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A new Italian, Italian restaurant in the works

The town of Amalfi this past summer
The town of Amalfi this past summer
Gene Riccetti

Giancarlo Ferrara, the longtime executive chef at Arcodoro, is reportedly working on his own restaurant to be opened on Westheimer, about a mile-and-a-half west of the Galleria. I was told the name of the new place will be Amalfi, fitting since Ferrara is originally from Salerno in southern Italy, just down the cliff-hanging road from the famed Amalfi Coast.

No indication of what type of cuisine or dishes that Ferrara will emphasize, though the name Amalfi might be a hint. The cooking along the Amalfi is heavy with seafood, especially shellfish and smaller creatures, and prominently features many of the items most associate with Italian food: pasta, tomatoes, basil, lemon and mozzarella. Not that the cooking might be limited to that, Ferrara has also cooked in the Veneto in northeastern Italy and has about a decade at Arcodoro where turned out lauded Sardinian fare. There was also a terrific pizza at Arcodoro while he was there. Not too distant from Naples, some pretty good pizza is made around his hometown.

This new restaurant will be just one of a handful in Houston whose kitchen is headed by an Italian. At the very least, you can expect that it will be more Italian than any newcomer in several years. According to what I heard, Amalfi is not slated to open for several months.