Image: Marco Torres

Giacomo’s Cibo E Vino 

If it’s Friday evening after another long week, just call Giacomo’s on Westheimer and order the pappardelle ai funghi e gorgonzola already. Get the biggest order you can, and pair it with a dry wine—ask for one from the house list of featured female winemakers. The mushrooms, gently peppered and cloaked in creamy, salty Parmesan sauce, are pure indulgence. If you need a meatier bite, the imported orecchiette giorgione with chile-inflected lamb meatballs will do.

Candente 

If your happy place is sitting down to a plate of Candente’s brisket nachos, shredded cheddar-glazed and topped with refried beans, plus a half-pound of meat smoked out back, here’s good news: They stay sturdy on the road, as the brisket sauce and crema come in separate packaging upon request. Add in the smoked chicken verde enchiladas, and whatever you can’t finish, you can save for your next meal—a very reassuring thought indeed.

Nobie’s 

The hip, family-owned eatery has excelled at serving its Sunday dinners and playfully luxe grub in takeout form throughout the pandemic, and thank goodness. The beer-battered sweet potato tots with harissa and goat cheese, fried chicken dinner with arugula salad, and olive oil cake remain some of Houston’s essential feel-good fare. Do order a take-home Negroni or Oaxacan old fashioned (with mezcal and tequila) from the bar, and download their Spotify playlist if you miss the dining room’s vinyl and cassettes.

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