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It is said that those who eat well, eat Italian — Chi mangia bene, mangia italiano — and not only because of molten mozzarella, salty olives and charred cherry tomatoes… Ripe pear, delicate prosciutto and thick ribbons of fresh pappardelle… Soft, crisp pizzas flecked with basil and Gorgonzola. Food is but a part of the pleasure of an Italian meal.

If this sounds a little sentimental, it probably should — this is how Zanti came to be. Zanti draws its name from one of the restaurant’s founders, Santiago Peláez, whose affectionate nature and passion for pleasing others earned him the nickname “sentimental Santi” from his very large and teasing family. The joys of exploring food, cooking and caring for those around him are among his earliest memories. As he and his brothers grew their family’s hospitality business over the years, across several countries, it seemed inevitable to everyone that Santiago would one day open a restaurant of his own.

That day happily arrived in June 2019, when he opened his first location at The Woodlands, Tx and now at River Oaks, Houston. Together with his brothers, Santiago is delighted to welcome you to Zanti, now open for lunch, dinner, and drinks each day of the week.

Great food is only a part of an extraordinary Italian meal.


We believe that to truly eat well, you must not forget the importance of l’ambiente, la compagnia, and l’ingrediente — the atmosphere, the people, and of course, the ingredients —all essential to the Italian experience.

Simple and unhurried, Zanti honors the Italian tradition of bringing together the best of each day, from the thoughtfully chosen ingredients to the families gathered in conversation to share their stories and their meal. It is a place to feel yourself among friends and to enjoy the gifts of time and food.

Friends enjoying dinner