Known for its spacious interiors and sizeable wine collection, Amerigo’s Grill has the distinction of being one of the first upscale restaurants in The Woodlands, according to Casey and Nancy Kosh, restaurant owners and lifelong Woodlands-area residents. The family-owned restaurant specializes in Italian-American fare, seafood and pastas.
The Koshes opened the eatery in 1989 as Amerigo’s Seafood and Pasta in the Spring area. Five years later, in 1994, they relocated to The Woodlands and opened Amerigo’s Grille on Grogan’s Park Drive.
“It did really well there [on Louetta Road], but they wanted to follow the vision of George Mitchell when The Woodlands started,” Events Coordinator Allison Bergeron said. “So, they decided to open up here in ’94, and they were the first upscale dining restaurant in The Woodlands.”
Chef Arturo Osorio makes fresh pasta daily, and the restaurant’s cheeses are imported straight from Italy.
“We really try to focus on being unique and keeping an Italian-American spin on things,” Bergeron said.
Bergeron said Amerigo’s most popular dishes are the wild seabass—served with abalone mushrooms and a mandarin wild fennel relish—and Snapper Amerigo’s, which is red snapper sauteed with crabmeat, vegetables and a chardonnay reduction.
“The consensus with the chef, our general manager and Casey is that they try to focus not so much on the recipe but the process more than anything,” said Bergeron. “Chef uses the freshest ingredients, [and] he picks everything himself when the produce comes in. They really use a unique method of preparation to make the meals stand out, so more than the recipe they focus on the preparation and the process.”
Bergeron said the recipes have evolved over the years, with Osorio and Casey spending hours brainstorming new ideas.
“They see what works and what doesn’t,” Bergeron said. “We’ve actually been revising the menu.”
Amerigo’s also features a number of options for its vegetarian and gluten-free diners. The pasta can be made with a gluten-free flour, and anything can be customized to be vegetarian. Bergeron, who is vegetarian, said her personal favorite is the Pollo Zingara without the chicken.
“We also have one of the biggest wine collections around,” she said. “Our general manager is a certified sommelier.”
Bergeron said the secret to Amerigo’s success can be attributed to the Koshes’ hands-on approach.
“Casey and Nancy are very involved; they’re here every day with the staff,” she said. “A lot of the times you don’t see owners very often, but here they’re completely involved. A lot of people have grown up here. Some customers have been coming here since they were kids; now they’re in their twenties.”
25250 Grogan's Park Drive, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 5-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Amerigo's Grille features a piano bar and lounge with live music on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. The bar also features a happy hour menu with drink specials on weekdays from 4-7 p.m.
-House wine: $5
-House martinis: $7
-Mixed well drinks: $5
Source: Amerigo's Grille/Community Impact Newspaper