Review 10-19

The penne maschile - shown here with a side of garlic bread - may have been the star of the show, but it was far from the only highlight during a recent visit that proved Corelli's Italian Cafe can fill even the hungriest of stomachs. (Photo by Matt deGrood)

I’m not sure how I’d missed Corelli’s Italian Café before last week.

That stretch of road, near the intersection of State Highway 6 and Williams Trace Boulevard, has long been home to some of my favorite restaurants in Fort Bend County.

You could almost throw a dart and hit some place great.

But before calling a last-minute audible because Italian food sounded especially good, I’d never visited this Sugar Land staple for tasty eats before.

Like so many of the restaurants along the highway there, the interior of Corelli’s looks far different than the nondescript look of the restaurant signage among nondescript strip mall.

Perhaps authentic Italian restaurant is too far, but Corelli’s certainly felt cozy inside, with several tables filled with hungry lunchtime diners, all in sight of the kitchen. In addition to watching some of the food preparation, I could also see a bar area and some outdoor dining spots, but neither were open when I was there for lunch.

Of all the places I’ve visited for a food review, Corelli’s lunchtime menu might offer the most bang for the buck. Almost everything sounded good to me (lemon, pepper, mushrooms, what more could one want?)

After anguishing over what to order for a few minutes, I settled on the penne maschile, which seems like a Corelli’s unique invention. The pasta featured grilled chicken, broccoli and onions atop a bed of penne pasta in a garlic cream sauce.

Everything was good, but the secret star of the show was the cream sauce. Something about its flavors was addicting and I wanted more and more of it.

Pro tip: if you find yourself at Corelli’s and have ordered the same thing, try dipping garlic bread into whatever sauce is leftover at the end. Honestly, I didn’t even wait until the end, choosing instead to dip the bread regularly into the sauce.

The serving that arrived at my table also didn’t look like what I imagine when I think of lunchtime servings. There was more than enough pasta to fill the hungriest of stomachs and then some.

And just in case there isn’t, employees brought bread with each meal as well as a cup of garlic sticks at the beginning.

No one leaves Corelli’s hungry, at least in my experience.

There’s no doubt an abundance of great food options across Fort Bend County. But a new arrival can’t go wrong sampling the likes of Corelli’s and its neighbors.

 

Corelli’s Italian Café

Address: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Entrée prices: $10.89-$24.59

Kid-friendly: Yes

Alcohol: Yes

Healthy options: Insalata Anna ($9.49)

Star of the show: penne maschile ($13.99)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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