Billionaire empresario Tilman Fertitta’s impressive reinvention of La Griglia is a huge success with practical souls: those who are interested in the food and not the diminishing empire of the late, great restaurateur Tony Vallone. Expect a swanky interior with dramatic lighting, a large bar area, a larger main dining room, and a high decibel level day and night. Thankfully, the lovely patio makes a good option, weather permitting. Top marks to hamachi crudo, plated as a circle of moist yellowtail topped with oregano, salsa verde, a drizzle of olive oil, and a bit of lime juice for kick. Equally fine? Beef carpaccio, a bright green pile of arugula surrounded by wafer-thin slices of beef with dabs of mascarpone cream and sweet little peppers. Pasta also gets respectful treatment. Witness the ravioli, six pillows of pasta with ricotta di bufala and a bit of wine—rich! Veal scallops, nicely browned, lined the center of the plate awaiting the server’s generous pouring of beefy-oniony genovese sauce. Brick Chicken also worked: flattened breast and legs atop mushrooms and served with a savory velouté. A bit lighter, snowy-fleshed red snapper came topped with large lump crabmeat and a grilled prawn on Barolo wine sauce—a little more seasoning would have made it perfect. Pluses include well-trained servers and a major offering of cocktails and wines
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A legendary Houston restaurant gets a new location, new feel, and a fine new menu.