I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
Bistecca Italian Steakhouse is a relative newcomer to the Houston restaurant scene. The building used to house another restaurant called Bistro 224 and then a flower shop called the Plant House. Bistecca opened in the latter part of 2015 after renovations to the structure of the building.
My husband and I recently made our first visit to this bright and airy establishment during the 2017 Houston Restaurant Weeks. We are very familiar with Sorrento Ristorante Italiano, located just a few blocks away. Both restaurants are owned by Abbas Hussein but are quite different in appearance. What ties them together, other than ownership, is the quality of their food—as we would soon discover.
In the entrance and main dining room, the two-story ceilings with numerous windows allow plenty of natural light to illuminate the space. The look is minimalistic with white walls and white tablecloths setting the tone. The decor is modern. The pops of color with bright yellow bench seating and colorful art are even more noticeable due to that backdrop.
The bar and wine storage room can be viewed from the main dining room. I am sure that the bar area has many customers during the happy hour times from 4 to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Glass doors can be closed in the one private dining room off the main dining area to at least deaden the sounds emanating from both regions.
The other private dining area pictured above is pretty. I have read some reviews in which people write about being distracted from the adjacent hallway. That is where people using the restrooms as well as waitstaff coming to and from the kitchen are seen. It is not closed off with glass doors like the other more private space. I have to admit that I discovered it when using the restroom before leaving the restaurant.
There is also an outdoor dining space to the front of the restaurant.
The day we dined at Bistecca Italian Steakhouse, the dining room had few customers. Admittedly we were there towards the latter end of regular lunch hours, which are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Dinner hours are 5 to 10 p.m., Mondays to Thursdays. They stay open one hour later on Friday and Saturday evenings, and they are closed on Sundays.
Crusty, delicious bread is served to each table with butter and a delicious olive tapenade. Chef Alberto Baffoni probably has his unique recipe for this tapenade. It was delicious with the bread.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Italian-born Chef Baffoni has worked in several locales, including London, the Bahamas, Italy, and our nation’s capital before coming to Houston.
Our Food Choices
Pictured above is the housemade goat cheese and beet raviolo served with truffle cream and toasted almonds that I chose as my first course. The flavor combination was delicious!
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My hubby chose the potato and leek soup as his first course. The photo of the soup has some cracked pepper on it. The server lifted a domed top before serving these dishes. My husband was so happy with his choice, and he said he would happily order that soup again.
The salmon was my hubby’s second course, and once again, he was a happy camper! The pan-seared salmon was served with sauteed spinach, cannellini beans, and king crab. It was artfully presented on the plate and was as tasty as it appeared.
I chose the chicken breast. It was fire-grilled and served with bell pepper bandiera and parsley potatoes. For fun, I looked up the word “bandiera.” The flag of Italy (Bandiera d’Italia) has equally sized vertical stripes of green, white, and red. Looking at my dish, I believe the chef was using a play on words to describe the colors of this delectable chicken dish. It certainly had the correct colors on the plate!
There were three courses offered for lunch during Houston Restaurant Weeks 2017. Typically speaking, my husband and I hardly ever order desserts. Despite that fact, we enjoyed the ones provided here.
My husband chose the ricotta cheesecake, which was plated with an amarena cherry sauce and a sliver of poached pear. A dollop of whipped cream and a fresh blueberry was on top. He enjoyed it and finished every bite of it!
The pièce de résistance topping off a masterful meal, in my opinion, was the flourless six-layer chocolate cake with dark chocolate cabernet ganache. This masterpiece slice of cake was mouthwatering! Would I order this again? In a heartbeat is my answer!
Houston Restaurant Weeks
My hubby and I enjoyed discovering some new eateries during Houston Restaurant Weeks. The participating restaurants offer menu choices at discounted pricing. The Houston Food Bank benefits significantly from this effort every year as it is their primary annual fundraiser.
I am sure others take advantage of it like we do each year to try out new and different restaurants from the ones customarily patronized. It is a great way for restaurants to gain new, and hopefully, returning customers. The other restaurants we tried this year include the following: Ciao Bello Restaurant, Lucille’s, and Bistro Menil.
We will return to Bistecca Italian Steakhouse in the future. They regularly offer three-course business lunches for $25. The restaurant has complimentary valet parking.
Bistecca is in the Midtown / Montrose part of our city at 224 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77006.
Bistecca is now permanently closed. The pandemic of 2020 is hurting people worldwide. Businesses like restaurants are particularly hard-hit. It is with sadness that I pass this information along to others who have enjoyed the food and ambiance of Bistecca or those who have yet to discover it. Let these photos serve to memorialize it—our best wishes to the owner, chef, and wait staff.
© 2020 Peggy Woods