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Sapore Ristorante Italiano in Katy: Charming Discovery!

Updated on May 14, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Interior of this restaurant
Interior of this restaurant | Source

Fine Dining in Katy, Texas

Large and expensive homes seem to be popping up like wild mushrooms after a soaking rain in sizable subdivisions in the southern regions of Katy, Texas. Katy is where people can find Sapore Ristorante Italiano. The restaurant is in an end cap of a strip shopping center. Its address is 6734 Westheimer Lakes N. Dr. #112, Katy, Texas 77494.

Once stepping through the front door of Sapore, the charm of this small cozy restaurant takes over. It starts with a friendly greeting from the wait staff as they lead you to your table. Since this is a family-owned and operated establishment, don’t be surprised if it is a family member seating you and waiting upon you.

Front view of the restaurant
Front view of the restaurant | Source

Configuration, Decor, and Atmosphere

The entrance passageway bisects two small rooms to the front of the restaurant. Straight ahead is the main dining room with an elevated section to the back. This configuration makes for many little nooks where a person and their guests can feel very private. It would be an excellent restaurant for dating couples who wish to talk and get to know one another better.

Walls are faux finished giving the appearance of plastered walls. The selection of artwork is colorful. A variety of different pieces placed along shelving adds to the overall ambiance. I imagine there is probably a story attached to each piece in the collection.

One table had just been cleared in a photo below. The crisp white dining cloth on that table had not yet been replaced when I snapped this photo. It is a nice touch to have some cloth table linens and napkins for both lunch and dinner service.

So many restaurants have such a din of loud noises that it is hard to communicate. In Sapore the music is definitely in the background, but oh so sweet. The mixture of some good old-time songs and music seemed just right.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
One side of entrance hall Photos of happy diners on entrance wall at Sapore Ristorante Italiano One of two front rooms inside the restaurantOther front dining roomDining room Small alcove in raised dining section  Sculpture inside of the restaurant
One side of entrance hall
One side of entrance hall | Source
Photos of happy diners on entrance wall at Sapore Ristorante Italiano
Photos of happy diners on entrance wall at Sapore Ristorante Italiano | Source
One of two front rooms inside the restaurant
One of two front rooms inside the restaurant | Source
Other front dining room
Other front dining room | Source
Dining room
Dining room | Source
Small alcove in raised dining section
Small alcove in raised dining section | Source
 Sculpture inside of the restaurant
Sculpture inside of the restaurant | Source

The Owners

Georgios (who identified himself to my husband and me as “George”) shares ownership of Sapore with his son Christos. Christos is also the executive chef. George stopped by our table to chat and make sure that we were pleased with everything. We ended up having quite a lengthy discussion with him.

He told us that his entire family emigrated from Greece to the United States back when he was a child. His first impressions of America included the Statue of Liberty and the amazingly tall buildings in New York City. I remember my first trip to New York City as a child, and like George, it was hard for me to fathom soaring buildings that tall! The tallest buildings I had ever seen before that were in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

George’s family temporarily bunked in with family members in Flint, Michigan, until his parents earned enough money to purchase their first home. We laughed about the prices of homes back in those days compared to what housing prices cost today.

My husband and I agreed with him that we would rather tolerate the blistering summer heat down here in Houston versus the seemingly endless cold winter months up north. We had experienced both as had George. It was fun chatting with this most personable man. He has been in the restaurant business for many years, and it would seem that it is in his blood so-to-speak. George certainly knows how to make guests in his restaurant feel comfortable and welcomed.

Photo of George & Christos Batsios hung in the entrance of Sapore Ristorante Italiano
Photo of George & Christos Batsios hung in the entrance of Sapore Ristorante Italiano | Source

Calamari

It turned out that our friendly waitress was his daughter, Fotina. When she found out that it was our first visit, she mentioned that the calamari which was on the dinner menu could be ordered for lunch. They will make anything a person desires if they have the menu ingredients in the house, and they have the time. George affirmed that when we were chatting with him.

We love good calamari and ordered it as our first course while still perusing the menu. Fotina said that it is always made fresh. It was easy to know that was the case upon tasting the squid. The calamari had a peppery dusting of flour and was fried to crispy perfection. Accompanying it was an excellent spicy remoulade sauce and a Pomodoro sauce.

My husband and I often rate restaurants by how well they prepare and serve calamari if it is on the menu.

Fried Calamari
Fried Calamari | Source
5 stars for Fried Calamari Served at Sapore Ristorante Italiano

The Bread

A mention of the bread that they serve in Sapore is worth noting. Generally speaking, we avoid eating bread served in restaurants other than a small taste. We would instead save room for the main dishes. All thoughts of that approach fled our minds after our first taste. Small slices of crusty exterior bread with a chewy, delicious interior had us wanting more.

Accompanying the basket of bread was a reduction of a good balsamic vinegar covered with olive oil. It made a tasty dipping sauce for the bread.

We asked George where he got his bread, hoping that we could purchase it for our home use. It is that good! Unfortunately for us but probably good for them is the fact of it being made in house with a special flour that comes from Italy. The pasta is also made in house.

Homemade Bread
Homemade Bread | Source

Family Recipes

Many of their recipes are old family ones. Christos, the chef, learned other cooking methods when working in kitchens in Europe. He puts the combination of those old family recipes plus what he learned to good use at Sapore.

What my hubby chose to eat that day was the Pollo al Marsala. The tender chicken breast had sliced mushrooms as an accompaniment. A flavorful sweet Marsala wine sauce flavored the linguini on the plate as well as the chicken. When my hubby makes this dish at home, he generally uses a dry Marsala wine in the preparation of the sauce. Tasting the difference was fun. Both are good!

My choice of entrée that day was the Eggplant Parmigiano. The pretty flowers which adorned both of our entrées were edible. Shreds of freshly grated Parmesan cheese were added at the table to our liking.

The Eggplant Parmigiano at Sapore is breaded on both sides and layered as in most classic recipes. What made it unique, in my opinion, was the crusty frico type cheese that I tasted, which gave it some extra crunch. That was a pleasant surprise to find that flaky, crisp cheese under the creamy melted mozzarella, which blanketed the top of the eggplant. Spaghetti comes on the side and has a Pomodoro sauce. That sauce comes from one of their old family recipes.

The portions are plentiful, and we saw many diners taking what restaurants in the past used to refer to as “doggie bags.” We also took home a portion of what we had eaten to enjoy it once again for another meal. Topping off our lunch that day was an espresso. It was the perfect finish to our meal.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pollo al Marsala Eggplant Parmigiano Serving of espresso
Pollo al Marsala
Pollo al Marsala | Source
Eggplant Parmigiano
Eggplant Parmigiano | Source
Serving of espresso
Serving of espresso | Source

Frico

We have served frico using parmesan reggiano cheese at some of our dinner parties. It is so easy to make! If you are not familiar with how to make frico, here is a video:

Meaning of Sapore

The word “sapore” means flavor or taste in Italian. Thus the name of this restaurant seems very appropriate given the delicious food that we had just enjoyed.

The front license plate with “Sapore Is Flavor” is on a vintage car owned by the chef Christos.

This restaurant is an excellent addition to the ever-expanding number of people living in Katy, Texas. We look forward to future visits there.

Update: Sapore Ristorante Italiano is no longer open for lunch. Dinner hours are 5 PM to 9 PM, Monday to Thursday, and 5 PM to 9:30 PM on Friday and Saturday.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The front license plate on a car by Sapore Ristorante ItalianoVintage car owned by the chef Signage
The front license plate on a car by Sapore Ristorante Italiano
The front license plate on a car by Sapore Ristorante Italiano | Source
Vintage car owned by the chef
Vintage car owned by the chef | Source
Signage
Signage | Source

Sources:

http://saporestaurant.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frico

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      13 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      Chicken Marsala is a delicious dish. My husband makes an excellent one at home. Glad the photo reminded you of one of your favorite meals.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      13 months ago from USA

      Your meal looked incredible! I eat chicken on and off (sometimes vegetarian) but when I do eat it chicken Marsala is my absolute favorite meal at a restaurant. (I usually have to specify no beef broth in the sauce.) I’ve had the meal so many different places and made it myself. However, I’ve never had it look quite that delicious and gorgeous! Sooo jealous. That ain’t Olive Garden!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      Yes, it is fun getting to know the owner of places like this and being able to chat with them.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      Quite a few famous people have come from Katy, Texas. Among them, Clint Black, Renee Zellweger, and others.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Manatita,

      So happy to know that you enjoyed the pictures of what the ambiance is like in the Sapore Ristorante. I think that many people like Italian food when executed well.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ann,

      I hope your favorite Italian restaurant survives these turbulent times. Thanks for your comment. Stay safe!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lorna,

      Perhaps they are still able to do enough of a take-out business to sustain them. Hopefully, that is the case.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      It's great that you were able to chat to the owner and add details of the history to your article. A little background adds depth to the review, with another level of interest

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, I've heard of Katy, Texas! I wonder why? What happened there that would be newsworthy? Any famous athlete from Katy? Weird how a name can trigger recognition like that...now I'll have to do some research.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      14 months ago from london

      This is an immaculately exquisite restaurant and I would definitely visit. Even the flowers speak to my Heart and the decor is amazing!

      Sean Dragon's wife is called Fotini. The Italian's uses the Spanish 'a' as feminine. I believe the name applies to the sun.

      The Italians are masters of food and their sense of sapore is incredible! I'm sure that they exists here in London, but I have a connoisseur friend in Heidelberg, who used to take me to the great Italian restaurants. We also have a very popular one near our Temple.

      The welcoming art and creativity is a treasure to the soul and the ambience must be amazing!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      14 months ago from SW England

      You've made me feel hungry at 10.30 in the morning, Peggy! What beautifully presented food.

      I love Italian cuisine. Italian restaurants here, like this one, all have vibrant colours and wonderful, large paintings on the walls. They seem to celebrate life in general.

      Unfortunately, I doubt whether I'll ever visit 'Sapore' but as soon as we're allowed back to normal life, I shall be booking a table at our nearest Italian!

      Ann

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      14 months ago

      A wonderful place for that special meal and now that we are all indoors we can relive these moments through your selection of dishes in this very relaxing setting. It's lovely that the restaurant is run by the family, similar to many of the Italian restaurants around the world who have generations of family members working there. A very enjoyable read Peggy, which reminded me of the things we take for granted.

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