Osteria Mazzantini arrived on the scene and immediately made a name for itself thanks to chef/owner John Sheely's unique version of upscale Italian home cooking. There's no foam or gel or maltodextrin here, but there are sometimes challenging flavor combinations and interesting ingredients that will satisfy adventuresome and picky eaters alike. The wine list is one of the best in town, and even though Mazzantini is not a steakhouse, its strip loin could hold its own against the fare at any major steak restaurant. Go for lunch to try the pizza, and hit up happy hour for great deals on bar bites and creative cocktails. And then thank Sheely's Italian ancestors for instilling in him the desire to bring a little bit of their homeland to the Gulf Coast.