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Valentino Ristorante, Houston, Texas
Authentic Italian Fine Dining in Houston
by Carl Burnham
Looking for a memorable evening offering the best in Italian fare while in Houston? Valentino Ristorante and Vin Bar offers this and much more. Noted as a place to see and be seen, the real stars of the show are the captivating regional Italian dishes served up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Watch a Video of the Valentino Up Close
Located at the Hotel Derek on Westheimer near the Galleria,
Valentino's has been a sensation since opening Fall 2009. The owner, Piero Selvaggio, has been given the highest awards in the restaurant business, with Valentino's a big hit in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. Heralding from Modica, Sicily; he and several acclaimed chefs on staff at Valentino's in Houston serve up a delightful feast of authentic Italian dishes and fine wines.
As I made my way through the Vin Bar to the dining area, I noted the rich red and black interior designs. For the casual fare, the Vin Bar offers sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, pastas, and salads. Also available is a rich array of world cheeses, vegetarian selections, and libations. I hear that the Chocolate Raspberry Mousse is a favorite among patrons.
Side hotel entrance to Vin Bar
The Valentino has an extensive collection of vintage wines to choose from. As Director of Operations and Wine Buyer, Sebastiano Mazzucato and Selvaggio have acquired an impressive wine collection from
Napa Valley, Italy, and New Zealand.
Fine Dining Area at Valentino's in Houston
Seeking a light fruit wine to start the meal, I chose a glass of Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon wine that was recommended by our waiter, a flavorful Napa Valley red wine (Stag's Leap district) with a light fruity taste.
A Choice Selection of Italian Breads
We were served a blend of Italian breads, including a flaxseed crisp, flat bread, sweet raisin bread, cornbread, and cheese crisp with seasoned butter.
"Bufalo al Mosto"
My main course was juicy buffalo tenderloin medallions combined with vincotto and roasted onions. It makes my mouth water remembering it now. My wife had a lighter fare of "Asparagi Milanese" which consisted of steamed asparagus with parmesan cheese and a fried egg with potato tart. Quite tasty.
Dessert at Valentino
For dessert, we each had a unique selection: chocolate tart with praline ice cream and fruit garnish and cheesecake with mango sherbet and chocolate, each topped with a sugary fork.
Following our meal, Luciano Pellegrini, Co-Owner and Executive Chef, came out to say hello. All I could bring myself to say was "magnifique!!"
We would like to thank Debra Ford and the Valentino Restaurant staff for their hospitality and for assisting with our feature.
Prepare to be pampered at the Hotel Derek in Houston.
Since the age of 12, Sebastiano Mazzucato has been involved in all aspects of the restaurant business. Heralding from Venice, Italy, I enjoyed talking with Sebastiano as he shared some of his vast knowledge of fine wines. Sebastiano has traveled the world and as Director of Operations of Valentino Ristorante ensures that your dining experience will be memorable.