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North Italia

There’s no getting around it: making a reservation at North Italia is absolutely required to dine among the throngs of Post Oak denizens who pack the place even on weeknights. The big draws are high-quality housemade pizzas, pastas, salads, meat and seafood entrees at reasonable prices. North Italia seems to have a knack for balancing flavors, such as the fig and prosciutto pizza, which manages to bring dried fruit, salty meat and creamy goat cheese into perfect harmony. In addition, both the bottle and by-the-glass wine lists have great domestic and Italian options. Choose either a five-ounce pour or an eight­ounce for a better price per ounce. There are much better cocktails to be had in Houston, so either skip the list altogether or be very specific about what you want, lest you end up with a selection that’s either too sweet or too wimpy.

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