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Berkshire pork shank Osso Buco at Ciao Bello

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We just loved Mai Pham’s My Table article on the many different interpretation of the Italian classic Osso Buco that you find in Houston these days.

Here’s what she had to say about Ciao Bello’s version.

“Sitting upright in a bed of creamy Milanese saffron risotto is the impressively large Berkshire pork shank osso buco by executive chef Bobby Matos, available on select days as a daily special. ‘I really believe that if cooked correctly, the pork shanks can be better than actual veal,’ says Matos, who braises the shank for six hours until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Matos’ interpretation of osso buco doesn’t come with marrow, but it is fantastic nonetheless. The delicate flavor of the pork is enhanced by a tomato-based red sugo, made of the braising liquid, tomato and a bit of butter.”

It’s a really great article that offers a lot of insights into how Houston chefs approach this benchmark dish.

Check it out here. And follow Mai @Femme_Foodie.

Ciao, the history of the word that is part of our name

From the department of “Just for Fun”…

Ciao… It’s a word that you hear nearly every day. Whether Italy, France, Germany, England, or the U.S.

It’s one of those words — a popular salutation — that has become a thread in the fabric of our lives. From teenagers to their grandparents, from celebrities to Joe the Plumber, from New York to Los Angeles and every neighborhood in between, even if you don’t use the word, you know what it means…

In English ciao is used exclusively as a salutation when saying good-bye.

In Italian, it’s used as both a greeting and a farewell. And when saying good-bye, Italians will often say it twice: ciao ciao

The word comes from sixteenth-century Venetian dialect, ciao from the Latin sclavus meaning slave.

It was commonly used at the court of Venice (at the height of the Most Serene Republic of Venice) to express respect as in the saying, “I am your humble servant.”

In English it’s commonly pronounced similarly to the word chow (/ˈtʃaʊ/).

In Italian, the oh in the (letter) o is more prominent (ˈtʃaːo).

The Venetians, who have a five- as opposed to seven-vowel system (like that in Italian), emphasize all the vowels: chee-ah-oh.

Such a small word but such a great legacy. All stretching back to a form of courtesy in Renaissance Venice.

Menus updated…

Please call (713) 960-0333 to reserve.

Click here for our current menus.

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Ciao Bello, Tony Vallone’s “neighborhood Italian”

Voted “best Italian restaurant in Houston” by the Houston Press in 2013 and 2014…

tony vallone restaurant houston

At Ciao Bello, our menu celebrates Tony Vallone’s first passion: authentic Italian cuisine.

From our pastas — made with water and flour imported from Italy — to our Roman-style sottile pizza, Ciao Bello leads its guests on a journey through the Italian culinary landscape.

Tony calls it his “neighborhood Italian.”

Brunch? In Italy they call it “broonch”


Please call (713) 960-0333 to reserve.

Above: The Kobe Burger with Fried Egg, Parmigiano Reggiano Fries, and Tomato Marmalade.

Italians love American pop culture: from Coca Cola to Michael Jackson, from Timberland boots to Woody Allen, they just can’t seem to get enough of it.

But in recent years, another all-American phenomenon has begun to command the attention — and appetites — of the Milanese and the Romans: brunch, or as the Italians call it, “broonch”.

It’s quite remarkable, really: in a country whose cuisine has conquered the world (can you imagine an American city or town without a pizzeria and an Italian restaurant?) and where food lovers generally hold American food in disdain (partly out of snobbery and partly because of the commercial forces that drive American fastfood), brunch has become an unstoppable fashion.
Read more

Menus updated…

Please click here for our newly updated menus!

Call 713-960-0333 to reserve.

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Menus updated…

Please call (713) 960-0333 to reserve.

Click here for updated menus.

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