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About Prego Restaurant

Prego specializes in fresh, modern Italian cuisine. We feature handcrafted-pasta, house-cured salumi, hand-tossed pizzas as well as a number of gulf seafood dishes inspired by traditional Italian cuisine. Our menu changes regularly, based on the offerings of local purveyors, artisans and farmers. We are committed to using the freshest, most flavorful seasonal products available. We also support and use organic, natural, and sustainable ingredients whenever possible.

For more than 30 years, Prego has been a Houston dining tradition, located in the heart of Houston's bustling Rice Village.

Our menu is complemented by carefully chosen wines, creative cocktails and exceptional customer service. The extensive wine list boasts more than 150 selections of Italian and new world wines, selected by Sommelier Rafael Espinal & Managing Partner David Cook.

General Manager and Operating Partner


General Manager and Operating Partner

David Cook started at Prego as a server/waiter in the summer of 2002. The family atmosphere and commitment to excellence that he found at Prego inspired him to continue learning about food, wine, cocktails and the restaurant business as a whole. Cook moved to management in January 2006, as manager of Trevisio Restaurant & Conference Center, operated by the owners of Prego, Hugo’s, Caracol and Backstreet Cafe.  He returned to Prego as general manager in October 2008, and became a partner at Prego in November 2013. Cook is a Houston native, born and raised in the Southampton neighborhood and graduated from St. John’s School in 1998.  He studied Comparative Religion at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, is a Level 2 sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and a Bikram Yoga enthusiast. He and his wife Annie have 2 young sons, Ace and Sam & a daughter Evelyn. 




Rafael Espinal, a native of El Salvador, has been a part of the Prego family for more than 25 years.  He began working as a busboy, advancing to waiter and manager, all the time growing his knowledge of and interest in wine.  Espinal’s talent in wine is undeniable. His palate is second to none and his depth of understanding combined with his gracious personality have cemented him as one of the leaders of the Houston wine community.  Espinal is now a certified Level 2 Sommelier. 

Espinal has expanded Prego’s New World wine selection, with more wines including wines from Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. He has also added a nice selection of German wines, especially Rieslings, to the international page, because they match particularly well with many Prego dishes.

Espinal is married and when he is not working enjoys bike riding and competes in the MS 150 fundraising bike ride across the Texas Hill Country each year.