Whether you want a casual evening with friends, or an upscale date night depends on whether you visit Osso & Kristalla, or Potente.
Located a few blocks west of Minute Maid Park in Downtown Houston, These restaurants easily fill your cravings for some simple, rustic takes on Italian food. Both restaurants are owned by Jim Crane, the Owner of the Houston Astros.
When you step into Osso & Kristalla, you walk into a fresh, modern space with high ceilings, crisp white subway tile, marble, and if you look above, some incredibly cool industrial lights that give the space some some intimacy and grit. Osso also has a very spacious patio for those rare, cool Houston days we love to spend outside.
It also boasts a menu of some favorites like croissants (with its own whipped parmesan spread), a very rustic Quattro Fromaggi pizza with Mozzarella, Fontina, Gorgonzola and Pecorino cheeses, with a crispy crust, and a hand-made dough that originates from a 100 year starter. You can also get your fill of sandwiches, and salads here – and they’re more than enough to share with a few friends. They also have breakfast and coffee service, so you don’t have to wait for a night out to visit.
Across the way at Potente – you’ll find a gorgeous wine room adjacent to the dining space, along with a huge, rectangular bar that fills the space, and some knowledgable bartenders. The bar uses local ingredients, and creates some special house cocktails that you can’t find anywhere else! My favorite had to be watching a bartender making this sweet and spicy concoction:
Potente also has a dark dining space, so to accommodate, their menus are backlit for the comfort of guests. That was such a win for me!
All in all, if you’re looking for rustic, casual Italian food – stop in at Osso & Kristalla. If you want an upscale, Italian meal and an intimate ambiance, Potente is your spot. I really enjoyed the time I spent at Osso – maybe you’ll join me there for coffee sometime!