Osteria Mazzantini has called it quits. John Sheely's Italian concept in the BBVA Compass Building on Post Oak closed for business, according to Houston Chronicle and the statement released on the website today:
Osteria Mazzantini is now closed for business.
We would like to thank you for your patronage – we had a great time serving longtime friends and diners of Mockingbird Bistro there, and meeting new friends as well.
We look forward to seeing you at Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar.
Osteria Mazzantini opened in August 2013, receiving praise from local critics thanks in part to executive chef Paul Lewis, sous chef Matthew Lovelace and sommelier Samantha Porter. Then things took a weird turn last summer. The restaurateur confirmed rumors of his Galleria restaurant closing then changed his mind shortly thereafter. Sheely reportedly was going to sell the restaurant to Green Cafe Management, owners of Ruggles Green with chef Bruce Molzan at its helm. After announcing the restaurant would remain open after all, most of the talented staff parted ways.
Despite efforts to bring in customers, Sheely concedes to the Chronicle that the restaurant "couldn't maintain the revenue needed to operate." With the closure of Osteria Mazzantini, the chef will devote his energy towards his Montrose restaurant, Mockingbird Bistro. But the bigger question remains, who is brave enough to take over the high-rent vacated space and go against Hugo Ortega's much-acclaimed Caracol?