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Now Open: Raia's Italian Kitchen

Luke Raia, formerly of D'Amico's in the Village, has just opened a new place, Raia's Italian Market (4500 Washington, 713-861-1042).

"We're a deli, we're a market and we're a full-service Italian kitchen. We even have a steam table," says Raia. "We've got lots of imported Italian items as well as gelato, pizza and good coffee."

The Houston Press caught up with Luke on opening day after the first lunchtime rush and asked him how it went. Luke's answer was that of an honest man: "We've got some problems. Oh, my wife doesn't like it when I say 'problems,' so I better say 'kinks.' But we've got a big iron, and we'll iron them all out. We've got organizational problems in the kitchen. It didn't flow like it should have done. We should know better, since we've done this many times before."

Actually, we were there on opening day and very pleased to see so many imported Italian items that we hadn't seen before in Houston. The menu is full of great sandwiches like the muffaletta as well as typical pastas dishes. The steam table fish, lasagna and steamed veggies, as well as an Italian salad Marianna, were all delicious. If indeed they there were problems, we couldn't tell. -- Paul Galvani

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