Updated Posting: December 2013
Seriously. $65 for an off-the-menu osso bucco special when it was on the menu for our first visit at $39 and better executed as well. And the rest of our dishes weren’t as impressive as our first visit. We haven’t been back.
Original Posting: October 2013
Resident in the new BBVA Compass building on Post Oak, Osteria Mazzantini is the latest offering from John Sheely, the chef-owner of Mockingbird Cafe. Located immediately adjacent to and north of the Old Navy shopping center, we had some trouble finding the place as there’s no sign yet on Post Oak. But, once we did, we were quite happy.
The inside of the restaurant is on the smaller side. There’s a nice sized bar area and an expansive outdoor patio that will likely be buzzing once we see cooler weather. Tables inside the restaurant are spaced close together, which might bother some diners. The noise level was very manageable (including hearing your neighbor’s discussions). There’s a bar menu and the now ubiquitous artisanal cocktails. (The manhattan style one was quite tasty.) Prices are comparable to other mid to high end Houston restaurants.
Upon being seated and ordering drinks, the complimentary bread service was delivered, complete with a yummy lardo butter and a high quality olive oil. There were many menu offerrings that we wanted to try, but, when we see bone marrow, we can’t resist, so our appetizer choice was made. Served piping hot, with grilled toast (order extra) and sided with a vibrant salsa verde sauce, the bone marrow was a great start. We then tried the kale and sweetbread ravioli, with brown butter, parmesan and pine nuts. While we couldn’t discern the sweetbreads, the ravioli were quite delicious. For our entree, we shared the osso buco. Richly sauced, served with the traditional gremolata and complete with a tiny spoon for the marrow, this was as good a version of this classic that we’ve had in a long time. But the dish was made particularly special by the parmesan risotto. Most restaurants can make risotto taste quite good by using copious amounts of butter and cheese, but the tricky part is in getting the right consistency. Osteria Mazzantini has that down better than most places.
Our reservations were honored on time, and the service was very good. The only glitch was that we apparently got out the door without receiving the complimentary mini-box of cookies. We used the free valet parking, but we understand they validate parking in the garage. This is a hot place right now, reservations are a must. Given the location, they’ll be busy at lunch, and we’ve heard they’ll also be doing a weekend brunch. Let’s hope they can keep up the great execution.
2200 Post Oak Boulevard, # 140