Talk about international style. Those sleek cream-colored walls and sexy blond- and-auburn wood floors could be anywhere in the world: New York, London, Tokyo— all of which happen to be among the 26 cities that Bice has colonized since it was founded in Milan, in 1926. So, yes, this Houston newcomer (pronounced “Bee-chay”) is an upscale chain. But wait. Don’t turn that page. Otherwise, you’ll miss some lovely contemporary Italian food. I adored the baked tortelli (like giant, fat ravioli) filled with a sybaritic purée of butternut squash and ricotta. The sautéed skate with a buttery sauce of capers and fresh cherry tomatoes defined “bliss.” True, the calf’s liver was goopy—too heavily dredged in flour—but the flavor, punched up by a balsamic jus, could not have been sprightlier. How nice that Bice has decided to occupy Texas too.

Try this recipe from Bice Beef Carpaccio With Black Summer Truffle