Much like a “perfect storm”, there are several factors that must come together almost perfectly to produce the perfect meal. I’ve had maybe five meals in my lifetime that fall into that category, the most recent of those was a dinner at Radio Milano. This contemporary Italian restaurant is located inside the trendy Hotel Sorella in CityCentre. Now, let me be clear, the restaurant was expecting us for dinner, so this isn’t one of those undercover reviews.
After we were seated, my best friend Sherri and I had our server Josh suggest a cocktail to start the evening. Looking over the dinner menu, we were both feeling a little intimidated by the ingredients and descriptions. Veal ragout, rabbit ragu, and grilled octopus, to name a few had my reeling mind circling back to the eye of ribeye. Instead, we put our faith in Chef Jose Hernandez and allowed him to take us on a tour of modern Italian cuisine.
Our journey started with the asparagus appetizer, white asparagus, prosciutto, parmesan cheese in a summer truffle dressing. I feel like this was the perfect dish to wake up our tastebuds, it was light, crisp and refreshing, with flavors that could appeal to anyone.
Next, we savored the house made burrata, housemade mozzarella stuffed with ricotta and goat cheese with local tomatoes served on pesto. Josh, our wonderful server says the burrata is a popular choice for guests wanting to share an appetizer….but once you taste the creamy cheese, sharing might be forgotten.
Remember my comfort zone, well Sherri also has a comfort zone and seafood is well outside of it. I watched her closely when they brought out the gnocchi with grilled octopus in pomodoro sauce. I, on the other hand, love seafood and enjoy octopus when prepared correctly. Chef’s beautiful presentation shows the “suckers” from the arms of the creature, which I thought might discourage Sherri from tasting her dish. But… this was evening of blind faith and bold choices, we were both pleasantly surprised by the layers of flavor with the different textures.
Our next dish is one that has been haunting me ever since our meal. While not a self-proclaimed “foodie”, the lobster risotto is the dish foodies dream of eating. Case in point, my friend, the one that doesn’t like seafood, well this dish might have won her over. I knew I shouldn’t finish it, we needed to save room for more, but when you taste house made risotto with basil, parmesan, mascarpone, and lobster that’s on point, it’s impossible not to eat every, last, bite.
At this point my taste buds were in another world with delight, and our ability to eat more food was in jeopardy. I was tempted to wave my white napkin in surrender. Before Josh could tell Chef we were on our way to a food coma, two more dishes arrived: the vincisgrassi with veal ragout and parmesan cream, and the spaghetti cacio e pepe with rabbit ragu.
This is where I confess that I wouldn’t have ordinarily ordered either of these dishes. One bad experience with veal, and I’ve been avoiding it ever since, but the vincisgrassi from Radio Milano was a show stopper. White pasta, creamy sauce, and tender veal, combined together to create the best lasagna ever served in any restaurant outside of Italy. Oh, and don’t let the “rabbit” in the spaghetti intimidate you. Pepper combined with house made pasta in olive oil, topped with tender rabbit meat was rich, but light. I have the feeling this is one of those dishes that tastes even better as leftovers.
With so much to eat our conversation was minimal, but while our food settled and we planned the rest of the night, Sherri came up with the perfect summary: ‘When was the last time you tried something for the first time?’ Sure, we’ve all had lasagna, spaghetti, and probably asparagus, but the dishes at Radio Milano are unique.
Now there are plenty of restaurants in Houston that serve excellent cuisine, but very few of them stand out because you taste and feel the Chef’s passion in the food. At Radio Milano, you can see and taste the love of Chef Jose Hernandez in every dish that leaves the kitchen. Call and make a reservation for your next date night, or take your favorite client. Ask for Josh as your server, and be amazed by his passion for food and wine. Oh, and don’t skip dessert, Chef is famous for his pastry creations.
Our meal was compliments of Radio Milano, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.