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How pizza is made? @EaterHouston’s visit to Ciao Bello earlier this year

Ciao Bello is one of “the top Italian eateries in Houston,” wrote Eater Houston editor Darla Guillen earlier this year. “That might be why the pizza there is as consistently well executed and freshly made as the restaurant’s popular pasta dishes.”

On a sultry Houston evening that just calls out for a great pizza, we thought we’d revisit this great post by Darla.

best pizza in houston

Our pansoti? “Delectable plush pillows” says Houston Press

pansoti best pasta houston

Here’s what the editors of the Houston Press had to say about Ciao Bello, their “Best Italian Restaurant 2013″:

Ciao Bello is “turning out the kind of food that people talk about, return for, tweet about and remember. Under Executive Chef Bobby Matos, a simple burrata salad of grilled peaches and arugula is amazing. Braised beef cheeks are so tender that you need nothing but a fork to enjoy the richly flavored meat. The pastas, made from the same ’00’ flour and imported Italian water as those at big brother Tony’s, are just a joy to taste and sample, from the house special pappardelle bolognese and the buttery rich mezzi rigatoni amatriaciana [below] to the sinfully creamy and delectable plush pillows of summer corn pansoti [above, left]. Impressively large and impossibly thin pizzas never disappoint, either, and the wine list, curated by beverage director Scott Sulma, is approachable and extremely drinkable. And then there are the desserts, like the incredible house-made carrot cake or the light-as-a-feather buttermilk panna cotta topped with blackberry and sage conserva. Just about everything at Ciao Bello is a delight, including the sparkler-topped ice cream cake that will arrive miraculously at the table whenever it’s someone’s birthday.”

Tony Vallone’s neighborhood Italian

“I like to call Ciao Bello ‘your neighborhood Italian restaurant,'” says iconic Houston restaurateur Tony Vallone.


At Ciao Bello, Tony Vallone uses the same “doppio zero” flour for his housemade pasta as he does at his flagship restaurant Tony’s.

He uses the same extra-virgin olive oil imported directly from Sicily. The setting is casual, the prices are family-friendly, and the atmosphere is jovial and relaxed…

A slice of Italy in Houston.

Some might call it “Italian casual.” Others would call it “Italian comfort food.” And those who frequent Tony’s on Richmond might even call it “Tony’s light.”

We just call it “great food to be shared with family and friends.”

Pizza to go…

Did you know that Tony’s Roman-style thin-crust pizzas can also be ordered to go?

Just give us a call beforehand and we’ll have the piping hot pizzas ready to go for you.

PLEASE CALL (713) 622-6778 TO ORDER.

ciao bello pizza

Happy Fourth of July!

Wishing you a Happy (and safe) Fourth of July!

fireworks houston

Scenes from last night’s dinner with Tony Vallone

Barolo & Barbaresco now UNESCO heritage sites

barbaresco torre wine

Above: The vineyard-covered hills where Barolo and Barbaresco are made have been designated as a UNESCO Heritage site. Tony Vallone will be serving some of his favorite wines from the region tomorrow night.

It was announced over the weekend: the Langhe Hills, where Barolo and Barbaresco are made, are now official UNESCO Heritage sites (in case you’re not familiar with the UNESCO Heritage program, click here for the Wikipedia entry).

Here’s the UNESCO entry, which appeared last week on its website:

The Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato

Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history. It is located in the southern part of Piedmont, between the Po River and the Ligurian Appenines, and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and wine making that has characterized the region for centuries. Vine pollen has been found in the area dating from the 5th century BC, when Piedmont was a place of contact and trade between the Etruscans and the Celts; Etruscan and Celtic words, particularly wine-related ones, are still found in the local dialect. During the Roman Empire, Pliny the Elder mentions the Piedmont region as being one of the most favourable for growing vines in ancient Italy; Strabo mentions its barrels.

Tony will be pouring five of his favorite wines from the region tomorrow evening.

And Italian wine expert and Houston Press wine writer Jeremy Parzen, Ph.D. will be on hand to talk about the wines.

Limited availability



a four-course menu
celebrating the foods & wines of Piedmont
one of Italy’s great food meccas
$125 per person


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