Corelli’s Italian Cafe
Price Range is the average cost per entree. The range does not include drinks, tax or tip.
We are going for averages here, folks.$ = Under $10: My money is funny and my credit won't get it!
$$ = $11 - $20: Just got paid....Friday night!!!
$$$ = $21 - $39: Don't cheat yourself....treat yourself!
$$$$ = Above $40: Splurge baby. Splurge!
CCC: "Triple C" rating. Establishments with this rating have that wow factor -- whether it be exceptional food or world class service. An 'eat-peat' is definitely in order. Consider placing these restaurants on your 'must do' list. Visit at your own risk - these establishments can cause late night cravings.
CC: "Double C" rating. Solid restaurant. Can be either average or above average. They excel in a few categories but may miss the mark in some others. Members will agree that these establishments warrant future visits and will recommend you pay them a visit. You'll find most restaurants with this rating.
C: "Single C" rating. Missing that "it" factor especially as it relates to good cuisine. Triple C members do not recommend this establishment. Not particularly worth the money, gas, time or effort, unless you get a rise out of let-downs. Hold on to your dough and spend it at restaurants with Double or Triple C ratings.
Although soul food is my favorite, I have to admit Italian cuisine comes in a close second. There’s nothing like the taste of fresh Italian herbs, creamy sauces living in harmony among a diversity of pastas and meats. These combinations are even better when you can get them at a bargain. Hustle down to Corelli’s and you’ve found your new favorite Italian spot.
There are only two locations in the whole of the USA and they are both in the Houston metropolitan area (we should feel special)!! I had the privilege of dining at the Sugarland location – located on the corner of Hwy 6 @ Williams Trace in the Highlands Square shopping center. I walked in and was immediately in awe of the décor. The rustic wooden tables, the Italian artwork and movie posters all contributed to the restaurant’s charm. I sat and took it all in until I realized that I better have a look at the menu. There’s a good variety to choose from. Of course you’ve got your traditional pasta dishes, but I was pleasantly surprise to see entrees with veal, salmon and snapper and at reasonable prices too!! How often do you see red snapper entrees for under $15? I know, I’m thinking the same thing!! I’ve got to tell you, my eyes were bigger than my stomach this day. All of the menu items sounded so appetizing. I wanted the full monty – appetizer, salad, pasta, dessert…everything. But then I thought, let’s be realistic – there’s no way I’m going to eat an entire appetizer + an entrée + dessert (yes, I had to save room for the Italian Wedding Cake I had been coveting from the folks next to me). So, I narrowed it down between the Pollo Trapani and the Creamy Chicken Pesto. As I read the description of both entrees, three words won me over “creamy”, “pesto”, and “sauce”. That’s all I needed to see – this was my dish people.
I hate to be one to compare, but let’s be honest, that’s what restaurant reviews are about. So, let me take you down memory lane. If you’ve read and agree with a statement I made in my review of Dolce Vita this will hit home. When I dine at an Italian restaurant, I expect to be served some sort of complimentary bread (preferably garlic) while I wait for my meal – recession or not. As the waitress brought me a dish of warm garlic bread, I couldn’t help but think about my ridiculous experience at Dolce Vita. Off the top, Corelli’s has got a leg up on Dolce Vita based on the complementary garlic bread alone. Then out comes the entrée, plated appropriately– looking good Corelli’s!! Oh wait, might I add – tasting good too!! For the $11.95 price tag I was not expecting a lot, but boy did I underestimate Corelli’s. The flavors were just the way I like it. Nice balance of garlic and other herbs. The sauce was light, but at the same time rich enough to make an impact. I could have done without the stringy onions or would have preferred for the onions to be diced, but I got over that pretty quick. The portions sizes are large enough to share or make a nice size doggie bag. I chose the latter – and when I tell you the dish tasted the same if not better the next day!!
Let’s fast forward to dessert. Although the Chocolate Mafia pie sounded delightful, I went with the traditional Italian Wedding Cake ($5.95). The menu says “It’s enough for two”, so I’m not sure why I was surprised when the waitress brought out this BIG piece of cake. I wish I could issue a rave review for the Italian Wedding Cake, but I must say it was pretty standard. Nothing stood out about it. It wasn’t the worst I’ve had, but certainly not the best. If you’re having a sweet tooth after your meal, give it a shot.
So, if my review is not convincing enough to get you there, maybe this next tidbit will. On my way out, I noticed a wine room. I asked if I could explore a bit and wondered exactly what it was used for. The waitress gave me a little tour and explained that it is sometimes rented out for special occasions, but when not rented, diners can eat in this area. You can either choose from their collection of wines from Italy and California or bring your own. And get this, there is currently no corking fee. A-maz-ing!! So yes, I will be back.
Until next time…Cheers!!
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