By Brooke Viggiano
By Minh T Truong
By Molly Dunn
By Joanna O'Leary
By Francisco Montes
By Molly Dunn
By Molly Dunn
By Katharine Shilcutt
Pasta and seafood is one of my favorite combinations, so I was eager to order Arcodoro's taglierini ai frutti di mare. I don't know what I was expecting, but the dish let me down. While the taglierini was supple and perfectly cooked, and the clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari all seemed fresh, the simple tomato sauce was a bland disappointment.
One outstanding, though non-Sardinian, fish dish I sampled was called rotolini di sogliola -- thin Dover sole fillets rolled around tender artichoke hearts and served on a bed of succulent pureed eggplant. But another non-Sardinian fish dish wasn't quite so successful. Grouper served with a medallion of foie gras on top didn't win any raves from our table. I don't oppose the combination of meat and fish per se; in fact, I was once served a whole flounder topped with beef marrow bones in Burgundy that still ranks high on my fish-dish hit parade. But the duck-liver flavor of the foie gras and the strong taste of the grouper just didn't come together in this presentation.
Houston, TX 77056
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Clam soup: $12.50
Sea bass carpaccio: $16.50
Ravioli Arcodoro: $23.50
Shrimp and scallops: $34.50
Clam pizza: $13.50
I still feel as if I barely grazed the surface of Arcodoro's menu. On my next visit, I hope to sample the pesce al sale, a whole Gulf red snapper encased in sea salt and baked in the pizza oven. I'm also eager to try the squid-ink risotto with cuttlefish. And I haven't even started on the veal and lamb dishes.
Arcodoro's disparate dining areas give the restaurant a wide range of atmospheres. There's a large quiet formal dining area with linens on the tables. There's also a semiprivate room with one large table that's popular with big parties. There's a more informal bar area, and then there are two sections of outdoor picnic tables, which are popular when the heat's bearable.
The first time I ate at Arcodoro, we arrived around 8:30 p.m. on a Friday. The bar was quiet, and we weren't really dressed for the formal dining room, so we opted to sit outside. After a lovely dinner, I wandered inside, looking for the restroom. And I was astonished by the transformation the bar had undergone.
The empty seats of an hour before were now filled with knockout babes in little bitty dresses, drinking bellinis. Smooth-looking thirtysomething guys were standing behind them three deep. And the pizza oven was cranking out the pies as fast as the pizza-maker could throw them.
Arcodoro is one of the most popular restaurants in the Galleria neighborhood. Whether you go there looking for authentic Sardinian cuisine, frozen cocktails, late-night singles action or all of the above, odds are you won't be disappointed.
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