A new location of Grazia Italian Kitchen is now open in Katy, giving residents a taste of owner and culinary director Adrian Hembree’s Italy-meets-Texas brand of cooking. The restaurant opened April 19 in Villagio Town Center, 22764 Westheimer Parkway and retains the rustic elegance of the existing Pearland and Clearlake locations.

A central wood-fired oven takes center stage in the main dining room. Guests can take a seat at the hammered copper pizza bar top for traditional and fusion pies like the “Beefmaster” (mozzarella, smoked short rib, pancetta, peppadew peppers, red onions, basil, chipotle bourbon glaze, and white sauce) and chicken curry (mozzarella, chicken, red onion, red curry, cherry tomatoes and arugula). Decadent baked spinach artichoke dip is broiled in the wood oven, too, and paired with triangles of smoke-kissed flat bread. Pastas are made in-house, including the Mike & Jen wherein grilled chicken, garlic, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and capers are nestled with bowtie pasta and rich Romano cream.

Heavier mains include thick, smoked, double French bone-in pork chops with black truffle pancetta risotto; filet mignon and jumbo gulf shrimp served with mushroom demi glace and award-winning smoked beef short ribs a variation of which won awards at the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Uncorked! Best Bites Competition.

The beverage program highlights more than 100 bottles of wine along with eight house-infused Svedka vodkas. Cocktails made with the infused vodka include the Giovanna with Costa Rican pineapple infused tangerine vodka and the watermelon, strawberry and ginger-infused Valentina.

A dark palette anchors the rustic-elegant space offset by warm barn wood planks, stained concrete floors and hammered copper accents on both the beverage and pizza bars. Black runner lighting is a nod towards industrial design. Two private rooms—one with audio/visual capabilities—extend seating. Though he hasn’t shared details, Hembree promises to reveal an additional onsite project still in the works. (Could it be similar to the speakeasy at the Pearland location?)

As with its other locations, the Grazia Italian Kitchen in Katy will continue to support local organizations, ranging from schools and athletic programs to law enforcement and military collaborations.

For now, the Katy location is dinner-only for the first few weeks, with brunch and lunch to follow. The menu is the same as the previous locations, but Hembree says there may be new dishes added strictly for the Katy restaurant based on customer feedback.

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