One thing Italians know how to do is eat. Antipasto is like a series of tapas; but instead of serving them on different plates like the Spaniards do, the Italians prefer them all on one plate. At Damian's Cucina Italiana (3011 Smith, 713-522-0439), the sumptuous assortment of cold foods called antipasto misto ($7.95) is on view at the front of the restaurant. The offerings change frequently -- on one evening, the chef had prepared a plate of marinated olives and onions, cheese, mortadella, pepperoncini, stuffed mushrooms, frittata, a country pâté and marinated chicken breast. It's more than enough to get the gastric juices flowing and prime you for the pasta course.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.