BY Nickole Kerner Bobley | April 29, 2019 | Food & Drink
A chef-driven Italian restaurant and its buzzy cocktail lounge counterpart land in The Woodlands. Consider your next night out sorted.
The light and airy interior of Sorriso is a breath of fresh air.
The discerning diners of The Woodlands are possibly more energized now than ever with the spate of new foodie-friendly haunts at their fingertips. The most recent go-to? Sorriso, an authentic Italian spot adjacent to The Westin, and its sceney upstairs counterpart, Como Social Club.
“Growing up in Italy made me very selective in choosing quality products and shaped me into the chef I am today,” explains resident executive chef Enzo Fargione, a native of Turin. After graduating from culinary school in his home city, he rose through the ranks of the D.C. dining scene, ultimately becoming chef and operating partner at D.C.’s Osteria Elisir, before moving to Texas last year to open Sorriso.
At his latest venture, Fargione sources many of his ingredients locally, as well as from other suppliers from around the world, such as shellfish from the Carolinas, and smoked mozzarella and olive oils from Italy. To start, the chef recommends a savory spread—Sicilian caponata, perhaps—accompanied by a basket of artisanal bread and such table snacks as Tuscan chicken liver pate with green tomato jam. Large plates like grilled branzino with broccoli emulsion and roasted tomatoes, and a braised veal osso buco are favorites, along with housemade pastas and Neapolitan-style brick-oven pizzas. The eatery also features a charcuterie bar where impressive meat and cheese boards are on offer, best served with a glass of Italian red from the wine list of more than 300 bottles.
Chef Fargione serves up real deal Italian dishes, like his signature tomato-braised giant meatball.
Designed by Dallas-based EDG Design, Sorriso defies tired conventions of the “hotel restaurant” by combining neutral tones of rich leathers and woods complemented by industrial touches, upscale lighting and plenty of natural light. Upstairs at Como, you’ll find playful patterned tile, midcentury furnishings and a glass wall that retracts to combine indoor and outdoor spaces, giving way to 360-degree views of The Woodlands Waterway. The vibe at Sorriso is oil-and-gas power-lunching by day and romantic date spot by night. Como Social Club is Sorriso’s sexier after-hours sister, where inventive and boozy concoctions are shaken and stirred until the wee hours, poolside.
“We are proud to introduce Italian regional cuisine with a modern twist and vibe,” says the chef as he raises his glass. “Salute!”
2 Waterway Square Place
Prices: Cocktails, $8-$14; breakfast, $7-$16; appetizers, $5-$22; entrees, $14-$32; pizzas, $14-$16; desserts, $9-$16
Hours: Daily breakfast 6:30-10am, lunch 11:30am-2pm; dinner Sun.-Thurs., 5:30-9pm, Fri.-Sat., 5:30-10pm
Como Social Club
Prices: Cocktails, $10-$18; food, $8-$20
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 5-11pm; Fri., 5pm-midnight; Sat., 11am-midnight; Sun., 11am-11pm
Photography Courtesy Of: Rouse Photography