Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Houston >
Apr 25, 2014 09:31 AM

Pasadena, Houston Heights Italian

I'm born and bred in NJ, and have never been to Houston (or Texas, for that matter) outside of one time when the plane I was on landed there for a few minutes while I was on my way to California (and I never actually left the plane). In the near future, I may be visiting friends who live in the Pasadena area, and may also be visiting in the Houston Heights area (as well as the city of Houston itself). Long story short-- I love Italian food, but have never had anything decent west of NY (with the possible exception of my home state of NJ and...maybe...Chicago; although, on 2nd thought, I did have a great Italian seafood dinner in Tijuana, Mexico, of all places...but I digress...). Anything good in the areas I've specified, or should I forget about Italian completely while I'm in the area?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I wouldn't come to Houston for Italian. That said, there are a few places that don't suck. Da Marco, Dolce Vita, and Vinoteca Poscol are all in the Montrose area not far from the Heights, all owned by the same guy. I have not been to any of them but have heard good things. Vincent's in the same general area, pretty good. Recently have been to Da Vinci in the Katy area, good food and service but about 40 miles from Pasadena. Closer to Pasadena, for a more Houston experience, I would suggest you try a chicken-fried steak at Kelley's Country Cookin' on I-45 South near Hobby airport. Sort of a Texas take on a NJ diner. Doneraki near I-45 and 610 south for decent tex-mex.

    2 Replies
    1. re: absurdnerdbird

      Da Marco and Vinoteca Poscol are both very good (Da Marco is super pricey, while Poscol can be more affordable, though not inexpensive). I haven't been to Dolce Vita, but based on my experiences at the other two, I would expect it to be very good as well. Another enjoyable place is Giacomo's Cibo e Vino.

      1. I adore the food at Dolce Vita, all of it. Giacomo's has an amazing pasta bolognese. Coincidentally, here is a recent list by one of Houston's most respected food writers:

        1. Some of my favorite Tex-Mex is found in the deep end barrio on 75th, El Jardin. Lunch is blue collar/office workers. About 1:30 the local Hispanics move in. An unforgettable experience is a Friday or Saturday night with mariachis and local families, forget conversation, and you might be the only non-Hispanic there, but it is a fun scene. At this link suggests, stay with the grilled food, not mentioned is the peerless queso flameado and a very good fried shrimp, camarone empanizado.