Austin’s Mezzaluna and its San Antonio sibling, Luna Notte, are high-profile, high-tech Italian eateries where the hungry and the hungry-to-be-seen congregate. Chef Harvey Harris is a former art major who applies his creative temperament to the restaurants’ rustic southern Italian fare. How is it that Italian country food brings out the best in Harris, a Sweetwater native whose interest in cooking came from watching his mother and grandmother prepare meals? It’s remarkably similar to our own home cooking: Quail, polenta, and spinach are just another look at chicken, cornbread, and greens. And no matter what country you’re in, home cooking is always in good taste.

Try Harvey Harris’s recipe for Grilled Quail with Polenta on Spinach.