Laurenzo’s Restaurant is a restaurant bred from a line of Houston culinary royalty. The owner, Domenic Laurenzo, is the grandson of none other than Mama Ninfa and Domenic Tommy Lorenzo themselves. The family also owns beloved Laurenzo’s El Tiempo, however, this is not your ordinary Tex-Mex joint. The Laurenzo’s, being a Houston family of Mexican and Italian roots, know a thing or two about Tex-Mex, Italian, and Cajun. Each bite brings you a little closer to this renowned culinary family’s history. Once again, the Laurenzo’s family is opening their arms to Houston Restaurant Weeks where they’ll be offering multi-course options for Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner. You can get three courses for a mere $35 at lunch or 3 courses for $45 dinner, where part of the proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank. This is one restaurant that should definitely be at the top of your HRW roster.
Take a sneak peek at what Laurenzo’s and their executive chef Donny Navarette have in store for what in my opinion is the happiest time of year. Chef Donny pulled the best of best from their existing menu and compiled pairings that you’ll be able to get during HRW or not. My favorite of the bunch was their dinner menu. Your first course can consist of a wedge salad with a perfectly funky blue cheese dressing to a rich gumbo some local NOLA residents are claiming to be the most authentic in town.
This appetizer round, with it’s robust flavors and large portions, will make you question how it can possibly get any better. Oh, but it can. Enter the entree round. Three words: Sunday. Gravy. Pasta. With options such as a perfectly cooked, decadent prime rib, country fried pork chops with an Italian style cream gravy, and grilled chicken topped with cheese and serrano peppers, it’s easy for this pasta dish to get overshadowed. Traditionally, Sunday Gravy is made with all the odds, ends, and bits of the week thrown into a tomato based stock and ladled generously over pasta. This gravy, the same gravy Mama Ninfa made all those years ago for her family, is something that can only be described as God sent. Chef Donny takes pride in using the absolute best ingredients in his kitchen, and you can imagine that even the odds and ends are of the best quality. This gravy is then ladled over linguine that is made fresh daily, then topped with Laurenzo’s famous meatballs.
Deconstructed Apple Cobbler, Italian Cream Cake, White Chocolate Bread Pudding (l to r)
This HRW menu will assure that you don’t leave hungry. I mean, how could you when you have the option to end your meal with a tower of Italian Cream Cake? This Italian Cream Cake is topped with a mascarpone frosting and hardly skimps on the nuts. Not your style? They have a deconstructed apple cobbler topped with Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream, and a killer, dense white chocolate bread pudding made from their scratch brioche buns. What better way to do your civic duty of contributing to an amazing charity than with three courses of authentic Tex-Mex/Italian/Cajun goodness?