A trip to Bellaire means a trip to Enoteca Rossa, no excuses. The Italian-born chef at this rustic-chic neighborhood spot, which aptly looks like a giant brick oven from the outside, is dishing out some the best Italian dishes in the Houston area, alongside an extensive wine menu and a full espresso bar. On the menu, you'll have the choice between plates like mussels in white wine, paper-thin beef carpaccio with truffle dressing, and local-spins like creamy crawfish risotto and the bolognese rich with shreds of Texas-braised lamb.
Does it get any better than espresso, wine, pizza, and other Euro staples lovingly crafted by a bonafide Italian-born chef? Don’t strain yourself too hard—the answer is no, it doesn’t. You’ll have to travel to Bellaire to get it, but you’ll be sorry if you don’t at least try, because the relative newcomer offers one of the finest examples of Italian simplicity in the city. There’s brunch beauties like omelets brimmed with smoked salmon or Italian ham, toothsome cuts of Beef Carpaccio tossed in truffle dressing, a variety of wood-fire pies, and briny Mussels drowning in white wine. There’s also local spins like velvety Short Rib Ravioli (which partners well with the mixed green and roasted beet salads), or a Linguini dish littered with clams so tasty you’ll likely dream about it later.