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Passion & music for the New Year

louie carrington jr

Above: My longtime musical partner Louie Carrington, Jr. will be performing this New Year’s Eve at Ciao Bello. Over the arc of his career, he’s performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, Lou Rawls, and countless other entertainment greats. Like my cooking, his art is driven by passion.

“Thank you for the drive that pushes us to excellence.”

That’s what our truffle purveyor, an Italian company that works out of New York, wrote to me the other day.

The note reminded me of why I get up every day and make my rounds at our three restaurants, Tony’s, Ciao Bello, and Vallone’s.

It reminded me of the “drive” that makes every day, every aroma, and every flavor so exciting and so fulfilling for me: passion.

This year, in a local radio interview I did, the host asked me whether or not I would have done anything different as I look back on my career as a restaurateur.

“I should have chosen a different profession!” I answered jokingly.

Anyone who works in the restaurant business knows that it’s passion that makes the difference.

And that’s what all of my restaurants and all of my dishes are about: passionate cooking for people who are passionate about food.

As 2013 comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about that passion for fine dining. And I’d like to thank you, Houstonians, for the drive that pushes me to excellence.

You are among the most sophisticated diners and travelers in the world and you know great food. And it’s been my honor and privilege to share my passion with you for all these years.

As we ring in the new year, I hope you’ll join us in celebration.

I regret that Tony’s reservations have all been filled.

Vallone’s still has some availability for late night reservations and dancing.

And there are still some spots available at Ciao Bello, where Houston music great Louie Carrington, Jr. (above) will be performing until the stroke of midnight.

Wherever you spend the holiday, I hope your new year will be filled with good health and joy. Thank you for making 2013 another great one to remember.

—Tony Vallone

tony vallone restaurant

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