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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Thu 5:30pm–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 5:30pm–10:30pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


1830 W. Alabama St.
Houston, TX
(713) 807-1123
A small, simple trattoria with pretty good food, reasonable prices, and great wines

Divino was always a fine neighborhood choice, if not much more. That is, unless you were coming for wine from their retail side—there are some outstanding Italian selections at a steal, even if the driving principle seems to be Spectator points. Occasional sales bring prices even lower, so it pays to sign up for email alerts. But it’s also a romantic dinner place, too; the unassuming storefront belies an intimate, cozy hideaway full of dark woods and photographs of Italian landscapes. The menu isn’t particular to one region, although it does claim a number of dishes from Emilia-Romagna, as the chef spent some time cooking there.

Lightly fried calamari has always been a standout, and pastas are competently al dente, and served in huge portions with simple sauces. Fettucine and risotto are fine, but the best work is house-made ravioli (especially goat cheese with pine nuts; the mushroom ravioli are served in a broth choking a bit on truffle oil). Meats are handled more deftly than they once were, like Texas quail that used to come overcooked, but are now grilled to a fine and tender consistency, served with a tart, not-too-sweet cherry reduction.

We’d still bypass the perfunctory, uninspired dessert menu and instead have an actually affordable Amarone and cheese board—a classic end to any Italian meal, just before the digestifs, of course.

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