13. Dolce Vita (temporarily closed)
It has had its ups and downs, but Marco Wiles’ pizzeria once again turns out the best pies in town. The crusts are high-crowned and yeasty, with ample char and chew. Toppings show a chefly touch, from robiola cheese with melted leeks and cubes of pancetta to fresh-shucked tiny clams with roasted cherry tomatoes. Baby artichokes or rapini greens, delicately flash fried, are among the small plates that speak to vegetarian and omnivore alike. Elegantly simple pastas, a lively Italian wine list and a big covered terrace add to the fun. Wiles changed the pizza game in Houston with this restaurant — my current favorite of his three spots, including the more ambitious Da Marco.
Cuisine: Italian, pizza
Entree price range: $$
Where: 500 Westheimer