Taste of Houston: Paulie’s Restaurant brings family-style Italian cooking to the Montrose restaurant scene

Rigatoni Bolognese from Paulie's Restaurant (Courtesy of Public Content)

HOUSTON – The restaurant scene in Montrose is lively with Italian restaurants, however, one lives up to its name.

Kathy and Bernard Petronella opened their own Italian restaurant Paulie’s on Westheimer in 1998, named after their only son, Paul. Today, since 2007, Paul owns and operates his namesake, becoming an award-winning restaurateur for their best sandwich, best cheap-eat lunch spot, and best coffeehouse.

“My family has been in and around the restaurant most of our lives,” Paul said. “It’s what we know how to do best.”

Specializing in several pastas, salads, sandwiches and coffee, the staff at Paulie’s do their best to make guests happy with their experience. Paul considers his staff a “big, large happy family”.

Inside Paulie's on a busy day. (Courtesy of Public Content)

But what sets the restaurant apart from others is getting the most bang for your buck when dining at Paulie’s.

“We look after one another and hold each other accountable when necessary,” he said. “I pride myself on challenging everyone’s integrity and changing individual character for the better.”

Popular Dishes

Customers crave for Paulie’s Shrimp BLT, one of their most popular favorite dishes since day one.

Bathed in champagne vinegar and cream sauce, the shrimp is then placed on a fluffy challah bun along with smoky bacon, green leaf lettuce, and Roma tomatoes. Paul says customers ask for the Shrimp BLT more than their pasta dishes, although several of them are among customer favorites including the Rigatoni Bolognese, which contains ground veal and pork, cream, vinegar, basil, and garlic.

Shrimp BLT (Courtesy of Public Content)

“We make our pasta in-house, which makes them special,” Paul said, “I also think we have an amazing basil pesto.”

And speaking of basil pesto, Paul thinks the Fusili Pasta with Pesto gets overlooked, which contains Calamata olives, pine nuts and imported parmesan cheese.

Satisfy your sweet tooth

Not only are Paulie’s Italian favorites top quality, they also have a great selection of desserts and a coffeehouse.

Customers favor their shortbread cookies, made from the recipe Kathy Petronella invented using her Italian grandmother’s pizzelle recipe and her Irish grandmother’s shortbread cookie recipe. Most of which are decorated to coincide with holidays and special occasions.

“The one dessert I love is the Affogato,” Paul said, which contains a shot of Greenway Coffee espresso over Nutella Rocky Road ice cream from Cloud 10 Creamery.

What people are saying

Customers are loving Paulie’s Restaurant on review website, Yelp.

Christine P. said, “I get the Canestri Alla Funghi every time I come here. A couple of friends introduced this dish to me and ever since I got it, I couldn’t get myself to really get any other dish. The sauce is so creamy but light. The grilled bread on the side that comes with it also has a good kind of crispy texture that I like that complimented the pasta really well. I get grilled chicken on top also since this dish doesn’t come with meat (it’s an extra $4). I got the half portion, and I felt like that was just the perfect amount for me. The pasta itself is also not too soggy or too hard - it’s just right!”

“Paulie’s is one of my go-to places to eat in Houston,” said Sarah S. “Its fast-casual pastas and sandwiches. Their portions are HUGE. Especially for the prices. Even the 'half’ portion for the pastas are huge. I’m not sure how large the ‘full’ portion would be. Even the half is easily two servings for me.”

Even the shortbread cookies are among the favorites. “Paulies offers beautiful decorated sugar cookies that they’re constantly changing with the season or sporting event,” said Bailey C. “They’re not only beautiful but delicious!”

Paulie's Restaurant outside on Westheimer in Montrose. (Public Content)

Local appreciation

Even with his love for his restaurant, Paul still brings appreciation to other restaurants around the area.

“I grew up around local Italian restaurants, so even today I crave the Chicken Bryan from Carrabba’s on Kirby,” he said, “I have also been eating a lot of tacos from Cantina Barba on North Main.”

Business Information

Paulie’s Restaurant

1834 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77098


Monday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Tuesday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Wednesday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday: CLOSED