TRAVEL HERE: PRINCI ITALIA FOR PASTA IN PRESTON ROYAL
What is it about the corner at Preston and Royal? Like my beloved NorthPark, it stays vibrantly alive while other strip malls go through the entire cycle of being developed to going broke, to being re-developed. All the Preston Royal strip centers do is keep getting busier. Have you tried Prinici Italia yet? It took me a while to get there, but we’ve been there a couple of times now.
Not on my Route
Perhaps one of the reasons I put off visiting Princi Italia is that it got lost in the traffic. It backs up to the southwest corner of the busy Preston and Royal intersection, in the old Preston Royal Village. There is rarely a parking spot in sight.
Mom dug Preston Royal Village. She liked J Renee Shoes and the Doughtery’s Airway Drug Store. She thought they had a great Chico’s and she thought The Cobbler Shoe Repair was the only place to take broken shoes. But if it was time to eat when she visited, she wanted to go over to Preston Royal East and eat at Cantina Laredo. Forget Preston Oaks across the street. She abandoned it when the Dillard’s store went out.
Casual, Comfortable and Cozy
Finally Bill and I wandered into Prini Italia one day and grabbed a meal. It was back during the build and keeping track of where we ate for the blog was not high on my list. At least not as high as trying to keep my sanity. The experience must have been both pleasant and affordable, because it was Bill who recently suggested we visit again. I vaguely remembered a bowl of pasta, perhaps a primavera, but not much else.
This time we were able to park up close, because we were late for lunch and early for dinner. The interior is upscale casual. Wood floors, minimalist furniture, no tablecloths, lots of blue. They describe the interior as “farmhouse”. I’m not sure that’s the vibe I get. If it’s a farmhouse, it’s a very modern farmhouse. Still, the interior is welcoming and you get the feeling you can stay awhile, if that’s what you want. There’s a patio, but this was Texas and it was still hot.
And the Food
Maybe I ordered the wrong thing, twice. This is one of those places where they make everything fresh. The house-made sausage, olives and mushrooms were great. The fettuccine and sauce? Not so much. I feel bad saying that, because I could tell it was fresh-made pasta, not out of a box, but it was too soft – almost gummy. My last dish had been more on the too-al dente side. I just wasn’t loving it.
Bill had Spaghetti Bolognese and cleaned his plate. The last time he had marinara, but had forgotten it was meatless. He was happier this time. He was also happy to take my pasta home and have it for lunch the next day.
Service was good. The people watching was fun. The prices were reasonable in a Preston Royal sort of way. The pasta dishes hover below $20, the plates somewhere above $20.
Do I think you should go? If you are in the vicinity anyway, I’d say go ahead. Would I tell you to make a special trip over there? Probably not. Will I return? Perhaps, but probably not. I’ll just go down to Preston and Forest for Woodlands American Grill. That’s my fave in that neighborhood.