Ciro and Ciro Lampasas
Ciro’s Secret Sauce
There’s something about an Italian family that warms the heart and truly exemplifies the essence of what family and strong tradition is all about. Ciro Lampasas III (Papa Ciro) and Ciro A. Lampasas (Ciro A.) are the patriarchal heroes behind a 77024 dining favorite: Ciro’s Italian Grill. It’s not uncommon for people to visit the restaurant 3 or 4 times a week and there’s no secret behind why: You will inevitably walk away feeling special when you dine at Ciro’s. The food is consistently delicious and can be described confidently as Italian comfort food with recipes passed down from generation to generation. It is one of those places that you keep coming back to…that you want to celebrate your birthday and Sunday lunches at. They truly make you feel like you are part of the family at Ciro’s.
There are 5 Ciro’s in the Lampasas family so please don’t get confused. The first Ciro you will likely meet at the restaurant will be Ciro III, otherwise referred to as Papa. With crystal blue eyes, Papa Ciro makes his way from table to table every evening charming guests and inquiring how their meal is. Often mistaken as the owner of the restaurant, he is undoubtedly “the face” of Ciro’s and a staple reason people have made this a regular dining destination. Papa Ciro is a storyteller and will regale you with the deep history of his family and stealing away his bride as her family refused to give them a wedding date. The Lampasas family landed in Galveston from Sicily originally in 1840 and have made a rich Italian imprint on Houston ever since.
His son, Ciro Anthony Lampasas (We will refer to him as Ciro A.), is the owner and creator of Ciro’s Italian Grill. He is the workhorse and the brains behind the operation. Ciro A. has been working at perfecting the restaurant experience since he was 25 years old, starting the first location off Campbell Rd., and then relocating to it’s current location in 77024 in 1986. He proclaims that he was never a chef…but more of a cook who began his career calling his Grandma “MeMa” from the kitchen to ask her for her secret recipes.
Ciro A. is constantly striving to make his customers happy and continually works to embrace the evolution and substantial growth of the 77024 community in a way that’s showcased in his restaurant. One example is the request by a group of businessmen to do a powerpoint presentation at lunch. Ciro scrambled to drill a hole in the wall and hang a projector screen to accommodate their request. Being the smart businessman he is, Ciro recognized the growing need in the area for restaurants who could accommodate a proper business meeting and immediately equipped and integrated each of his banquet rooms to do just that.
In the same location off the Katy Freeway and Bunker Hill for the last 11 years, Ciro’s will soon be moving a whopping 50 feet to a larger newly constructed space by the new Hotel ZaZa. The new location will provide the same great food and “Papa Ciro Greetings” but will have such improvements as more large group private dining areas, an expanded bar, in-house gelateria and baked goods case.