As Sugar Land enjoys a boom in business openings and popular events that bring everyone to Town Center, there’s yet another reason to check out City Walk: the opening of B.B. Italia, the latest concept by Berg Hospitality Group.
Located in the former Charming Charlie’s space at 16250 City Walk in Sugar Land Town Square, the restaurant serves up classic, Italian American food with a contemporary twist, and locals are already filling the tables at this bistro.
Opened November 8 for dinner, and adding lunch November 15, the restaurant is another creation by owner Benjamin Berg, CEO of Berg Hospitality Group, a Houston-based developer that operates restaurants across Texas.
“After being approached to open B.B. Italia in Sugar Land, we wanted to bring something entirely new to the area where guests feel like they have been transported to New York City,” said Berg. “Growing up in Manhattan, I ate at incredible Italian-American restaurants which not only inspired several of the dishes on our menu but also the overall design of the space.”
Both the dishes and the space are inspiring indeed. The large open dining room with 14 ft. ceilings includes a mix of table and banquette seating for 200, an open kitchen on one side and a stone deck pizza oven and gelato bar on the other. Colorful murals make for a classic bistro backdrop that is great for Insta selfies. The horseshoe-shaped bar at the entrance beckons you to pause and enjoy a cocktail masterfully created by James Beard award-winning mixologist Alba Huerta.
On a recent visit, it only took a dish or two before I asked about the chef. The food was that good. The man behind the menu is Executive Chef Marcelo Mintz, who has over 20 years’ experience in establishments from steakhouses to trattorias in the U.S., France, and Italy.
His menu includes over 60 dishes made from scratch daily, including a long list of appetizers to share, (the hot antipasto tower is a sight to behold, and a large selection of cheeses and charcuterie are perfect for groups), homemade soups and salads, pastas, pizzas and Italian plates with chicken, veal, lamb, beef, and fish.
I ordered the Arancini appetizer, which can best be described as fried balls of heaven with risotto, house-made mozzarella, truffles fontina, and parmesan, all incredibly aromatic with a creamy inside and a crispy outside. Perfection! The warm, fresh focaccia service is a unique offering for the table: it comes with tastings of whipped ricotta, Stracciatella di mozzarella, avocado cream, and spicy aglio e olio, a wonderful assortment of flavors. And the clams casino with red peppers, broiled breadcrumbs, and bacon are positively decadent.
Those three appetizers could have easily made a meal, but I was eager to try the entrees. The pizzas are served New York style with thin crusts and all your favorite toppings. Choose from the margherita, the parma, a garden and a meat-lovers pizza, all hearty and harking back to old Italy – comfort food at its finest. B.B.’s pastas are equally alluring as the temperature drops and we crave heartier meals. The truffle mushroom pasta smells and tastes divine and is only one of 15 pasta preparations on the menu.
You may be surprised that the hit of our table, however, was the grilled salmon. Prepared medium, it couldn’t be more tender, more perfectly seasoned, and more flavorful, especially with its topping of capers and picatta sauce. It rests on a bed of sauteed spinach, and is the perfect size, especially after an appetizer or two.
Even with all that food, we couldn’t pass up dessert – in this case, a chocolate cake and Limoncello cake. Yes, the tiramisu and cannoli are featured on the dessert menu and are quite good. But my money is on the Limoncello cake, every time. It’s soaked in that delectable lemon liquor cream and topped with a marshmallow meringue that someone manages to taste even better than it looks. Cakes here are substantial and can easily feed four, so order a couple and share with the table or take home for some next-day sweets. The restaurant also offers gelatos and sorbets, and even an Italian ice cream sundae custom made with all your favorites and prepared tableside.
I highly recommend B.B. Italia for the food, the cocktails, outstanding service, and delicious food across the board. Make your reservations by calling or visiting their website, and come hungry!