Culture / Restaurants

Houston’s Own Little Italy?

One of the City’s Best Restaurants Gets a Sibling With Bronx Power

BY Laurann Claridge // 09.11.16

The team behind the acclaimed restaurant Helen Greek Food in Rice Village (chef William Wright, managing partners Sharif Al-Amin, Tim Faiola, and sommelier Evan Turner) has brought Little Italy to the Heights. Their newest restaurant, Arthur Ave, is named for a street in Bronx that was once the heart of that borough’s Little Italy

The menu is an amalgam of dishes from the urban immigrant communities that sprang up in the tenements of the North End of Boston, South Philadelphia, Manhattan, and the Bronx from the late 1800s to the first decades of the last century.

Deconstructed cannoli with candied orange
Deconstructed cannoli with candied orange

Wright is recreating Italian-American specialties in huge, hearty portions, such as: two platters (plenty for three to share) of spaghetti tossed in red sauce accompanied by a groaning plate of meatballs, sausage, and braised meats; an enormous plate of chicken parm; and satisfying pizza pies.

Wright spent time roaming the kitchens of Italy in preparation. Along the way, he befriended a couple who ship their pastas to Arthur Ave, with the exception of the ravioli and potato gnocchi verde tinged with pesto and parmesan ($16), both made in-house.

The wine and cocktail list is tight, edited by Shepherd Ross and Turner — no surprise, it focuses on Italian and California varietals. Designer Erin Hicks took the brick-lined space and created a low-lit dining room with comfy banquettes and framed mirrors to add evening sparkle.

Arthur Ave., 1111 Studewood St., 281.770.4445 or 832.582.7146, .

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