PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston September 2023

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Page 109 of 115

Food photography Duc Hoang. Interiors Alex Montoya. I f a seaside Mediterranean getaway along Italy's southern coastline — say, Sicily, Sardinia, or Amalfi — eluded you this summer, reserve a table at the new Pastore Italian Kitchen. Chef Jeff Potts (Helen Greek Food & Wine, Shun Japanese Kitchen) takes you there vicariously through the light, Italian-inspired coastal cuisine he creates at Underbelly Hospitality's latest restaurant venture. Situated in Regent Square at the intersection of West Dallas and Dunlavy, the calming interior of the 2,611-square-foot space is awash in white, blue, and gray, care of design firm Montgomery Roth. White-cloth-covered tables are pulled up to velvet powder- b l u e c h a n n e l e d banquettes beneath an Impressionist-style mural; and sunlight filters through ivory sheers hung along a wall of 12-foot floor- to-ceiling windows. When the concept was in development (this was when founding chef and former Underbelly owner Chris Shepherd was in the mix; in fact, Pastore is Italian for "shepherd"), there was talk of Italian American red-sauce dishes. Houston is hardly at a loss for groaning plates of pasta so the concept's pivot to a sophisticated seafood-dominated menu combined with authentic Italian ingredients was a wise idea indeed. Start with an Aperol spritz with essence of blood orange ($16) or a sweet white peach Bellini ($14) or dabble through the wines by the glass which hail from Italy. Begin with slices of cured Gulf snapper, a light, bright dish created with the perfect touch of acidity, care of lemon oil balanced with Castelveltrano olives and fresh fennel ($15). The robustly flavored calamari are hearth- roasted with the whole, uncut mantle stuffed Hearth-roasted branzino puttanesca at Pastore Italian Kitchen Italy's Southern Shoreline Coasting Along The life aquatic at Pastore italian Kitchen 108

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