Rove Through Houston, Appreciating Europe

Karl Rove(?) in the Lobby of the Hotel Granduca, Houston

So a lot of Houstonians don’t really get the Hotel Granduca. Who does? During a recent visit, the proprietor of Houston restaurant blog Tasty Bits came up with one answer:

I was always curious about the people who pay $1,300 a night for a hotel suite in Houston. Who are they? What do they eat? I got my answer as soon as I arrived and saw Karl Rove waiting to get picked up in the lobby (sulfur, smoke, instant drop in temperature, and all). For a split second I thought about inviting him to join us for lunch. It’s not often you are in the presence of one of the more diabolical political minds of our generation.

Tasty Bits has more juicy commentary on the hotel:

Entering Hotel Granduca is a little like following the rabbit hole – just beyond the iron gates and right past the horse mounted statue of Adalberto Malatesta Granduca of Monfallito (?) is a different world than one might find in otherwise sensible Houston.

After the jump: What’s down that rabbit hole! Plus: tasteful commentary on lunch at the hotel’s Ristorante Cavour.


Granduca was made to look like an Italian villa, complete with armored knights, medieval weapons on the walls, and little touches like wood beams laid into plaster and freshly distressed furniture in more “rustic” parts of the hotel. Like everything else at the Uptown Park, Granduca . . . feels more like Las Vegas than old Europe.

So how was lunch?

Ristorante Cavour is an odd place. I counted maybe 20 seats total in the mostly empty dining room and with the prices more than reasonable for the quality of food, I couldn’t figure out how they make money ($5 Cokes, that’s how). I don’t get a sense Cavour gets a whole lot of business other than soon to be indicted Republican operatives, either. . . . still, the kitchen is run by one of the best chefs in town and you can find great food here if you order right.

Photo of Hotel Granduca Lobby: Flickr user mgovshteyn