You have to give Marco Wiles credit. He may not be reinventing the wheel, but he certainly has a knack for introducing Italian traditions to Houston mainstream diners. He perfected crispy Neopolitan-style pizza at his nearby restaurant Dolce Vita. His latest concept, Poscol, focuses on Italian small plates, from pastas to salads. Like Spain with its tapas, Italy boasts a similar tradition with a wide array of dried sausages and cheeses. The mix-and-match possibilities are appealing, although there are so many combinations, that we gave up and asked the manager for suggestions. (He was moonlighting from nearly Da Marco, another fabulous Wiles' restaurant.) At Poscol, the fun is in trying and coming across something you really love, like the house-made salumi. Want to be adventurous? The veal tongue and headcheese, sliced paper-thin for maximum flavor and texture, are certainly worth a try. Cured meats are interesting. Cut them too thick and they become clumsy. Slice them sheet-thin, as they do her, and they seem magical, melting on your palate with an elegant earthiness that brings to mind Tuscany’s beautiful rolling hills.
Try Poscol’s selection of Italian wines, some at bargain rates of $6 a glass. And don’t pass up dessert, particularly the Italian fried doughnut hole and the dried figs soaked in wine.