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Stew Weather: Bistro Don Camillo

In some respects, the food is almost identical. The kitchen staff at Bistro Provence makes many of the pâtés and conserves for both restaurants, so both have excellent housemade pâtés and rillettes and stellar cold-weather French classics like duck confit over beans and slow-cooked rabbit stew.

But Bistro Don Camillo ventures further across the border into Italian territory with a wide selection of pasta dishes, more Italian-style pizzas and more Italian ingredients. The name of the place is an inside joke — it refers to a series of French-­Italian comedy films about a fictional priest named Don Camillo. The movies came out simultaneously in French and Italian.

If Italian fare sounds like a strange thing to eat in a French restaurant, consider the odd history of the French city of Nice on the Côte d'Azur. The impoverished fishing village was still part of Italy in the mid-1700s when British aristocrats made it fashionable for its healthy climate. This part of the French Riviera didn't become part of France until the mid-1800s. The food and culture of the area are still as much Italian as French.

The pizza, with goat cheese, Bayonne ham and artichoke hearts, is a good deal.
Troy Fields
The pizza, with goat cheese, Bayonne ham and artichoke hearts, is a good deal.

Location Info

Map

Bistro Don Camillo

6510 Del Monte Drive
Houston, TX 77057

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Galleria

Details

Lunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays. Dinner hours:5 to 9 p.m. Mondays; 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Business lunch: $18.95

Goat cheese pizza: $10.50

Duck liver mousse: $6.50

Escargot: $7.95

Oxtail ravioli: $16.95

Beef stew: $14.95

6510 Del Monte, 713-782-3011.

Bistro Don Camillo's French/Italian menu is especially appealing in this new age of frugality. The business lunch isn't the only great deal to be had here. You and a companion can get two salads or appetizers, split a $10 goat cheese, artichoke and ham pizza or a big square of old-­fashioned lasagna, and get out of there for an amazingly cheap $25 — plus whatever you spend on drinks. (I recommend a large bottle of Fischer d'Alsace, an excellent French beer.)

And should you get tired of all this conspicuous austerity and want to splurge one night, Bistro Don Camillo is also a fine place for some duck liver mousse and Margaux.

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