When it comes to Italian food in Houston, it’s hard to overstate the influence of Marco Wiles. The renowned chef and native Italian has a hand in several of the city’s most popular restaurants, from his flagship Da Marco to smaller ventures that specialize in Italian wines and Neapolitan pizzas. Despite his many accolades, Wiles hardly has the marketplace cornered. In fact, he owes part of his success to the steep competition he faces from family-owned institutions such as Patrenella’s, which challenge him to constantly raise the bar on his homemade pastas and paninis.
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