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Houston Metro Area, Katy, Restaurants

Sapore Ristorante Italiano in Katy ~ Charming Discovery!

Posted: December 23, 2016 at 10:54 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Fine Dining in Katy, Texas

Large and expensive homes seem to be popping up like wild mushrooms after a soaking rain in large subdivisions in the southern regions of Katy, Texas.  This is where people can find Sapore Ristorante Italiano.  The restaurant is located in an end cap of a strip shopping center.

Front view of Sapore Ristorante Italiano

Once stepping through the front door of Sapore the charm of this small cozy restaurant takes over.  It starts with a friendly greeting from wait staff as they lead you to your table.  Since this is a family owned and operated establishment, don’t be surprised if it is a family member seating you and/or waiting upon you.

Two small rooms to the front of the restaurant are bisected by the entrance passageway.  Straight ahead is the main dining room with an elevated section to the back.  This configuration makes for many little nooks where a person and their guests can feel quite private.

It would be a wonderful restaurant for dating couples who wish to talk and get to know one another better.

The walls are faux finished to give the appearance of plastered walls.  The selection of artwork is colorful.  A variety of miscellaneous pieces placed along shelving adds to the overall ambiance.  I imagine there is probably a story attached to each piece in the collection.

One table had just been cleared in the photo above.  The crisp white dining cloth on that table had not yet been replaced when I snapped this photo.  It is a nice touch to have cloth table linens and napkins for both lunch and dinner service.

So many restaurants have such a din of loud noises that it is hard to communicate.  In Sapore the music is definitely in the background…but oh so sweet.  The mixture of some good old time songs and music seemed just right.

Photo of George & Christos Batsios hung in entrance of Sapore Ristorante Italiano

Georgios (who identified himself to my husband and me as “George”) shares ownership of Sapore with his son Christos.  Christos is also the executive chef.

George stopped by our table to chat and make sure that we were pleased with everything.  We ended up having quite a lengthy discussion with him.

He told us that his entire family emigrated from Greece to the United States back when he was a child.  His first impressions of America included the Statue of Liberty and the amazingly tall buildings in New York City.

I remember my first trip to New York City as a child and like George, it was hard for me to fathom soaring buildings that tall!  The tallest buildings I had ever seen prior to that were in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

George’s family temporarily bunked in with family members in Flint, Michigan until his parents earned enough money to purchase their first home. We laughed about the prices of homes back in those days compared to what housing prices cost today.

My husband and I agreed with him that we would rather tolerate the blistering summer heat down here in Houston verses the seemingly endless cold winter months up north.  We had experienced both as had George.

It was fun chatting with this most personable man.   He has been in the restaurant business for many years and it would seem that it is in his blood so-to-speak.  George certainly knows how to make guests in his restaurant feel comfortable and welcomed.

Fried Calamari at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

It turned out that our friendly waitress was his daughter Fotina.  When she found out that it was our first visit she mentioned that the calamari which was on the dinner menu could be ordered for lunch.

Sapore Ristorante Italiano sculpture

As a matter of fact they will literally make anything a person desires if they have the menu ingredients in house and they have the time.  George affirmed that when we were chatting with him.

We love a good calamari and ordered it as our first course while still perusing the menu.  Fotina said that it is always prepared fresh.  It was easy to know that was the case upon tasting the squid.  It had a peppery dusting of flour and was fried to crispy perfection.

The spicy remoulade sauce along with a pomodoro sauce was a nice accompaniment to the calamari.  My husband and I often rate restaurants by how well they prepare and serve calamari if it is on the menu.

Sapore Ristorante Italiano gets a definite thumbs up rating for their calamari preparation!

Homemade Bread at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

A mention of the bread that they serve in Sapore is warranted.  Generally speaking we avoid eating bread served in restaurants other than a mere taste.  We would rather save room for the main dishes.  All thoughts of that approach fled our minds after our first taste.  Small slices of crusty exterior bread with a chewy delicious interior had us wanting more.

Accompanying the basket of bread was a reduction of a good balsamic vinegar covered with olive oil.  It made a tasty dipping sauce for the bread.

We asked George where he got his bread hoping that we could purchase it for our home use.  It is that good!  Unfortunately for us…but probably good for them…is the fact of it being made in house with a special flour that comes all the way from Italy.

The pastas are also made in house.  Many of their recipes are old family recipes.  Christos, the chef,  learned other cooking methods when working in kitchens in Europe.  He puts the combination of those old family recipes  plus what he learned to good use at Sapore.

What my hubby chose to eat that day was the Pollo al Marsala.

Pollo al Marsala at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

The tender chicken breast was prepared with sliced mushrooms as an accompaniment. A flavorful sweet Marsala wine sauce flavored the linguini on the plate as well as the chicken.

When my hubby makes this dish at home he generally uses a dry Marsala wine in the preparation of the sauce.  It was fun to taste the difference.  Both are good!

My choice of entrée that day was the Eggplant Parmigiano.  The pretty flowers which adorned both of our entrées were edible.  Shreds of freshly grated Parmesan cheese were added at the table to our liking.

Eggplant Parmigiano at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

My hubby makes a wonderful Eggplant Parmigiano at home.  He lightens it somewhat by only coating one side of the 1/2 inch sliced eggplant with the flour, egg wash and Italian bread crumbs.  He then covers the tops of the sautéed slices (breaded side up) with a marinara sauce.  It is then topped with mozzarella cheese plus a mixture of Romano and Parmesan cheeses before baking.  Individual slices are served.

The one at Sapore was obviously breaded on both sides and layered as in most classic recipes.  What made it special in my opinion was the crusty frico type cheese that I tasted which gave it some extra crunch.  That was a nice surprise to find that flaky crisp cheese under the creamy melted mozzarella which blanketed the top of the eggplant.

Spaghetti was served on the side and was dressed with the pomodoro sauce.  That sauce comes from one of their old family recipes.

Another view of the Eggplant Parmigiano at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

We have served frico at home at some of our dinner parties.  It is so easy to make!  If you are not familiar with how to make frico, here is a video:

The portions are large and we saw numerous diners taking what restaurants in the past used to refer to as “doggie bags.”  That euphemism is no longer used these days.  We also took home a portion of what we had eaten to enjoy it once again for another meal.

We chose to cap off our lunch that day with an espresso.  It was the perfect finish to our meal.

Serving of espresso at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

The word “sapore” means flavor or taste in Italian.  Thus the name of this restaurant seems very appropriate given the flavors of what we had just enjoyed.

Front license plate on car by Sapore Ristorante Italiano

This front license plate is on a vintage car owned by the chef Christos.  It is parked on the side of the restaurant.

Vintage car owned by the chef at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

George told us that ideally they would like to make an addition to this side of the restaurant where the car is parked and add a bar.  They will have to get approval from the owners of the strip shopping center.

This restaurant is certainly a great addition for the ever expanding number of people living in Katy, Texas.  We look forward to future visits there.

Sapore Ristorante Italiano signage

A map where you can easily locate this Sapore Ristorante Italiano is below.

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