Chron : New Italian Restaurant Il Bracco opens in Houston

The surge of Italian restaurant openings in Houston is far from over, as yet another new one joins the bunch. Il Bracco opens Aug. 15 at the corner of Post Oak and San Felipe in Uptown. This marks the first Houston location for the Dallas-based restaurant, which garnered fast fans after opening in the Plaza at Preston Center in 2019.

Houston's outpost of Il Bracco is now open in the Galleria area.
Houston’s outpost of Il Bracco is now open in the Galleria area.

il Bracco

Il Bracco was born from a partnership between Robert Quick and Matt Gottlieb, longtime hospitality veterans with more than 25 years of experience. The duo honed their chops as kitchen manager and general manager, respectively, within the Hillstone Restaurant Group. Quick, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, also previously worked for Thomas Keller as a chef de partie at Ad Hoc and Bouchon in Napa Valley.

Il Bracco and its experienced team are the latest to hop on the Italian restaurant trend in Houston, joining the many concepts that have appeared in the last two years. Newbies like Amore, Lulu’s and Concura have opened in River Oaks; Ostia and Marmo in Montrose; Trattoria Sofia in the Heights; Rosalie in downtown; and most recently Davanti in Upper Kirby and Passerella in Cypress. With Il Bracco taking residence in Uptown, the city is well represented with Italian eats from corner to corner.

Il Bracco's dark and moody dining room.
Il Bracco’s dark and moody dining room.

At the chic Galleria-area eatery, guests can expect a fresh take on classic Italian cuisine in a sweeping 6,000-square-foot space, which includes a bar, lounge and patio. The contemporary design, imagined by Michael Hsu of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, boasts custom furniture pieces and light fixtures, and is accented with artwork from Quick’s personal collection.

All the pastas, breads and desserts are made in-house. By the same token, whole fish is fileted and USDA Prime beef is butchered in the restaurant. Gemelli noodles—thin twisty tubes of pasta—are served with spicy vodka sauce and cheese, while the bolognese combines ribbon-shaped mafaldine noodles with six-hour slow-cooked beef.

USDA Prime steaks are butchered in-house daily at Il Bracco.
USDA Prime steaks are butchered in-house daily at Il Bracco.

Non-pasta mains include a Mediterranean sea bass with mint gremolata, chicken piccata with lemon and capers, and a fried crispy chicken sandwich. Starters range from crispy artichokes with olive aioli, to meatballs made from a combination of ground beef, lamb and pork in a house tomato gravy.

Il Bracco’s hip locale, among other buzzy restaurants like Uchiko, The Annie and Turner’s, will no doubt attract a drinking crowd, and there are plenty of thirst-quenching options. The wine list is composed of Italian varietals and New World wines, while signature cocktails include The Bracco, a frozen spin on a greyhound, crafted with New Amsterdam, Aperol and freshly hand-squeezed grapefruit.

Firing on all engines from day one, Il Bracco is now open for lunch and dinner daily.

Originally distributed on Chron