Monday, August 31, 2009

Sweet Temptation

On a road known more its collection of famous Mexican restaurants (Airline Drive, in the Eastern section of the Heights) sits Sweet Temptation. The name itself creates even more confusion, perhaps signaling that this concept wasn’t fully thought out.

The best dishes are the bruschetta and the restaurant's version of a spaghetti carbonara. The bruschetta is simply prepared with fresh tomatoes and herbs and served on a fairly generic slice of store bought Italian/French bread. The carbonara is served with an egg yolk inside of a hollowed out egg shell. The best prepared dish was the sauteed chicken breast, which was pounded thin, coated, skillet fried and still juicy. The fact that I was most excited by a fairly generic chicken breast entree should tell you all you need to know about Sweet Temptation.

Misses included most of the meat entrees, which are all served with the same unimaginative duo of mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The biggest miss was the pork chops, which were overcooked to a shoe leather texture. Desserts include the standard tiramisu, creme brulee and cheesecake.

My dream is for the Heights to land a truly authentic Italian eatery. A few weeks ago I sat in Dolce Vita and split two starters and the best pizza I've had outside of New York City. A simple shaved brussel sprouts starter—served cold and tossed with a slight hint of acid—was one of the best dishes I've had this year. The fact that we got out for less than what we spent at Sweet Temptation is both amazing and depressing at the same time.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh. Collina's on 19th has been serving even worse fare for several years and still has a line out the door most days of the week. Sweet Temptation has the same BYOB policy, so I would expect it to be a hit as well (both recent visits the room sat mostly empty).

Sweet Temptation should be defined as an Italian American restaurant. Italian American is never going to be Dolce Vita, nor does it need to be. I would be happy if Sweet Temptation could equal the highs of Patronella's, which is located just a few miles south. Sadly, Sweet Temptation is more in the style of Birraporetti's. You'd be better off just opening a jar of Prego.

1504 Airline Drive
Houston, TX 77009

1 comment:

  1. Fratelli's is sort of in the Heights, and serves some good Italian food, including some great bruschetta. You can also bring your own wine for a corkage fee. I live almost next door to Sweet Temptation, and have never been. Not really sure why, except that the name does not exude "Great Italian fare."