Woodlands fave coming to River Oaks
A popular Woodlands restaurant is coming to River Oaks. Zanti Cucina Italiana will open its second location this November in the River Oaks Shopping Center (1958 W. Gray St).
First opened in The Woodlands in 2019 by founder Santiago Peláez, Zanti has developed a strong following for its Italian fare. The restaurant serves housemade pastas and Neapolitan style pizzas alongside a range of shareable appetizers and classic entrees. Popular dishes include beef carpaccio, truffle and cheese ravioli, and lamb osso bucco with saffron risotto. Pizzas come with a range of toppings, as illustrated by local food influencer Anthony Compofelice.
The beverage program begins with an Italian-oriented wine list that offers more than a dozen by-the-glass choices. Cocktails run the gamut from Italian classics like the negroni and Aperol spritz to kicked-up riffs on classics and zero proof options.
Chef and director of operations Stefano Ferrero, who grew up in Italy's Piedmont region, brings experience from hotels in Italy, Switzerland, and Mexico to the role. He'll work alongside executive chef Hilario Zamora and general manager Cristopher Perez to oversee the restaurant.
Overall, the expansive restaurant will occupy almost 7,800-square-feet with an approximately 1,200-square-foot patio. Plans call for it to serve dinner nightly and lunch Thursday-Sunday.
"We look forward to carrying on what we’ve created in The Woodlands and establishing ourselves in another home,” Ferrero said in a statement. “We were drawn to the River Oaks Shopping Center due to its location, unique flair, and walkability."
Houstonians have shown an almost limitless appetite for new Italian restaurants over the past year or so. In the last few months alone, the city has welcomed restaurants such as il Bracco, Davanti, and Numero 28. The months to come will see even more new options, including Underbelly Hospitality's Pastore and Tavola, a companion Italian concept to the renovated La Table.