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Nundini: Straight from the Old Country

Italian kitchen, still lacking its sea legs, shows real promise.

Here is where Nundini truly won me over: Not only does the wine program feature a wide selection of more than reasonably priced wines by the glass, its across-the-board pricing adds a mere $6.50 to the wine's retail price for table service (and all of the wines are available for purchase retail).

I loved my glass of Rupicolo by Rivera (Apulia), a blend of Montepulciano and Nero di Troia, a classic entry from one of southern Italy's leading producers. At just $8 a glass, it was one of the most expensive offerings. It had the acidity I crave, dark red fruit flavors, balanced alcohol and the earthiness that expertly vinified Nero di Troia should deliver.

The Dolcetto d'Alba by Stroppiana (Piedmont), at $6.75 a glass (a remarkable price for a wine of this quality), was delicious. Vinified and aged in stainless steel, this wine showed the classic clean and food-friendly stone fruit flavors that make Dolcetto one of Italy's most popular table wines.

You can't lose with the white pizza with bresaola.
Allison McPhail
You can't lose with the white pizza with bresaola.

Location Info

Map

Nundini Chef's Table Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar

500 N. Shepherd
Houston, TX 77007

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: Heights

Details

Grocery hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Restaurant hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Spaghetti Pomodoro Fresco e Basilico: $11
White Pizza with Bresaola: $13
Pizza Margherita: $11
Fritto Misto: $10.50
Stroppiana Dolcetto d'Alba: $6.75 by the glass
Rivera Castel del Monte Rupicolo: $8 by the glass
Dezzani Dolcetto d'Alba: $17.50 by the bottle

READ MORE
SLIDESHOW: Straight from the Old Country: Nundini Chef's Table Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar
BLOG POST: A Great Italian Wine List at Nundini

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I also really liked the Dolcetto d'Alba by Dezzani, which I ordered by the bottle for $17.50 ($11 retail). This entry-tier offering by this respected (however commercial) Italian house was brilliant and couldn't have been priced more affordably.

In a city where sommeliers and wine directors often blame high markups on high taxes and storage issues, a list like Nundini's was a true and very welcome breath of fresh air. I also found the waiters to be generous with their tasting pours, and when I asked my server to open a fresh bottle of Orvieto (after I found the wine flaccid, most probably because the wine had been left open overnight), he was happy to oblige, never missing a beat in his friendliness and hospitality.

Between Giampaolo's knowledge of Italian cookery, the extraordinary materia prima that he and his staff have at their disposal, and a rocking wine program, there's no doubt in my mind that Nundini has all the right stuff to become one of Houston's Italian standbys.

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4 comments
MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Checked this place out Friday night with the Mrs. She LOVED the brasoala, btw, thanks, on the tip-side, Mr. Parzen. Everyone seemed warm and friendly. Except our waitress, who seemed new and nervous. When asked about the charcuterie plate--rather than say, I'm not sure/let me ask--this child said, "I don't know, not many people ordered it." WTF? We decided to take our chances and started with the charcuterie appetizer. The plate of thick-cut meat with three olives, would've fed four. I would've given up half the meat for something to cut it with--cheese, bread, hell a cracker. Note: waitress girl redeemed herself by telling me the tea was sour and they had not brewed a fresh urn. Further, it was nice not to be educated that the drink we're PAYING for is a dessert wine. My Mrs. enjoyed the Reisling by the glass. Next up was the pizza we made the trip for. I didn't care for the white pie. At first taste it was like a bland grilled cheese sam'mich. I keep getting an eggy flavor I didn't care for. But, again, the Mrs. enjoyed it. As our table for two backed up with plates, we asked the waitress to pack our charcuterie to go. She left it on the table--training appears to be an issue--and we juggled plates, pizza and a bowl of pasta. The good news of the night was the strozzapreti with safron. WONDERFUL and I doubt we'll screw around with the pizza on our next trip. When asked about the liqueur in Cannoli, (as in what flavor) she proceded to tell us what a Cannoli is, (???). Like I didn't get that from Peter Clemenza. We opted for the gelato and while we were not disappointed, the getting up to go to the counter to return to our seats to tell waitress girl what we wanted (and hope she didn't bring us a plate of McNuggets) was a bit much. Nundini is a fun--if quirky--joint we'll hit again. Thanks for your review, Mr. Parzen.

DoBianchi
DoBianchi

@kshilcutt aw shux Katharine! those are some hi-falutin shoes to fill! congrats again on your AFJ award. http://t.co/CMXbKyha u SO deserve!

 
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