The View Tastes Good at La Vista

How about a tale of contrasting posts? Well, you've seen me mention La Vista as a great place to eat on Memorial Drive in Houston. Similar to their original location on Fountainview, La Vista is wildly popular. The night of the week is irrelevant - unless it's pouring outside, you can expect the restaurant to be filled to the gills with diners and a hearty line of customers waiting to be seated. Neighborhood locals, young couples, families and frequent "girls night out" groups flock to this cozy Italian restaurant.

Some friends joined us for dinner last night. Armed with three choices for dinner, we opted for La Vista. It was somewhat muggy outside so rather than sit under the large covered patio (a delight when the misters are on), we opted for an inside table.

The food at La Vista is not completely authentic as far as Italian goes (I'm as picky as you can get) but excellent nonetheless. For example, you'll never run across something like Cinnamon Coffee Cumin Crusted Pork Tenderloin in Italy but that doesn't mean it's not good. They're inventive and the food is tasty and reasonably priced. I had the medium rare Beef Tenderloin - "Port wine apricot and cherry sauce with roasted potatoes and wilted baby field greens" - and it was exquisite! Really... it was good! Our friend, Clint, who infamously cleans up other people's plates, can attest to the quality of the meat. And, yes, the apricot and cherry sauce was somethin' else! It washed down well with a nice pinot noir.

This was the third time we'd dropped by La Vista over the past 2 weeks - one night for pizza to go (great personal pizzas like the Del Bosco with mushrooms, asiago cheese, sweet sugar, caramalized onions and sage) and another for pasta on the patio. If you're trying to eat healthy, you can get inventive with the menu. Beef tenderloin, for example, is a lean cut of meat. Rather than roasted potatoes as a side, I requested grilled veggies. While wine is loaded with antioxidants, alcohol is mostly empty calories so limit how much you drink (sensible advice no matter what). The desserts are huge so either skip dessert or order one dessert with four forks. Entrees come a house salad and a vinaigrette so you can get your greens, too. As for pasta, stick to non-cream sauces. No matter how many times I forget, they don't have wheat pasta so you'll have to make do with regular pasta.

A couple of notes... the restaurant has a wine list and beer but it is BYOB. Corkage is $7.00/bottle. If you get there at 6:00, you can probably find a table. If you can stand the heat, outdoor seats are usually filled last. They don't take reservations and it seems quite popular for groups so keep that in mind.

No matter which location you choose - 12665 Memorial Drive or 1936 Fountainview Drive - the food is excellent, the atmosphere is nice and the crowd is always lively.

No comments: