When it came to building wine list, Tony Vallone had no ego

Sep 29, 2020 131

BY: Dale Robertson

I wasn’t around yet when Tony Vallone, the young man from Sunnyside then barely out of his teenage years, threw open the doors to his eponymous restaurant in 1965. And I can’t speak with any authority on the state of Houston’s wining-and-dining scene before Vallone launched what became a marvelous 55-year journey to the highest echelons of his profession that ended with his recent passing.

But what I can say with certitude is that nobody played a greater role on what our city has become as a wining-and-dining epicenter than Vallone, who was working the floor at Tony’s the night before he died. That would have been Sept. 9, my birthday. If not for the novel coronavirus, I would have likely celebrated there, meaning I could have had the chance to give him one final heartfelt hug.

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SOURCE: https://preview.houstonchronicle.com

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