When father-and-son team Georgios and Christos Batsios took over Sapore Ristorante Italiano last November from previous ownership that operated the establishment for more than two years, they had a vision of upholding the establishment’s namesake.
The pair said “sapore” translates from Italian as “flavor.” The duo—both Katy residents—said they adopted the saying of “sapore, it’s the flavor of amore,” meaning “the taste of love.”
Christos, the executive chef, said the mantra is especially important to him because his mother and Georgios’s wife, Sofia, is of Italian heritage. She provides traditional family recipes for Sapore’s menu, such as pasta dishes, signature sauces and Italian desserts, Christos said.
“You can taste love in every dish because we put it into it,” he said. “You got to have the passion. It just makes me ecstatic when people get the food, and they [are] just so happy with the food and the service. Everything that comes after that is just a bonus.”
Together, Georgios and Christos have about 50 years of combined restaurant experience, they said.
Georgios, the restaurant’s operations manager, was born in Greece and immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1960s. He owned several restaurants in Michigan before moving to Houston in 2010. Christos grew up learning the business from his father before perfecting his trade by working as a chef in Greece and Italy.
Christos said they chose to buy, renovate and reopen Sapore because of its proximity to their homes in the Katy area and because of the area’s rapid growth.
Georgios said the Westpark Tollway extension project—set to continue into 2018—will greatly add to the establishment’s clientele by providing more foot traffic and better accessibility to the Greater Houston area.
Sapore Ristorante serves lunch and dinner, offers local delivery and catering services, and hosts corporate and other special events. Georgios and Christos said Sapore’s authentic, made-from-scratch Italian cuisine has solidified the restaurant as a popular choice in its category for many patrons, especially those who have come to the area from states with large Italian-American communities such as New York and New Jersey.
“I like to invite people into my house, [and] I consider this my home,” Georgios said. “When they come through that door, I want to make sure they’re taken care of from the time they come in to the time they leave.”