Venice in Memorial

Memorial-area neighborhood Italian restaurant cooks up new name and Sunday brunch

Memorial-area Italian restaurant cooks up new name and Sunday brunch

Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar mussels
Sautéed mussels in white wine and lemon butter. Courtesy of Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar
Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar Maria and Bill Loveday Dane George
Chef Dane George with owners Bill and Maria Loveday. Courtesy of Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar
Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar chicken parmesan
Chicken parmesan. Courtesy of Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar
Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar mussels
Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar Maria and Bill Loveday Dane George
Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar chicken parmesan

New owners have made some major changes at Memorial-area favorite The Devine Affair. Maria and Bill Loveday have transformed the restaurant into Bacaro Kitchen & Wine Bar, a new concept inspired by Maria's Italian heritage that takes its name from Venice's signature cafes.

Although the Lovedays purchased the restaurant earlier this year, the new name only became official last week, when the restaurant closed for a few days to allow for some updates to its interior. Overall, they intend to make Bacaro a more lively experience courtesy of new happy hour specials, a lounge atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights, and an all-new Sunday brunch with live music.

Bill Loveday brings 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry to Bacaro. In addition to working in New York, he has served as the general manager of the University Club. Maria is a teacher but should be a regular presence in the dining room on the weekends.

"We hail from New York and now live in Katy," Bill Loveday said in a statement announcing the changes. "We saw an opportunity to conceptualize our brand in the Memorial area and deliver an exquisite experience with a mix of formal and casual dining."

Amidst all of the Lovedays' changes, one key component remains the same; Dane George continues to serve as both chef and general manager. The menu mixes Italian-American classics like chicken piccata, eggplant parmesan, and shrimp and scallop scampi with more traditional Italian-style small plates, such as chargrilled octopus and fish crudo.

The new owners have grand plans for the restaurant. If Bacaro proves successful, they could open additional outposts in other parts of West Houston and Katy.