Slow down for the low down

Football stars, socialites and media celebs jam new Italian restaurant for pre-opening feast

Football stars, socialites & media celebs jam new Italian restaurant

News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Owen Daniel, T.Y. Yates, Martha Turner, Brooks Reed
Heavy hitters making the North Italia opening weekend festivities included Owen Daniel, from left, T.J. Yates, Martha Turner and Brooks Reed. Courtesy of North Italia
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Chef Jonathan Wills
North Italia chef Jonathan Wills churned out a boatload of meals during the pre-opening weekend. Courtesy of North Italia
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Chef Jonathan Wills
Casual chic aptly describes the interiors of new North Italia. Courtesy of North Italia
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Chef Jonathan Wills
The new BLVD Place eatery rocks opening weekend. Courtesy of North Italia
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, interior, February 2015
Handmade pasta and pizzas are made fresh daily. Courtesy of North Italia
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Owen Daniel, T.Y. Yates, Martha Turner, Brooks Reed
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Chef Jonathan Wills
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Chef Jonathan Wills
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, February 2015, Chef Jonathan Wills
News, Shelby, North Italia opening, interior, February 2015

H-Town is feeling so hip these days. Just take a look at BLVD Place where the destination grocery Whole Foods and the spanking new North Italia is changing the social landscape.

New kid on the block, North Italia was rocking over the weekend as A-listers poured in for pre-opening feasts. Three beefy NFL players joined the throng — Houston Texans Brooks Reed and his former teammates Owen Daniels and T.J. Yates

Executive chef Jonathan Wills, a 32-year-old native of New Hampshire, and his kitchen staff had their hands full as they put their best food forward for guests such as Lynn Wyatt, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Karen and Mike Mayell and former NFL great Chester Pitts

TV news stars were in the mix including KHOU Channel 11 meteorologist Chita Johnson, KTRK Channel 13 news ace Miya Shay, KTRK traffic anchor Katherine Whaley  and retired KHOU reporter Courtney Zubowski. The real estate crowd was well represented with Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty's Martha Turner and Glenn Bauguss, Walter Bering and Mary Elizabeth Mecom Hahnfeld.

BLVD Place developer Ed Wulfe at a corner table in the back of the restaurant surely loved the view of the eatery packed to the rafters with notables that included The Menil Collection's Vance Muse and artist Carl Palazzolo, restaurateur Gigi Huang, Fashion Houston diva Vivian Wise and Sergio Morales, businessman Mike Plank, River Oaks District marketing director Colin Moussa and cookbook author Erin Hicks.

The restaurant officially opened today (March 3).

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