Numero 28 696A0089

Houston Chronicle: Southern Italian restaurant opens in Highland Village with pizzas and pastas

After years working in flashy restaurants from New York City to Dubai, Bernardo Nolfo says he was drawn to Texas when he found similarities between his own Italian culture and Southern hospitality.

Since quietly opening Numero28 nearly a month ago in Highland Village, Nolfo is now ready to bring homestyle cooking and friendly, polite service to more Houstonians at his pizza- and pasta-centric restaurant located at 3974 Westheimer.

“It’s not fine dining. You come inside this restaurant and you feel like you’re at home,” said Nolfo. “It’s like eating at grandmother’s home.”

Outside of Texas and New York, Numero28 restaurants are open in Miami, Fla., and Bergenfield, N.J.

The airy, light-filled restaurant, which seats about 50 diners indoors and more on a patio, turns to the south of Italy for inspiration. 

For smaller dishes, there’s everything from stuffed and fried balls of risotto to a wide-ranging selection of cheeses and cured meats. Veal meatballs, caprese salad and carpaccio also round out this section of the menu.

Most of the pastas are handmade and include the crowd favorite cacio e pepe, the Roman dish rich in cheese and black pepper. At Numero28, the dish is finished tableside as it’s tossed inside a wheel of pecorino cheese the size of a small tire.

Pizzas feature prominently on the menu with more than a dozen choices. Of the 12-inch pies, the signature Numero28 — which is topped with smoked prosciutto, mozzarella, mushrooms and truffle cream — is among the most popular.

“I like to think we’re more of a trattoria than a restaurant,” said Nolfo.

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