Hidden Charms

You won't find the encrusted snapper ($19.95) on the menu at Vinnie's Italian Café [5413 Bellaire Boulevard, (713)667-7740]. You have to track down a waiter, wink twice and provide the secret password before he'll tell you about the dish. Well, not really, but what started out as an occasional special has become so popular that it's now prepared every weekend. Two beautiful medallions of snapper are wrapped in cooked angel-hair pasta and simmered in lemon-wine sauce with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roma tomatoes and capers. After a short stint in the skillet, the pasta-wrapped fish is baked in an oven to toast the outside of the pasta, then served in a pool of the sauce with two fat boiled shrimp garnishing the top. It looks like a lot of food, but we practically guarantee there won't be any leftovers.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Carol Rust