Restaurateur Nash D'Amico has been an active part of the Greater Houston restaurant scene for over three decades. A member of one of the city's most successful restaurant families, Nash was on the forefront of introducing the area to the wider world of Italian cuisine.
The Sam Houston College marketing graduate began his career in the restaurant business in 1975 in Huntsville, Texas with his cousins, Tony and Damian Mandola. His cousins later made their own mark on Houston with Damian's and Tony Mandola's Gulf Coast Kitchen, among others.
In 1977, Nash took his love for authentic Northern Italian and Southern Sicilian cuisine, all stemming from his family heritage, and opened the upscale D'Amico's Ristorante Italiano. The restaurant thrived for almost 20 years, but as the city grew and the number of Italian restaurants grew even more, he began exploring the idea of opening a more casual style restaurant that took advantage of Houston's Gulf Coast foods.
In 1983, the doors opened to Nash D'Amico's Pasta & Clam Bar in Rice Village. The combination of fresh seafood, Sicilian recipes and reasonable prices were an instant hit. Two years later, there was a second location on Westheimer and not long after that, a third location on the Strand in Galveston. A fourth location opened in 1992 in Clear Lake, and in between the third and the fourth, he opened D'Amico's West End in Galveston's Pirate Cove and expanded the Strand restaurant to a second floor.
By 1996, however, the time and energy it was taking to run a chain of restaurants while staying active in raising a family and church and charitable events, made the successful restaurateur re-evaluate the course of his career. After long consideration, he made the decision to return to what he loved best - running a casual, family restaurant where he could greet customers by name and still have a life outside of the kitchen. Thus was born D'Amico's Italian Market Café returning to the area where it all began in Rice Village.
D'Amico's is a family place, by every definition of the term. Nash's daughter, Brina D'Amico , is a full partner in the business. A graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, she is following her father's footsteps, not just in food service but in community volunteering and raising a family.