New Orleans import Reginelli's Pizzeria began its soft-opening phase last night. With a mix of friends, locals and media types filling the dining room, the restaurant showed off its menu that includes starters, sandwiches, pastas, and, of course, pizza. Unlike other restaurants, Reginelli's offers only one crust; it's a medium thick, hand-tossed dough with a good texture that holds up to the wide array of toppings found on the various speciality pies. One appetizer worth considering is the Porta New Orleans: puff pastry topped with a portabella mushroom, carmelized onions, pancetta and fontina cheese. Local food writer John DeMers, who lived in New Orleans before moving to Houston, has his own thoughts on the food based on last night's service.
In keeping with owner Darryl Reginelli's decision to partner with the Brennan-Martin family for his Houston expansion, the wine list has received a significant upgrade over its Louisiana counterparts. Ti Adelaide Martin, who also oversees Commander's Palace in New Orleans, enlisted that restaurant's beverage director to create a short list of wines available by the bottle that are priced from $19 to $31. Reginelli's also offers BYOB with no corkage fee.
Assuming the restaurant finds an audience, the Brennan-Martin family is prepared to expand its Houston footprint quickly. Expect a second Houston location inside the loop, but a suburban location is also a possibility. This location, with its proximity to Memorial City Mall and not far from the Energy Corridor, seems poised to attract a mix of families and expat New Orleanians who want a fix from their old favorite.
Alex Brennan-Martin, another partner in the venture who operates Creole restaurant Brennan's in Midtown said "We've long been fans of Reginelli's in New Orleans and friends with Darryl. Teaming up here in Houston seemed a natural. The culture's of our businesses are very similar and we've been having a lot of fun working together. We think Houston will love Reginelli's!"
· Reginelli's Pizzeria [Official]
· Reginelli's Pizzeria Houston [Facebook]
· #1 New Orleans Pizza Restaurant Excited to Open Restaurant in Houston [Press Release]
· First Taste of Reginelli's [Delicious Mischief]
· New Orleans Import Reginelli's Pizzeria Opens Next Week [-EHOU-]