Meet the fine-dining veteran leading some of Houston’s top restaurants

On this episode of “What’s Eric Eating,” Scott Sulma joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss his career. After working alongside Tony Vallone for many years, Sulma currently works as the director of operations for Atlas Restaurant Group, the Baltimore-based company behind Ouzo Bay, Loch Bar, and newly opened Italian steakhouse Marmo.

The conversation begins with Sulma discussing how he started working at Tony’s and rose through the ranks to open both casual Italian restaurant Ciao Bello and steakhouse Vallone’s in partnership with Tony Vallone. They look back at both restaurant’s accomplishments and discuss the lessons Sulma learned from the legendary Houston restaurateur. 

Sulma joined Atlas in early 2020 to assist with the company’s expansion in Houston. The hospitality veteran says that Atlas’s commitment to providing an exceptional dining experience appealed him.

From there, the conversation turns into a deep dive into Marmo, which recently opened in the Montrose Collective mixed-use development. Sandler and Sulma discuss the name (Italian for “marble”), its live music offerings, and the range of experiences it can provide. 

“You can walk in and have a half bowl of pasta, a beautiful glass of wine. You can get out for under $30,” Sulma says. “At the same time, it’s your 10-year anniversary, you just closed a big deal, you love to drink vintage Barolo, we can go as big and bad as you want with A5 beef, dry-aging coolers that have seven different selections. It really has the opportunity to appeal to the everyday diner who wants to eat at Marmo seven days a week and those who want to come once a week or once a month and blow it out.”

Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Matt Harris discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: the recent changes in personnel at J-Bar-M Barbecue, Craft Pita’s plans to open a section location near West University Place, and the return of the Southern Smoke Festival.

In the restaurant of the week segment, they discuss the tasting menu they enjoyed at Tatemó, chef Emmanuel Chavez’s Mexican restaurant that celebrates dishes made with artisan corn. Listen to the full episode to hear their thoughts on how it compares to other elevated Mexican restaurants in Houston.  


Subscribe to “What’s Eric Eating” on Apple podcastsGoogle Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Saturday at 1 pm on ESPN 97.5.

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