Old World Refinement in Houston
When asked what he likes best about his eponymous restaurant empire, Johnny Carrabba says, “I love the preparation and excitement of it all. It’s like throwing a party at your home every night. You work hard to prepare a great meal, and you can’t wait to greet your guests and show them a great time.”
Clearly, entertaining has long been a priority for Carrabba, whose home in Houston was designed for it, with an air-conditioned loggia, a chef’s kitchen, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, an eye-catching pool and hot tub, and other grand spaces for welcoming a crowd.
An air of European sophistication pervades the 13,836-square-foot home, which is introduced by a stately gate and a stone-walled bridge.
The interiors boast such fine finishes as Venetian plaster, marble countertops, walnut floors, distinctive ceilings, clerestory windows, and multiple fireplaces.
Beyond a palatial reception hall with a silver-leaf domed ceiling, the gallery can easily accommodate the grandest gatherings, with room for up to 10 tables.
The formal dining room is a striking setting for meals large or small, with patterned walnut floors, hand-stenciled ceiling details, trompe l’oeil wainscoting, and a limestone fireplace.
A sunken bar with underlit onyx counters encourages convivial relaxation in the living room.
The kitchen features a barrel-vaulted brick ceiling, alderwood cabinetry, honed marble countertops, commercial-caliber appliances, and a casual dining area as well as an adjoining pantry or catering kitchen and a family room.
The wine room exudes an Old World elegance, with walls and ceilings of limestone, terra-cotta-tile flooring, and ornate ironwork.
Chief among the home’s five bedrooms is the master suite, which—with its sitting room, private office, and expansive closet space—occupies an entire ground-floor wing.
The options for entertaining outdoors are no less varied, with covered and open-air lounging and dining areas, a loggia, an alfresco kitchen, and a pool house with fitness and entertainment areas along with a full bar.
At the heart of the manicured gardens and grounds, which are enveloped by a 25-foot cedar privacy hedge, are a glamorous swimming pool and personal putting green.
This 1.63-acre estate is a truly idyllic escape only minutes from prestigious Memorial Drive and Houston’s city center.
Offered at: $18,950,000
Location: 526 West Friar Tuck Lane, Houston, TX 77024
Represented by: Walter Bering