Fresh off his seven-year tenure as operating partner at Fleming’s, Sam Governale has opened Emmaline in Montrose — which, thanks to its French dip sandwich and airy interiors, has quickly become one of 2018’s most buzzed-about restaurants. In addition to running DOCG Interests, a restaurant group he founded in 2016, the 46-year-old enjoys spending time with his wife, Tina, and their two shih tzus, as well as serving on boards for several local charities. Can you spot the fun fib about one of Houston’s hottest restaurateurs?
1. After finishing college with a double major in psychology and philosophy, he spent three years at NYU as a neuroscientist studying Alzheimer’s disease. “In college, most of my focus was perception and philosophy of mind.”
2. His recent walk down the runway for Festari’s charity event benefitting the Houston Women’s Center wasn’t his first foray into modeling. In the mid-’90s, he was tapped to hit the catwalk for Gucci for New York Fashion Week. “I wore a peach velvet suit, and loafers with no socks.”
3. While living in New York, he worked as an assistant stylist to rock stars like Cyndi Lauper and Steven Tyler. “We did album covers and magazine covers,” he says. “I would shop all day in New York to dress these stars. Sometimes, I’d even get to keep the clothes.”