Il Bracco doles out Italian-ish comfort fare in a setting reminiscent of the old Houston's

Dec 09, 2023 1190

BY: Alison Cook

Walking into Il Bracco, a current of déjà vu can sweep your neural system. You’ve been here before, in this dim, low-slung room with its clubby booths, its womblike walnut paneling, its prosperous crowd of grown-ups. To one side the travertine bar beckons, like the world’s longest and skinniest horseshoe. The place seems buffered from reality. Neither harsh daylight nor automobile headlights can burst in to spoil the idyll.

If you’re thinking Hillstone, the restaurant chain we used to know here as Houston’s, you’d be right. The duo behind Il Bracco, Robert Quick and Matt Gottlieb, are Hillstone group veterans who launched their prototype Italian restaurant four years ago in Dallas’ Park Cities, a rough equivalent to our River Oaks. Now they seem intent on colonizing Houston, where they recently opened the seafood-centered Balboa Surf Club just across the parking lot.

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