab a seat at the bar,, that is,, front and center in the food prep area,, with a birdseye view of the meals being grilled, boiled, sauteed, etc., its quite the show and education.. You'll see FRESH pasta, veggies and meats cooked and be amazed with the organized chaos. Order "off the menu" their shrimp appetizer (with crab)... It may be all you need for the evening,, total decadence! Had two 8oz pork chops grilled to perfection topped with a mushrooms in a marsala sauce,, sides of spinach and rosemary roasted potatoes on Saturday night that I finished at home the Sunday! Cost,, $23.. Incl a bottle of red from Montepulciano for $27 and not only do you have an abosolutely terrific meal,, but affordable too! The Kirby location is the BEST followed by the Voss site(?)...

        1. Do any of these joints do pasta alla carbonara? It's my favorite dish, but most Italian restaurants don't serve it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: aynrandgirl

            Frenchies in Clear Lake gets my vote and they have an awesome and authentic carbonara :) and I love love their gnocchi, It's not a large chain, very small but the owners are from Capri in Italy and quite charming. I don't care about all the bells and whistles if the food is good I'm going back for more. Can't go wrong w/Frenchies!

            1. re: htownjojo

              I, too, love the Kirby Carrabba's, and Fratelli's, but our favorite special occasion place for Italian is Cavatore on Ella. Table-side caesar salad, great pasta dishes, perfect tiramisu, and a live pianist who is over-the-top solicitous, but actually comes to your table to ask if you have a request. We often see family birthday parties here, and on our last visit a couple two tables away got engaged. Mr. Cheflambo rolled his eyes but I thought it was charming.

              1. re: htownjojo

                Ditto on Frenchie's. A jewel in the CL area. I also favor Damiens.

            2. Did any of y'all eat at Pasquale's on Montrose before it became the brazilian steak house? I wonder where Pasquale is now... his food was great, the place was never packed at weekday lunch, and the guys all became like second family. That's my fave, I'm so sad it closed....
              And what about Michelangelo's? Love Dolce Vita, too packed though... Damians is good but once I got dirty white clam sauce.... hey thanks for the tips on more places to try!

              1. I love Dolce Vita; it reminds me of the food we ate on our trip to Italy.
                Closer to home, I miss Perry's Italian Kitchen that used to be out here between Sugar Land and Richmond; the food was delicious and they had lovely wine dinners...probably the best out here now is Nick's on FM 1464; Nick is brusque and sort of a character, but the food is very good.