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Crash Course at Ristorante Cavour

Get a real Italian experience -- in both food and service

The desserts here should not be missed, no matter how stuffed you may feel. And they're not so large you'll feel guilty about eating them. The tiramisu has a texture that can only come from mascarpone cheese and lots of cream; while I vowed to taste only a spoonful, I found myself going back to it time and again, until there were no more spoonfuls to be had. The other dessert we sampled was the lemon sorbet, which was just tart enough to prove that it had been made with real lemons and smooth enough that it went down ­effortlessly.

While the food at Ristorante Cavour is the best example of Northern Italian cuisine in the city, the food isn't the only reason to come here. Cavour's classic European-style service is unparalleled in Houston. On both visits, from the moment we were seated until the moment we left, everything — and I mean every minute detail — was executed perfectly. I was astonished to discover this kind of service. Some might call it old-fashioned, but it definitely enhanced both meals. The examples of excellence are too numerous to mention, but I will highlight just a couple. Everything here is done at a leisurely pace, and you'll never feel rushed. When the food is served, it is always done from the right-hand side of the patron. All guests are served at once, meaning that four servers are required at a table of four. Dishes like soups have covers on them, which are removed once the plate is placed in front of the guest, and all at precisely the same moment. On one occasion, my dining companion's purse fell off the back of her chair. A waiter quietly and unobtrusively came over and attached a small device with a hook to our table for hanging the bag.

The beef tenderloin carpaccio has a spectacular presentation.
Daniel Kramer
The beef tenderloin carpaccio has a spectacular presentation.

Location Info

Map

Ristorante Cavour

1080 Uptown Park Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Galleria

Details

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 6 to 10 p.m. Saturdays.

Wild mushroom soup: $9

Beef tenderloin carpaccio: $14

Risotto alla Milanese: $10

Basil gnocchi: $9

Tomato soup: $9

Lobster roulade: $16

Polenta: $8

Ravioli: $12

Vitello tonnato: $24

Steak tartare: $35

Tiramisu: $8

Lemon sorbet: $8

Villa Sandi Prosecco: $40

1080 Uptown Park Blvd,. 713-418-1000.

It's not often that spectacular food is combined with perfect service as it is at Cavour. When you do find it, it reminds you of what you have been missing at so many other places.

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