Photo by Troy Fields

Cane Rosso's executive chef, Dino Santonicola, is so well-regarded in the pizza world that he's considered a "fiduciary," or someone entrusted to check out other pizzerias by Vera Pizza Napoletana, an organization that trains individuals and certifies restaurants that produce authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. That's likely one reason Houston's first Cane Rosso location, in the Heights, is turning out such beautifully browned, tender-crusted pies. The chain, which started in Dallas, advocates simplicity, an approach that allows ingredients like Italian tomatoes and fresh basil to shine on their own merits. This first Houston location has been so successful that plans for another, in Montrose, swiftly followed.

Photo by Chuck Cook Photography

Who would have thought that the big, bold Cafe Annie sign would ever be seen again, much less those quintessential Southwestern dishes that first put chef Robert Del Grande in the spotlight? What started as an idea on how to celebrate Del Grande's 35 years in Houston by bringing back a few dishes evolved into a full-blown resurrection that replaced RDG + Bar Annie's staid identity with the original, more vibrant concept. Diners can once again enjoy Southwestern classics like rabbit enchiladas, black bean terrine and coffee-rubbed filet with adobo and pasilla chile sauce to their hearts' content.

Photo by Chuck Cook

Dinosaur-size beef ribs are mighty impressive and have gotten a lot of press over the past few years, but the folks behind Tejas Chocolate Craftory know there's more to great ribs than size. In fact, it's the humble pork rib here that shines brightest. That's largely thanks to a balanced rib rub that includes salt, pepper, cumin and coriander. There is no sugar, but the ribs acquire just a touch of sweetness thanks to being basted with barbecue sauce at the end. These pork ribs are well worth driving for — even to Tomball.

READERS' CHOICE: Killen's Barbecue

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