Beloved west Houston restaurant to close after 37 years

- After 36 years in business, Carmelo's Ristorante will close its doors forever after its final Christmas Day brunch service. Over the last four decades, owner Carmelo Mauro has developed into a revered member of the Houston-area restaurant community.

Known as the Houston "Dean of Dining" with his unfailing smile, Mauro always provided delicious food with personal service and would never say no to someone in need of help. He is a former president of both the Texas Restaurant Association and the Greater Houston Restaurant Association.

One of the signature dishes at Carmelo's Ristorante is his arancini (rice balls). He has never shared this recipe before but is extending his generosity with the closure of his namesake restaurant.

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