Where Did We Go?
Mascalzone (The Heights)
1500 Shepherd Dr. Houston, TX 77007
What’s the Skinny?
Mascalzone is an authentic Italian restaurant that has recently opened its second location in Houston. The first location of this London-based franchise (there are three locations in London) is situated on the West side of town and now this homemade pasta and pizza driven eatery has made it way inside the loop. Mascalzone is one of only five certified authentic Italian restaurants in Houston and the food, the design, and the concept prove that wholeheartedly. From the restaurant’s designer who is the mastermind behind their creative spaces, the builder’s who actually came from Italy to complete the build-out (including assembling the furniture), to a majority of the ingredients used in the dishes, and let’s not forget the MaranaForni Pizza oven – everything is made in Italy.
Both restaurants are both immaculate and beautiful and one could spend hours enjoying the ambiance. The hues of red, green, and black give it a bit of sex appeal without being over the top and the finishing touches of bright ceramic decorations and floor to ceiling windows invokes such minimalistic glamour. In addition to a drop dead gorgeous interior, the second location in The Heights is in the process of being expanded to include a patio and live DJ’s will be spinning on the 1’s and 2’s every Friday and Saturday night.
Owners Rachel and Andrea Magi and Chef Alberto (who came to Houston in 1997) knew that Houston would be the perfect spot to expand their brand. A city full of “adventurous eaters” was the reason and we can’t disagree with them. For a little adventure of your own, try their signature Mascalzone which can be easily described as a hybrid between a pizza and a calzone.
What Did We Love?
We were so impressed with the food that we visited three times in the same week. Yes, these guys know a lot of something about good Italian food! A few favorites from the menu were:
- Vitello Tonnato* – Thinly sliced roasted veal with tuna aioli, capers, Roma tomato and lemon pulp
- Calamari Gameri E Kale* – Flour dusted baby calamari, shrimps and baked organic kale chips with spicy marinara sauce
- Pasta E Fagioli*– Pasta and kidney bean
- Tortelloni Di Granchio Alla Catalana** – Crab meat tortelloni in a lobster sauce and cherry tomato
- Lasagne** – Five layer pasta with béchamel and meat sauce
You’ll notice the last two dishes have double stars and that’s for good reason…WE LOVED THEM!!!! The Tortelloni Di Granchio Alla Catalana was al dente perfection, with the fresh crabmeat and lobster sauce working in harmony to provide a well-executed dish. Good Lasagne is all about the noodles, sauce, meat, and cheese. This one delivers on all of those fronts and has easily moved onto our favorites list. There is nothing fancy or overly complex about this one; just expect delicious classic Italian flavors.