Sometimes a pop-up is just a one-off opportunity for a fun collaboration between like-minded chefs who don’t typically get to work together, but other times a pop-up serves as a preview for a new restaurant that’s coming to Houston.
With that in mind, expect to see a repeat performance of Sunday’s pop-up by Dolce Neve at Fluff Bake Bar. The Austin-based gelato shop has signed a lease to open a Houston location in the same Heights shopping center that’s home to Thai restaurant Foreign Correspondents, cocktail bar Canard, and coffee and doughnut shop Morningstar, co-owner Marco Silvestrini tells CultureMap.
Set to open in early 2017, Dolce Neve’s Houston outpost will replicate the design and feel of an Italian home. More importantly, the Houston outpost will also feature Dolce Neve’s rotating selection of seasonal gelatos made with traditional Italian techniques that utilizes local ingredients whenever possible.
On Sunday, they included traditional flavors like pistachio and hazelnut as well as a more savory variation made with goat cheese and wild blueberry. That variety led CultureMap Austin to name Dolce Neve one of the city’s nine best ice cream shops in 2015.
“Our good friend David Buehrer, owner of Morningstar, Blacksmith and Greenway, is one of our regular customers and was always asking when we would open a shop in Houston,” Silvestrini writes in an email. “The opportunity presented itself in the same shopping center as Morningstar so we couldn’t pass this opportunity to have David as a neighbor and be part of the Houston community.”
Buehrer confirms that he’s a passionate Dolce Neve fan. In particular, he tells CultureMap he appreciates the shop’s commitment to sourcing high-quality ingredients and using careful preparations that matches the obsession he brings to the coffee he serves.
“I travel for coffee competitions. I’ve been to a lot of other cities. I eat ice cream or gelato everywhere I go,” Buehrer says. “To find something like Dolce Neve so close (to Houston), I thought this is the best gelato I’ve ever had. . . We literally would find reasons to go to Austin just to get gelato.”