Shelby's Social Diary

A first look at Vallone's steakhouse creates huge restaurant buzz, raises major cash

A first look at Vallone's steakhouse creates huge restaurant buzz

18 Scott Sulma, from left, Grant Gordon and Tony Vallone at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Scott Sulma, from left, Grant Gordon and Tony Vallone at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
8 Kay and Fred Zeidman, from left, with Ileana Trevino at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Kay and Fred Zeidman, from left, with Ileana Trevino at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
3 Soraya and Scott McClelland, from left, Lauren Snyder and Sheridan Williams at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Soraya and Scott McClelland, from left, Lauren Snyder and Sheridan Williams at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Vallone's interior
The swooping canopy of Vallone's provides an architectural welcome to the new steakhouse. Photo by © Jenny Antill
9 Rufus and Yvonne Cormier at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Rufus and  Dr. Yvonne Cormier at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
14 Lori Krohn, Phillip Sarofim at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Lori Krohn and Phillip Sarofim at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Vallone's interior
Two views of the bar at the new Vallone's. Photo by © Jenny Antill
15 Steve and Linda Webster at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Steve and Linda Webster at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
4 Tony and Donna Vallone, from left, and Lori and Dan Wolterman at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Tony and Donna Vallone, from left, and Lori and Dan Wolterman at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
1 Shafik Rifaat, from left, Janiece Longoria and Steve Lasher at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Shafik Rifaat, from left, Janiece Longoria and Steve Lasher at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
13 Don Sanders, left, and John Whitmire at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Don Sanders, left, and State Sen. John Whitmire at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
17 Joanne Crassas, left, and Cathy Clear at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Joanne Crassas, left, and Cathy Cleary at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
10 Roz and Alan Pactor at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Roz and Alan Pactor at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
7 Meagan Brophy, Chuck Rosson, Margot Treviño at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Meagan Brophy, Chuck Rosson, from left, with Margot Treviño at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
6 Jan and Tim Connolly at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Jan and Tim Connolly at Vallone's opening party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
16 candles interior decor at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Interior decor at Vallone's a contemprorary take on the traditional steakhouse. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
18 Scott Sulma, from left, Grant Gordon and Tony Vallone at Vallone's opening party November 2013
8 Kay and Fred Zeidman, from left, with Ileana Trevino at Vallone's opening party November 2013
3 Soraya and Scott McClelland, from left, Lauren Snyder and Sheridan Williams at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Vallone's interior
9 Rufus and Yvonne Cormier at Vallone's opening party November 2013
14 Lori Krohn, Phillip Sarofim at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Vallone's interior
15 Steve and Linda Webster at Vallone's opening party November 2013
4 Tony and Donna Vallone, from left, and Lori and Dan Wolterman at Vallone's opening party November 2013
1 Shafik Rifaat, from left, Janiece Longoria and Steve Lasher at Vallone's opening party November 2013
13 Don Sanders, left, and John Whitmire at Vallone's opening party November 2013
17 Joanne Crassas, left, and Cathy Clear at Vallone's opening party November 2013
10 Roz and Alan Pactor at Vallone's opening party November 2013
7 Meagan Brophy, Chuck Rosson, Margot Treviño at Vallone's opening party November 2013
6 Jan and Tim Connolly at Vallone's opening party November 2013
16 candles interior decor at Vallone's opening party November 2013

With the new Vallone's set to open officially on Sunday for dinner, more than 175 friends of Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital poured in beneath the soaring canopy entrance for an early look at the restaurant and a sampling of things to come on the steakhouse menu.

Partners in the enterprise, chef Grant Gordon and Scott Sulma joined Vallone's consultant Tony Vallone in welcoming the well-heeled crowd, many of the ladies in fur-trimmed ensembles as a hedge against the damp, cold weather. Memorial Hermann System CEO Dan Wolterman, Children's Memorial CEO Susan Distefano and Memorial Hermann Foundation CEO Ileana Trevino led the hospital team in the fundraising effort that brought in more than $70,000.

The food and wine flowed as Vallone's GM Chuck Criswell, a familiar face from his tenure at Eddie V's in CityCentre and The Tasting Room, saw to it that the staff and kitchen were running smoothly. While heavy hors d'oeuvres were served in the restaurant's bistro section, high-priced ticket holders were seated for a set-menu tasting dinner in the main dining room. Guests raved about the beef tenderloin, the lamp chops, creamy mashed potatoes and more as well as the restaurant design, created by architect Shafik Rifaat (this scribe's husband) in tandem with Vallone.

Among those savoring the early look-see and tasting were State Sen. John Whitmire, Port of Houston chair Janiece Longoria and Steve Lasher,  H-E-B president Scott McClelland and wife Soraya, Donna ValloneKay and Fred Zeidman, Dr. Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Sheridan Williams, Lauren Snyder, Sandy and Dr. Barney Barrett, Laura Moore and Don Sanders, Jeremy Parzen and Lori Krohn with Phillip Sarofim.

The restaurant is located at Gessner and I-10, next to the Westin Memorial City Hotel. Lunch service begins on Wednesday.