Best Italian: Ostia
Native Houstonian chef Travis McShane spent time at NYC’s famed Barbuto and Adele's in Nashville before returning home, and he is very much welcome to stay here now. At his beautiful neighborhood spot, McShane takes a seasonal approach to rustic Italian and Mediterranean fare. Start with salumis, crusty scratchmade bruschetta, and salads hit with things like beet, hazelnut, and stracciatella; then share large plates from bucatini carbonara and NY strip romesco to the house specialty, a lemony on-the-bone- roast chicken with bright salsa verde. If it’s date night, you’ll want to score a seat on the lush outdoor terrace to up the romance factor.