Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

New Italian restaurant heats up River Oaks with housemade pastas and decadent desserts

New Italian restaurant heats up River Oaks with housemade pastas

Mina Ristorante fresh pasta
Mina serves a variety of fresh pasta. Photo by Shawn Chippendale
Mina Ristorante Monica Fallone Luis Mancera
Owners Luis Mancera and chef Monica Fallone. Photo by Shawn Chippendale
Mina Ristorante interior
Designer Erin Hicks transformed the space. Photo by Shawn Chippendale
Mina Ristorante risotto
Risotto. Photo by Shawn Chippendale
Mina Ristorante interior bar
A look at the bar. Photo by Shawn Chippendale
Mina Ristorante fresh pasta
Mina Ristorante Monica Fallone Luis Mancera
Mina Ristorante interior
Mina Ristorante risotto
Mina Ristorante interior bar

The transformation of Borgo Food Station into Mina Ristorante is almost complete. Chef Monica Fallone and her husband and business partner Luis Mancera will debut their new Italian restaurant on Monday, April 8.

“I have always created spaces where I can present my Italian family’s traditional recipes to friends and restaurant-goers that love to eat," Fallone said in a statement. "Each dish tells a story, a heartwarming anecdote and a special historical mention. For me this is the best way to connect with my family’s Italian roots and introduce it to all who fill my restaurant.”

Previously a grab-and-go concept for healthy meals, the space required a transformation to become a place people might want to stay and eat. Designer Erin Hicks utilized stone countertops, walnut tables, and purple and brass accents to give the 50-seat restaurant a fresh, new look.

Fallone's new menu features a variety of housemade pastas alongside appetizers, entrees, and what are promised to be "decadent desserts." Specific dishes include linguine cacio e pepe, penne with fresh porcini mushrooms, salmon with crunch quinoa, and shrimp parmigiana. Pair them with a selection of wines available by-the-glass or bottle.

Lunch will be counter service, while dinner will be full service. To lure diners to make an initial visit, Mina will offer a 10-percent discount during lunch on to-go orders for any of 10 dishes that are ready in 10 minutes or less. This "10 in 10" special is available through May 8.

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Mina Ristorante; 3641 West Alabama St.; 832-940-2126; Lunch: Monday through Friday 11 am to 2:30 pm; Dinner: Monday through Thursday 5-9 pm, Friday and Saturday 5-10 pm