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Chef Chat Part II: Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio of Sabetta Café & Wine Bar

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Yesterday, we sat down with Chef Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio to discuss his new restaurant and wine bar, Sabetta.

Eating Our Words: You've only been open about two weeks. How has the response been so far?

Chef Palazzo-Giorgio: For the most part, the responses have been favorable. We've had a few stinging reviews, but we are working out the kinks. It's always hard to open a restaurant, and there are always issues at the beginning. Overall, our customers seem to like it. The other night, we had one couple stay for over three hours enjoying their dinner.

EOW: When you aren't eating at your restaurant, where are some of your favorite places to eat?

Palazzo-Giorgio: To prepare for opening Sabetta, I ate at a lot of Italian restaurants for research. I enjoyed Arcodoro because the menu was authentic Italian. Dolce Vita is also a favorite of mine. The pear and tallegio pizza is always my pizza of choice.

EOW: You're not from Houston originally. So, how did you end up here?

Palazzo-Giorgio: I moved to Houston in 1982 to work as the Executive Chef for Ten Ten downtown. It was a bad time to start a restaurant, and at that time, downtown was really only a nine-to-five area. After Ten Ten closed, I stayed in Houston to work, and a few years later, met my wife.

EOW: What are your plans for the future?

Palazzo-Giorgio: In the immediate future, we are opening Sabetta for lunch. Also, I hope my wife will eventually join me at Sabetta.

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