Introducing il Bracco

Houston's vets opening exciting Italian restaurant in prime Galleria-area spot

Houston's vets opening exciting Italian restaurant near the Galleria

Il Bracco menu spread
The menu features an array of Italian-inspired dishes. Photo by Kathy Tran
il Bracco Houston rendering
Il Bracco will occupy the former CPK space. Courtesy of il Bracco
il Bracco bolognese pasta kale salad
Bolognese pasta with kale salad. Photo by Kathy Tran
Il Bracco menu spread
il Bracco Houston rendering
il Bracco bolognese pasta kale salad

A Dallas-based Italian restaurant has selected a prime Galleria-area location for its Houston debut. Il Bracco will open this fall in the former California Pizza Kitchen at the corner of San Felipe and Post Oak, the restaurant announced.

Two veterans of the Houston's/Hillstone restaurant group developed the concept, which debuted in Dallas' ritzy Preston Center in 2019. Robert Quick, CEO of il Bracco owner Western Addition, worked for legendary chef Thomas Keller at Ad Hoc and Bouchon before becoming a kitchen manager for Hillstone. COO Matt Gottlieb spent 10 years as a Houston's general manager, including a stint at the Westheimer location that closed in 2019.

"Both Robert and I have friends and family in Houston, and I previously lived in Houston, making it feel as if this is our second home," Gottlieb said in a statement. "It was a natural fit. Many of our managers and staff will be familiar names and faces from the Houston hospitality scene as well.”

Together, they've created a concept where pastas, breads, and desserts are all made in-house, and fresh seafood and USDA Prime steaks are butchered daily for both lunch and dinner. Dishes are paired with Italian wines and Italian-inspired cocktails, such as the Bracco, a frozen greyhound made with grapefruit juice and Aperol.

Other menu highlights include:

  • Meatballs made with beef, lamb, and pork that are served with house tomato gravy, Reggiano, and housemade focaccia.
  • Spicy Gemelli pasta with spicy vodka sauce and Reggiano
  • Bolognese with mafaldine noodles, 6-hour ragu of beef, lamb topped with Reggiano
  • Classic Italian Combo sandwich with artisan charcuterie, fresh mozzarella, LTO, cherry pepper spread, and oil and vinegar on a housemade roll.
  • Pan-roasted Mediterranean sea bass with mint gremolata and seasonal vegetables
  • Center cut filet with polenta and seasonal vegetables.

Texas architect Michael Hsu will handle transforming the 6,000 square foot space from CPK into il Bracco. Expect a contemporary design with a dedicated cocktail lounge and an expansive, 35-seat patio. 

Post Oak Plaza will welcome at least two other new restaurants in the coming months. A new location of Kenny & Ziggy's is under construction in the former Luby's space. Marugame Udon, a Japanese restaurant with locations in Dallas, also has plans to open there later this year.

"We’re thrilled to open our second location of il Bracco in this vibrant city and in such a bustling area," Quick added. "We hope Houstonians enjoy our food menu and bar program that we’ve perfected over the past two years. We’ve also planned a few additions of menu items only available at this Houston location.”