Big Flavors, Little Tables

Marco Wiles expands his Westheimer restaurant empire with another great Italian joint.

"Somebody want these last pieces?" she asked cheerfully. I understand that she needed to set down the plate she was carrying, and there wasn't any room on the table, but it's kind of weird to be told that you have to finish eating immediately or forfeit your appetizer.

It reminded me of Marco's other enoteca, Dolce Vita. When you pick up a slice of pizza to take a bite, the busboy takes away the empty plate. You have to eat the whole slice because there's nowhere to put it down. Supposedly, the waitstaff is "getting things out of your way." But the fact is, they are trying to get as many wallet-padded butts as possible into a limited number of chairs each night.

The food isn't nearly as good at 13 Celsius or Max's Wine Dive, but these are better destinations if you are looking for a wine bar where you can mingle, relax with a glass of wine and hang out for a while.

A favorite: braised baby octopus.
Troy Fields
A favorite: braised baby octopus.

Location Info


Vinoteca Poscol

1609 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Montrose


Hours: 5 to10 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Salad: $8

Cured meats: $9

Risotto: $9

Fish: $8

Cheese: $5

1609 Westheimer, 713-529-2797.

On my second visit, I started with an assortment of olives and finished with an item from the al forno (from the oven) section of the menu called "tagliolini Harry's Bar." It's a dish of extra-thin strands of pasta tossed with chunks of grilled prosciutto and white sauce, topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and baked in the oven.

Harry's Bar in Venice opened in the 1930s and was one of Hemingway's favorite hangouts. In the Harry's Bar Cookbook, the baked tagliolini is described as a lot of Italian ingredients in a French béchamel sauce. A similar béchamel is used in my favorite lasagna recipes — and that's exactly what Poscol's "tagliolini Harry's Bar" will remind you of. How very clever of Marco Wiles to sneak some filling faux lasagna onto Poscol's snacky tapas menu.

Keep the Harry's spaghetti in mind if you are worried about not getting enough to eat at Poscol. By the time I was done with that rich plate of baked pasta, I was so stuffed I didn't have room for cheese or dessert.

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