Osteria Mazzantini Closing Just In Time for Our Rave Review

Dispatches from the Department of Failed Psychics

By Katharine Shilcutt July 2, 2014

We'll miss you most of all, caulflower sformato.

Image: Robb Walsh

UPDATE: Osteria Mazzantini will, in fact, remain open, despite chef John Sheely's initial claims the restaurant was closing this Saturday. Great news for fans of chef Paul Lewis's pizza and pasta.

Well, you can't win 'em all. Every once in a while, a restaurant that a food critic picks to review closes right before or right after the actual review runs in print. It happened to me—sort of—when the chef I raved about in a review of Stella Sola back at the Houston Press left right before the review came out. It happens at daily papers, like the Denver Post, which ran a review of Roam a day after the restaurant closed

Which brings us to Robb Walsh's review of Osteria Mazzantini, which appears in the July issue of Houstonia. As it happens, the establishment is closing this Saturday, something that we couldn’t have predicted in late May, when the July issue was completed and sent off to the printers. In fact, few would have predicted that the well-regarded establishment would last less than a year.

By the way, no one's sadder about this than Walsh, who offered the following farewell: "It was a spectacular restaurant, as reflected in the review, and I'm really sorry to see it go." He added: "I'm really going to miss that cauliflower sformato."

We all are. Perhaps owner John Sheely will see fit to reincarnate the dish at his other restaurant, the stalwart Mockingbird Bistro, which is still going strong in Montrose. In the meantime, we wish the best of luck to chef Paul Lewis and his staff at Osteria Mazzantini, though in a bustling restaurant city like Houston, there's no doubt their talents will be absorbed elsewhere quickly enough.


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