Brandani’s Restaurant and Wine Bar

The fried quail appetizer is served with a corncake, honey and rosemary ($9).

The fried quail appetizer is served with a corncake, honey and rosemary ($9).

Tucked away in the Township Square shopping center off Murphy Road in Missouri City, the owners of Brandani’s Restaurant and Wine Bar described the perks of running a family business.

“I think the upside is we get to see each other every day,” Ron Brandani said. “We just have a really good team here, and I think it lends itself to a great neighborhood restaurant.”

He and his wife, Claire, opened Brandani’s in March 2015 in the former space of Aura Brasserie, a French restaurant now located in Sugar Land. The fine-dining establishment’s menu is a combination of American and Italian-inspired dishes, as Ron said he had various influences throughout his restaurant career.

“I never really say that I’m a chef,” he said. “I can make whatever I’ve tasted before.”

Seafood is popular at Brandani’s and Ron said he buys hundreds of pounds of fish each week. For dessert, Claire recommends the pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting and walnut brittle ($6), which is a family recipe.

Due to budget constraints, Claire said that little was changed about the restaurant’s interior when Brandani’s moved in. But the owners did hang several of Ron’s mother’s paintings around the space.

“When you open a business you, just don’t, you don’t know what the future holds,” Claire said. “So we really guarded every dime we had.”

Ron’s mother’s death from cancer inspired Ron to contribute $19,000—$14,000 of which came from an August campaign at the restaurant—to the Connor Man Defeat DIPG Foundation in Missouri City. The Brandanis said they would try another fundraiser in 2017.

As for the business’s future, Ron and Claire said they would have to consider taking on a second location and whether it would be more casual than the current restaurant. They said they like always being available to talk with patrons directly.

“[Customers] feel the feel of a family restaurant because we’re here,” Ron said. “We’re always here.”

Brandani’s Restaurant and Wine Bar

3340 Murphy Road, Ste. 160, Missouri City
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.; closed Dec. 24-25