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“Disappointing food in a pleasant upscale locale”
Review of Osteria Mazzantini - CLOSED

Osteria Mazzantini
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed February 15, 2014 via mobile

I have wanted this place to be my fav Italian spot given its billing as a hip new osteria with classic Italian fare; however, it has missed it's mark in so many ways. After 3 visits , I doubt I'll give it another chance. The food is uninspired with no depth of flavor. The portions are absurdly stingy and the prices equally offending. The wine prices in particular are so overpriced that they border on gauging a captive audience. Their Tomassi Amarone was well over 3 times retail. While they do have a nice selection of bitters, the take home feeling I get at this restaurant is that the evening is more about lining their coffers than it is about giving me quality food and a real Italian experience.

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    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Steven M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (31)
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15 - 19 of 31 reviews

Reviewed January 20, 2014

The 4 of us dined together Saturday night, sharing all courses. We started off with a sausage and lentil dish and mussels. The lentils were delicious, the pork sausage just ok. I'm not a mussels fan but enjoyed dipping my bread in the red sauce at the bottom of the bowl. Two pasta dishes followed, the garganelli and quail risotto which was perfectly cooked. We then shared the snapper, a side of brussel sprouts (amazing) and ?. We finished off with the carmel chocolate dessert - delicious. We received a great wine recommendation and service was pretty good, although we had to ask 3 times for more bread. In summary, the food is good and the ambiance nice but we all felt the prices were high. They wanted $60 for osso buco!

1  Thank Suzanne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

After reading reviews from the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Press, I was very excited to try Mazzantini. My wife and I celebrated our 19th anniversary there last night with two friends. One recommendation from the published reviews stated to go during happy hour to try several items for a reasonable price.

We met at 5pm and tried every item on the HH menu. The pasta was slightly overcooked, but the sauce was tasty. The whipped cod was okay, but would have been more enjoyable if served warm (like they do at Poscol). The carpaccio was flavorless except for the sauce. But, the most disappointing item was the pizza.

The Chronicle review led me to believe the pizza was going to be special. It mentioned the crust is a cross between Neapolitan and Roman. The crust was boring. The pork belly were essentially pieces of tasteless fat. The review states the results are stunning. The results were leaving me wanting a better pizza.

Also, the four of us shared 2 bottles of sparking wine. With each bottle, after the waiter poured the first glass, he disappeared. Waiter after waiter walked by and not one offered to refill our glasses. We took care of that on our own.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014 via mobile

Chef John Sheely has created a Fantastic Dining Experience. John came to the table and that was a treat. I had the Chicken Cacciatore and my wife had Shrimp,Squid &Tuna
It was Delicious. The service was
excellent.We also had the Fegatini Toscano a wonderful Liver Mousse. Our Friend had Risotto with Quail and his wife had the Ravioli.The Wine List descriptions were very informative. The Wine that we had with lunch was Perfect. A Great Lunch.

Thank Bonarrigo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2013

We went there the week before Christmas with one of our eating groups. Several of the members had been there before and raved about it. We were not disappointed.

The food was delicious, as others have already mentioned. My wife and I split three appetizers and a pasta dish. Don't miss the meatballs, they are fantastic and I take my meatballs seriously so you can count on that. We had the black mussels in a delicious broth, and plenty of them! The seafood pasta was very tasty and we had the large size which was more than enough for two to share.

So the food was excellent, but what really impressed me was the staff and the organization. The restaurant is on the ground floor of a large bank building with a paid garage but they validated my ticket on my out so it was free. I asked on the way in and the very nice front desk person told me to check back on the way out. Just as we were finishing dinner she came by and collected all of our tickets and brought them back before we even had our coats on. They do have valet, also, if you like. Cars were waiting for the others as we walked out the door.

And the check. Our group is not good at math and we ordered different things. No problem, they told us at the beginning and we were not disappointed. Separate checks, including wine sharing, came back and there were no mistakes. Including the tip (which they told us in advance) also helped with the process. It is so refreshing to see that technology is being used for what used to be a complicated, and sometimes stressful, end to a meal. Some places do it right and some don't. This one does it right.

And service? Friendly and very efficient. Greeted, introduced, and very attentive. The dishes are delivered simultaneously by a large group of staff which I think is classy. Nothing worse than being the last one to get your meal and you have to keep telling the others to "go ahead". Not a problem here.

The sommelier is excellent. She asked many questions (including price) before recommending what turned out to be two different, very nicely priced, wines. All of us know our wines (we even had a master of wine at the table) and we were delighted with her choices. She returned several times to be sure we were doing OK and poured when needed.

The restaurant is part of a local restaurant group so they know what they are doing and do it very well.

I look forward to returning again after the holidays.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank mikel12323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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