Mama Mazzantini!

Osteria Mazzantini

Laurann Claridge
October 21, 2013

Mothers play a pivotal role in the development of a child — especially those reared with a yearning to cook. Enter chef John Sheely, owner of Mockingbird Bistro. His mother was a Mazzantini, a family that migrated from Tuscany 10 generations ago and landed in Galveston. In homage to his mama, Sheely has opened Osteria Mazzantini in the BBVA building in the Galleria area. As exec chef, he’s installed Paul Lewis, who’s spent a good deal of his career working in lauded hotels such as the Four Seasons. Fittingly, O.M’s dining room (150 seats inside and 50 on the patio) reminds us of a great hotel dining room; this one was conjured by Acumen Design. The cucina rustica menu is an alluring blend of antipasti, pizza, contorni, primi pasta interludes and secondi entrees. The fegatini toscano was a masterful blend of chicken and duck-liver mousse puréed and layered in a stem-less wine glass with balsamic jelly and a dollop of fennel jam. Pastas made in-house include the triangular penne noodle, trenne in a blend of aged balsamic, butternut squash and parmesan reggiano. Entrees such as braciola di maiale — a mighty pork porterhouse our waiter urged us to order — proved to be a flavorsome cut served with braised red cabbage and melted gorgonzola. Don’t miss the wine list, where Sicilian reds and even Italian-style Rieslings mingle — many can be enjoyed in a three-ounce pour. 2200 Post Oak Blvd., 713.993.9898;