Best Pasta - 2001
It's not just noodles anymore, and they don't all come from Italy, so put that redneck mentality aside and take a look at the rainbow of international pastas that make Houston a regular pasta jungle and their gustation a celebration. Better yet, take a father and son of Armenian descent who love southern European cuisine, and stick them in an American kitchen to get Masraff's. Father Tony and son Russell Masraff spin out some tasty and eye-catching dishes, but a singular dish of mushroom ravioli shows they appreciate both the form and function of delicious pasta. The plump cushions of many mushrooms found at Masraff's are made from thin, near-transparent slips of pasta that defer to the flavor of the ravioli's contents, unlike so many doughy raviolis one has to fight through to find the treasure inside, which often is disappointing if the pasta itself steals the show. The ravioli contains fresh representatives from a well-stocked fresh fungus aisle, from morels to portobellos, and are infused with white truffle oil and Madeira wine. The mushrooms that don't fit inside the glistening pasta pockets are piled on top, as if a signature.