clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A bowl of Pastore’s chicken sausage ravioli topped with microgreens.
Pastore is Underbelly Hospitality’s newest establishment,
Duc Hoang

Filed under:

A First Look at Houston’s Pastore — Underbelly Hospitality’s Newest Italian Restaurant

Pastore aims to bring the Italian coast to Houston with a seafood-heavy menu and breezy decor to match

Underbelly Hospitality, the restaurant group which launched and operated for years under the tutelage of James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd, has built a reputation for restaurants that promise a certain experience.

Steakhouse Georgia James exudes an upscale and moody dining experience with quality grilled meats. The ritzy GJ Tavern offers delightful cocktails in a flashy setting, and Underbelly Burger serves a casual spot at the Houston Famers Market to grab a burger. This summer, though, the restaurant group hopes to bring something new to its repertoire.

An overview shot of Pastore dishes, including an olive oil cake, snapper crudo, ravioli, fritto misto, and a whole roasted branzino served over a sauce.
Underbelly’s Pastore is aiming to bring the Italian coast to Houston diners through cuisine and ambiance.
Duc Hoang

The restaurant group has opened Pastore. Located at 1180 Dunlavy Street, just steps away from Georgia James in Regent Square, the long-anticipated restaurant is set to channel Italy’s coastal cities — meaning lighter fare with lots of seafood and flirty and more feminine decor to match.

Inspired by Italian gardens, executive chef Jeff Potts said in a statement that he and Underbelly’s culinary director Scott Muns have collaborated to create a light and fresh menu that’s “rooted in seasonality” and distinct from other Italian restaurants in the area.

Diners can expect to start with dishes like Pastore’s ever-changing seafood tower, scallop crudo, mussel escabeche, or oysters served with prosecco granita, before enjoying freshly baked focaccia and handmade pasta dishes like swordfish amatriciana, squid ink linguine, and chicken sausage ravioli. Seafood also shines in plates like its roasted calamari stuffed with farro verde and topped with piquillo pepper sauce, fried anchovies with sage, and a branzino puttanesca. while dessert offers a sweet ending with apple fritters, olive oil cake, and a celery root panna cotta, served with glazed figs and limoncello sabayon.

Pastore’s dining area features textured walls and ceilings, tiled walls, murals, and banquette seating. Alex Montoya
Pastore’s dining room lighting, which is complimented by brass fixtures. Alex Montoya
Pastore’s dining room features handwoven chairs, tables covered in white linens, blue velvet banquettes, and a watercolor mural. Alex Montoya

Pastore’s decor is meant to take diners to the Italian coast.

Award-winning mixologist Sarah Troxell, who curated Pastore’s bright collection of cocktails, brings breezy drinks into the mix, with an emphasis on spritzes, aperitifs, martinis, and frozen limoncello, but the decor is what drives the theme of the restaurant home.

Exposed white ceilings. a floral mural and carpeting, brass lighting, and a color palette composed of soft hues of green, blue, and gray offer a brilliant backdrop that’s reminiscent of the coast. The 2,611-square-foot main dining room. which features floor-to-ceiling windows and butterfly chandeliers, features cast iron tables topped with white linens and blue velvet banquettes, with glimpses into the open kitchen. The staircase, which is lined with hand-painted floral tiles and a custom iron railing, is a gateway — leading upward to the 3,750-square-foot rooftop, while also harboring underneath a display of Pastore’s wine collection, which is largely made up of Italian wines.

The restaurant opened Tuesday with a friends and family event and will host limited hours through the end of the month, until June 30, when it officially opens, according to a rep.

Pastore’s sign. which features a glimpse of a green tree.
Pastore is aiming to add something different to Houston’s Italian dining scene.
Alex Montoya

Pastore will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.


1180 Dunlavy Street, , TX 77019 (346) 867-1905 Visit Website
City Guides

An Eater’s Guide to Houston

Houston Restaurant Closings

Five Houston Restaurant Closures to Know Right Now

Houston Restaurant Openings

From Sushi Pop-Up to Brick-and-Mortar, Houston’s Norigami Finds a Home in West U