If you're drinking coffee with the sole intent of staying awake, being productive or battling the Houston heat, Starbucks will do just fine. For all other days, seeking out small, independent shops is the best way to ensure a quality espresso. Soon there will be another local Italian café to satisfy your quality caffeine craving. Fellini Caffè will be opening in the Rice Village sometime between September 16 and 18. Co-owner Paolo Fronza told Eater about the plans that he and business partner Salvatore Albelice have for this upcoming Italian coffee shop.
"I've lived here 10 years and Salvatore has been here 30 to 35 years, and we both missed the atmosphere of an Italian coffee shop," Fronza says. "We chose Rice village because it's the only area in Houston where people actually walk, and that's very much what Italians do."
Fronza describes the lengths they went to in order to ensure the most authentic Italian atmosphere."We bought the actual bar in Italy, had it manufactured, shipped it over and assembled it here—it has display cases for pastries and panini and salads," Fronza says. "It's tall enough to stand, that's what Italians do—they stand at the bar, chit-chat—and we're going to serve in China, not paper cups."
As soon as they open they'll also begin aperitivo hours. From 4 to 8 p.m. every day, whenever you order a glass or wine or a beer, you'll receive complimentary rosticceria, small bites that include pizzettes, sandwiches and pastries. Fronza hopes to showcase their Spritz, a cocktail made with Aperol and prosecco.
This happy hour will likely be warmer, more intimate and calmer than most we see around town. Which makes sense, given this pair's intended ambience. Fronza says, "The concept is to be as authentic as possible; we're both Italians and in terms of what we serve, we want to be as Italian as possible."
Fronza and Albelice have already hosted preview parties where they shared some of the food they'll be serving. Immoderate cannoli consumption aside, this coffee speaks for itself. It's bold and flavorful in a way that's satisfying even without the pastry on the side. (But who could fault you.)
· Fellini Caffe [Official Site]
· All Other Opening Reports [-EHOU-]