Houston Astros owner’s downtown Italian eateries opening this month

Houston Astros owner’s downtown Italian eateries opening this month

Food & Lifestyle, Restaurants

A pair of restaurants backed by Houston Astros owner Jim Crane are now opening following a string of name changes and the departure of Houston chef Bryan Caswell.

Potente, a luxury Italian eatery, opened this week, while Osso & Kristalla, a casual trattoria next door, is slated to open Feb. 20, according to a release. The restaurants will be at 1515 Texas Ave., on the ground floor of The Finger Cos.’ new 500 Crawford apartment complex across from Minute Maid Park. Click through the slideshow for a tour of the apartment complex as it was nearing completion last year.

The restaurants’ monikers are the names of Crane’s three children translated into Italian.

Crane’s personal chef, Michael Parker, was named executive chef for the restaurants’ culinary team. Micah Rideout was named chef de cuisine, and David Berg was named executive pastry chef. Caswell mutually split with Crane and the eateries in November to pursue new projects with his company, Bryan Caswell Concepts.

Parker has served various dignitaries in his career, including presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, as well as Queen Elizabeth II. He also heads the dining team at Crane’s exclusive club, the Floridian National Golf Club, in Palm City, Florida.

“Opening the restaurants with a team of top chefs gives me great confidence that we will establish ourselves as the premiere fine dining destination in Houston,” Crane said in the release.

Potente offers the feel of a luxurious Italian villa with modern touches, per the release. The restaurant features a bar, main dining room and three private rooms. It will open nightly at 5 p.m.

The more casual concept, Osso & Kristalla, will have a soft, rustic feel and includes an outdoor patio. The eatery is expected to open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Both restaurants were designed by Gensler.

In October, Crane renamed the downtown eateries after two of his children’s names translated into Italian. Prior to that, the restaurants’ original names were a nod to baseball due to the proximity of the Astros’ stadium across the street. The casual concept’s original name was Panchina, Italian for “bench,” and the high-end restaurant was called Brocca, Italian for “pitcher.”

Jack Witthaus produces digital content for the Houston Business Journal’s website and social media accounts. Follow him on Twitter.