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Tintos Spanish Restaurant & Wine Bar

"After 18 years doing this for others, I was ready to take the challenge on my own," Alberto Alfonzo says about why he decided to open his own restaurant, Tintos Spanish Restaurant & Wine Bar (2015 W. Gray, 713-522-1330). "Even though the economy is down, in hard times, good people can rise to the top."

Alfonzo grew up in Venezuela, then attended high school in Texas and graduated from A&M before taking his first job in the restaurant business as a manager of a Pizza Hut. From there he joined the Landry's group, where he spent 11 years, followed by a couple of years at The Tasting Room.

The Tintos menu will feature traditional Spanish tapas as well as modern ones, not just from Spain but from Central and South America and the Caribbean. When asked which dishes are proving to be the most popular, Alfonzo was quick to reply: "the mushrooms in a spicy garlic and wine sauce, the snails with goat cheese, the paella and, for dessert, the churros with a chocolate shooter."

Dish found the place delightful and the tapas plentiful and authentic. The more unusual ones sampled included the pulpo (roasted octopus), arroz negro (squid ink rice) and morcilla (blood sausage with a quail egg). There were plenty of spectacular dishes also available for the less adventuresome eater.

Got the latest info on restaurant openings, ­closings, special events and gossip? E-mail us at dish@houstonpress.com.

 
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