ciao, il bracco
2 Houston's vets debut new Italian eatery boasting housemade pastas and more near Galleria
A Dallas-based Italian restaurant will make its Bayou City debut next week. Il Bracco has begun its soft opening and will celebrate its grand opening on Monday, August 15.
Located in the Post Oak Plaza shopping center, il Bracco occupies the former California Pizza Kitchen space at 1705-A Post Oak Blvd. It joins Kenny & Ziggy's in the Galleria-area development; in the months to come, the center will add a number of new tenants, including Australian-inspired cafe Bluestone Lane and global chicken chain Nando's Peri-Peri.
Two veterans of the Houston's/Hillstone restaurant group developed the concept, which debuted in Dallas 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.
“Being a part of the Post Oak neighborhood is like coming home, as we have worked and lived in Houston previously, and have immediate family and many friends here,” Gottlieb said.
To transform the space, il Bracco hired Texas firm Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (Uchiko, Loro). The 6,000-square-foot space features a contemporary design with a dedicated bar/lounge area, custom light fixtures, and a 35-seat patio. Quick's wife, il Bracco design director Mary Lucille, selected the restaurant's artwork from their personal collection.
Turning to the food, il Bracco serves an Italian-inspired menu of shareable starters, salads, sandwiches, entrees, sides, and pastas that are made fresh in house. In addition, the restaurant butchers all of its own seafood and USDA prime beef and makes all of its own breads and desserts. Dishes are paired with both New World and Italian wines as well as Italian-inspired cocktails, such as the Bracco, a frozen greyhound made with grapefruit juice and Aperol.
Other menu highlights include:
- Housemade focaccia with ricotta, roasted garlic, and thyme.
- Italian beef sandwich made with tri-tip, Provolone sauteed broccolini, and giardiniera spread.
- Meatballs made with beef, lamb, and pork that are served with house tomato gravy, Reggiano, and housemade focaccia.
- The Plaza salad: roasted chicken, golden beets, pancetta, marcona almonds, goat cheese and honey vinaigrette
- Cacio E Pepe made with bucatini, black pepper, and pecorino.
- Chicken Picatta: lemony chicken with capers that's served with a kale salad.
“We look forward to opening our doors in Houston and having guests experience the dishes and bar program we have perfected over the past few years," Quick said. "We hope our community feel the love and passion that has been poured into this kitchen and enjoy dining with us whether it’s for business lunch, dinner with loved ones or a special occasion."
The restaurant opens daily for lunch and dinner beginning at 11 am.