What I Ordered
- Cozze Provinciali
- Capelli D'angelo Mare y Monte
- Taglierine Neri All' Aragosta
In Short: I was very pleased with my first visit and I will definitely be back to explore more of the expansive Italian menu.
Mascalzone is a great Italian joint in the Houston Heights with homemade pasta and fresh seafood! There are so many delicious looking options to choose from that one trip is simply not enough to experience this restaurant. The decor is fresh and authentic and gives the vibe of eating in a small Italian market. Prices are reasonable considering portion sizes, fresh seafood, and the fact that dining in Houston is usually expensive. I was very pleased with my first visit and I will definitely be back to explore more of the expansive Italian menu.
- Cozze Provinciali – fresh muscles steamed in a white wine and tomato broth served with grilled bread. I am a huge fan of Italian style mussels prepared in this fashion and I must admit that these were some of the better that I have had. The mussels themselves were meaty and fresh, and while the broth lacked some spice on its own, that could be corrected with the addition of some of the chili oil condiment on the table (but be careful because the stuff packs a punch). The highlight of eating any steamed bi-valve is soaking up the broth with some nice crusty bread and this is where the dish really delivered. The grilled bread had a smokey element complementing the flavorful broth extremely well and left me with a great overall outlook on the dish.
- Capelli D’angelo Mare y Monte: Homemade angel hair pasta with wild mushrooms, jumbo lump crab meat and kale. This dish was probably my least favorite of everything we ordered (my girlfriend ordered this one), but it was still a solid dish. The earthy mushrooms and fresh kale complemented the generous portions of jumbo lump crab meat and the pasta was tossed in a light olive oil sauce which went well with the dish. My only gripe is that the angel hair pasta was not the proper vessel, but a more toothsome pasta like a spaghetti, penne, or fettuccine would have really made this a spectacular dish.
- Taglierine Neri All’ Aragosta: Homemade, black, squid ink pasta in a spicy lobster cream sauce. This was definitely the star of the night both in taste and presentation. The plate comes out piled high with gorgeous, black pasta topped with mounds of succulent lobster and the lobster head is served alongside for garnish. The dish was an explosion of fresh seafood flavor and spice (though I added some of the aforementioned chili oil because nothing is ever hot enough for me) and the noodles are cooked to a perfect chewy aldente. The cream sauce pairs nicely with the sweet lobster without overpowering it and the squid ink noodles are flavorful enough to stand up by themselves. Overall, this dish by itself makes Mascalzone worth returning to, and I will definitely be back to indulge.