Perfectly Paired

happy hours / hosting / friendship

Restaurant: North Italia

Recommended Meal of Choice: Happy Hour

The Perfect Pair: Bottle & Board

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetNorth Italia is a MUST in the Houston food network. With the Galleria in its neighborhood and Whole Foods right next door, you’ll be able to shop, get your groceries, and grab dinner and drinks with friends all in one trip! With a fun Italian flare on their food and the most trendy restaurant vibe, North Italia gives you everything you need for someone who has lots of love for a glass of wine and a cheese board to be happy It is a favorite go-to stop, with a happy hour that lasts all the way from Sunday – Friday, 3 – 6pm, and if that wasn’t enough, they even include half price bottles of wine all day on Sundays. Someone pinch us!

The Perfectly Paired Pals came to North Italia one Wednesday evening for the perfect middle of the work week break. We decided to start off the evening right, splitting a carafe of sangria. There really is nothing better than starting the evening with a cold glass of sangria to cool you off from this Texas heat. Now, I’m pretty critical when it comes to sangria because I don’t like to feel like I’m drinking a glass full of sugar that’s only going to make me feel worse later in the evening. However, North Italia’s sangria is the perfect amount of wine, fruit, and overall sweetness! Nothing is too overpowering, which I really appreciate. And, who doesn’t love a pretty drink that tastes just as good as it looks!

After quickly drinking the entire carafe, we ordered a North Italia Happy Hour specialty: the Bottle & Board. For just $20, you get to choose between a pizza, bruschetta, or the chef’s board, and a bottle of red or white wine to accompany your food choice. Of course, we ordered the chef’s board, full of meats, cheeses, and other goodies with a bottle of red to pair! We loved the fact that this board came with an overwhelming amount of meat, specifically prosciutto. A lot of times we run into having much more cheese than meat, so the board tends to seem unbalanced. However, this was not the case at North Italia! The board also includes a creamy cheese that can be spread on bread, paired with prosciutto, or serve as a dip for the asparagus bites. With a multi-functional cheese, this allows all components of your board to be appreciated to the fullest, and with a little cheese that goes a long way, we were able to enjoy this board for quite awhile without feeling like it was gone in seconds.

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PPP Pro Tip: When you cut your meat, bread, and cheese cubes into smaller pieces, it makes your board easier to share with friends and you all get to enjoy it at a much slower pace!

The red wine that came with the board was a 2016 La Fiera from Montepulciano 

d’Abruzzo, Italy averaging about $9 and 3.7 stars (thanks Vivino!). A very smooth, balanced, and medium bodied red, it paired perfectly with our chef’s board for the evening.

One of my favorite things to do is to Vivino wine at the dinner table, because then I can see how much more I paid for the wine at a restaurant instead of the grocery store. It is so shocking to see the price difference sometimes! For this particular Italian red, I was extremely comforted to get the bottle at exactly the recommended price from Vivino. With the chef’s board priced at $10 on it’s own, and the bottle averaging $9, we got a very fair deal for $20. I couldn’t recommend the Bottle & Board more!

After Happy Hour was over, we decided to all split the Prosciutto Pizza with mission fig, goat cheese, and arugula to satisfy our hunger for dinner. It was the perfect way to to experience more of the Italian cooking that North Italia has to offer. It was paired best with a 2016 Malbec. We couldn’t get enough!

If you haven’t already, be sure to put North Italia in the Top 5 of your food bucket list in Houston. With their Italian wines, great Happy Hour deals, and lots of fun to go around, it will always be a staple for the Perfectly Paired Pals.

Peace & Pinot,

The PPP’s

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