Alba Ristorante When a European vacation is not in the immediate future, visit the newly rebranded Italian gem inside Hotel Granduca. The elegant menu, executed by Maurizio Ferrarese, boasts Italian plates and a wine list for days. 1080 Uptown Park Blvd., 713.418.1104




Bollo Woodfired Pizza Although it’s authentic Neapolitan pizza baked at 800 degrees has been cited as among the best in the country, the real draw here maybe the intimate neighborhoody vibe and friendly staff. Oh, and the lobster ravioli. 2202 West Alabama St., 713.677.0391



Da Marco High-end Da Marco puts a luxurious spin on Tuscan cuisine with dishes like spaghetti-and-sea-urchin and sweet-corn ravioli with lobster. The elegant space is one often considered for special occasions. 1520 Westheimer Rd.



Grotto Ristorante Find sophisticated takes on Italian classics like Veal San Pietro. A festive Sunday brunch brings French toast with Grand Marnier batter and frozen peach Bellinis. 4715 Westheimer Rd., 713.622.3663



La Griglia From caprese salad to wild mushroom lasagna, the menu at La Griglia is simple, but elegant. When Houston weather permits, enjoy the patio, complete with fire pits and scenic River Oaks views. 2002 W. Gray St., 713.526.4700



North Italia Stop in to this hip Uptown Italian restaurant for happy hour on weekday evenings and all day on Sundays to enjoy the $20 special: a choice of a pizza, bruschetta, or meat-and-cheese board, with a bottle of wine. In BLVD Place, 281.605.4030



Tony’s A cherished part of the Houston dining scene, Tony Vallone’s namesake restaurant is an exquisite treat from start to finish. Opt for the three-, five- or seven-course tasting menu for a true culinary experience, featuring the foie gras flambé — a feast for the senses! 3755 Richmond Ave., 713.622.67788



Postino Rosé — and everything else — all day! This patio spot in Heights Mercantile, with a second location in Montrose, is always packed, especially during the bottle-and-board special, available after 8pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. Now open in Uptown! 642 Yale St., 346.223.1111, multiple locations



Potente Top-tier chef Danny Trace and Astros-owner-turned-restaurateur Jim Crane hit a haute homerun at this elegant eatery by the ballpark. Opt for tableside truffle service on handmade spaghetti al tartufo, and save room for intricate desserts. 1515 Texas Ave., 713.237.1515



Carrabba’s One of two locations which are still family-owned by Houston’s famed Carrabba family, the original Carrabba’s on Kirby serves made-from-scratch Italian fare — from pizzas fresh out of the wood-fired oven to housemade cheeses and pastas. 3115 Kirby Dr., 713.522.3131, multiple locations





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