a date at 28
Located in the former Drexel House/Alma space behind the Crate & Barrel store in Highland Village, Numero 28 comes to Houston courtesy of co-owner and operator Bernardo Nolfo along with his partners Marco Borghi and Rolando Biamonte. Diners may recognize Borghi from his time as a manager at the original Oporto wine bar in Greenway Plaza.
The restaurant serves a mixture of pizzas, pastas, small plates, and entrees that are inspired by classic Southern Italian fare. Both the pizza and pasta doughs are made in-house daily, and many dishes use ingredients that are imported from Italy.
“We are just making good food that we can be proud of, and the people will like,” Nolfo said in a statement. “It’s not modern or Nuovo — just food that we grew up with and something for all ages.”
Pizzas come as either red or white pies with all of the usual toppings such as pepperoni, prosciutto, sausage and vegetables like peppers and onions. At 12-inches, they’re either a light entree for one or an appetizer for two to split.
The signature pasta is a cacio e pepe that gets a little theatrical flair from being served tableside in a wheel of pecorino cheese.
- Arancini: rice balls available either stuffed with bolognese meat sauce or vegetarian stuffed with eggplant and mozzarella
- Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and artichoke puree
- Fried calamari and zucchini served with spicy marinara sauce
- Beef carpaccio
Other pastas and entrees include:
- Pappardelle bolognese
- Spinach and ricotta ravioli
- Gnocchi with pesto and sundried tomatoes
- Cannelloni filled with ground veal and ricotta served in a creamy mushroom sauce
- Porchetta, rolled and stuffed pork loin, served with salad and french fries
- Choice of eggplant or chicken parmigiana
Pairing options start with a selection of Italian wines available by the glass or bottle. Cocktail fans will find Italian-influenced takes on classics like the martini and margarita along with actual Italian cocktails like the negroni, bellini, and aperol spritz.
Numero 28 joins an ever-growing list of new Italian restaurants that have opened in Houston in the past year or so. Nearby options include Concura Italian Bites, a stylish restaurant led by Italian chef Angelo Cuppone; Davanti, a pasta-forward concept from chef Roberto Crescini and BCN general manager Francisco “Paco” Calza; and il Bracco, a Dallas-based restaurant from two veterans of the Houston's/Hillstone restaurant group.
Currently, Numero 28 is open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner. Find it at 3974 Westheimer Rd.