Edilerman Molina, the owner of Tosca Americana, was 12 years old when he held his first kitchen job.
“My uncle was a sous chef at a restaurant in New York City,” Molina said. “The first time I went in, I was asked to cut the house-made bread for the tables. … I started to fall in love with bread.”
That passion made it to Atascocita in January 2017, when Molina opened the Italian restaurant Tosca Americana on West Lake Houston Parkway.
“My parents moved to Houston in 2006,” he said. “Dad liked being close to the water because he loves fishing.”
Molina creates Italian favorites such as linguine with meatballs and Eggplant Parmigiana, recipes shaped by his schooling at the Culinary Institute of America and his experience launching restaurants in New York.
“It’s rustic Sicilian, with New York experience and local flavor,” he said
Examples of local influence are the crawfish in the Seafood Fra-Diavolo, the fried green tomatoes in the Mozzarella Caprese and the Cajun Shrimp Alla Vodka.
“When the customers eat something here and they like it, it’s because the flavors are familiar,” Molina said.
Befitting the opera theme that lends the restaurant its name, Tosca Americana features an opera room that seats 45 customers who can reserve the room at no charge; they just have to order from the menu. Musicians perform at the restaurant on occasion as well, Molina said.
Once the restaurant gets consistent business, Molina plans to open an Italian chop house where customers can order a filet mignon and a side of Fettuccine Alfredo.
“I want it to be within a 30-mile radius from here,” he said. “Atascocita is only 15 minutes from my house, so I can enjoy my family and not have a struggle after a long day of work.”
Regular diners come to Tosca Americana from as far as Baytown, Katy and Dallas. Word of mouth has raised awareness of the Italian restaurant tucked away in the corner of a business plaza, Molina said.
“People love that it’s hidden,” Molina said. “They love that we’re in a corner nook.”
18321 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 540, Humble
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.,
Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m