I arrived early and sat at the bar to wait for my fellow foodie friend. The manager was busy helping servers, walking through the bar with bottles of wine to deliver, and then back & forth from the kitchen to the host stand. He said hello to me twice before I ordered a drink. Well done, Mr. Manager.
The Italian murals, with bright colors, make the décor at La Griglia one to write home about. The atmosphere is energetic and sexy. Some might say a bit noisy, but I felt the buzz around the room added to the experience.
The clientele are… oh… so… River Oaks. The girl sitting at the table beside us had a very cha-cha cast on her arm…and her leg. Bling all over the place. Even her crutches were sporting diamonds, um, rhinestones.
After being seated for lunch, I was startled (and frightened) when my friend dropped the restaurant bomb… “You do know Tilman Fertitta bought this restaurant too?”
I had to compose myself. Please foodie genies of the world… My wish is that the purchase of this restaurant by Landry’s will not result in another Grotto disaster. I have clutched on to Grotto in Houston, just hoping it will be the way it was when owned by Tony Vallone. It just doesn’t happen.
I still continue to go back, even to Grotto in the Woodlands. It seems to always have a disappointing feel in comparison to the old days.
For me, it’s hard to describe the way pizza bread makes me feel. The happiness of seeing that one of my choices in the bread basket is pizza bread, well, it is a pretty big deal.
The Pacchettini Pasta is stuffed with butternut squash in a delicate sage sauce. I never would have ordered this. It is just not something I would be interested in. Squash has always been unappealing to me. The chef sent this item over for us to taste, and we loved it. The pasta was cooked firm to perfection. This appetizer was a wonderful surprise.
I ordered the halibut that was being featured. It is served with crabmeat, spinach, and mushrooms, topped with a lemon butter sauce. This entrée is very light and fresh. Our server recommended the halibut over the snapper. He was cool in a suave kind of way. He only came over occasionally, but when he did, it was at exactly the right time.
I am completely jealous of my foodie friend’s order. It’s totally unfair to get out-ordered. There is no chance of winning against the Shrimp & Crab Cheesecake.
The Shrimp & Crab Cheesecake consists of jumbo blue crab & gulf shrimp baked in a mascarpone custard, with basil pesto bianco glaze. This is a no brainer… It is a creative and delicious masterpiece.
I often prefer to have sorbet rather than dessert. My two scoops of raspberry sorbet were a perfect ending to a fabulous lunch at La Griglia.
Dear Mr. Fertitta,
On behalf of Houston, I thank you for keeping La Griglia the same.
Almost Veggie Houston
I was excited to meet Chef Marquina. The restaurant was packed, but he made time to speak with me about my lunch. He has a contagious smile and a talent for great food. What a relief it is to have an all around positive experience. I will definitely be back again.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch