Sapore Ristorante Italiano in Katy: Charming Discovery!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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