FOODIE NEWS

Vibrant Adds Dinner Menu Exploring the World

What’s next for owner Kelly Barnhart’s zen-fully delicious restaurant Vibrant is the new addition of dinner, natural spirit cocktails and a paired down list of biodynamic and natural wines. The restaurant which opened late summer has become a great spot for breakfast and lunch.

photo: Jenn Duncan

Barnhart’s vison has always been to roll out a dinner menu that reflects her passion for pure ingredients and meals eaten around the world.

DINNER TONIGHT

If you are looking for a flavor burst the new dinner menu delivers. From fish crudo to an artfully plated Crudité jam packed with  hummus, romesco, pickled carrots, fig, endive, castelvetrano olives, roasted broccolini, soft boiled egg, pine nut dukkah and crackers – this plate can serve several as you sip on natural spirit cocktails.

A winter green soup shows off a deft touch to a few fresh ingredients. And the salad rolls are a veg-centric twist made with rice paper, petite mix greens, avocado, mango, daikon carrot, cucumber, kiwi, watermelon radish and an almond butter tamari sauce for dipping.

With a number of hearty dishes that come with bold nuanced flavors from lamb meatballs to Thai green curry broth with sautéed broccolini, wild mushroom, carrots, pickled purple radish is topped with fresh Thai basil. Seafood stars in the lobster quinoa spaghetti and a whole-roasted branzino. Looking for the beef? The braised beef has a slight south of the border beat to it from the guajillo and pasilla pepper mole.

Vibrant is located at1931 Fairview.

Pico’s tamales are in hot demand

     Pico’s tamales have become famous hallmarks of Houston’s holiday season. This year is no exception, and Picos will offer a mixture of tamales norteños and tamales oaxaqueños,  separate regions highlighting various takes on this holiday favorite.

     The tamales norteños are 3 ounces each and come in traditional corn husks. With eight different flavors, a half-dozen is $9.

     Flavors include pork in red chile, chicken in green chile, beef in red chile, chicken in black mole, black bean and cheese, sweet raisin, sweet pineapple and coconut, and vegetarian with roasted poblano peppers and corn in tomato salsa.

     The tamales oaxaqueños take you south to a different region of Mexico with larger 6 ounce tamales wrapped in banana leaves. A half-dozen tamales oaxaqueños is $18.
     Flavors include pork in red chile, chicken in green chile, chicken in black mole, shrimp with spicy tomato salsa, and vegetarian with portobello mushrooms and cuitlacoche.
     Pico’s is located at 3601 Kirby.

Donkeeboy unveils mural honoring Anthony Bourdain at Burns Original BBQ

Local artist continues to make his mark on Houston-area hotspots with new mural

Houston-based artist and muralist Alex Roman Jr., better known as Donkeeboy, has debuted his latest work at the iconic Burns Original BBQ (8307 De Priest St.). The mural honors both the history of the restaurant and the late Anthony Bourdain, who visited the famed BBQ joint twice.

Burns Original BBQ owner, Cory Crawford and Donkeeboy got connected through mutual friend and acclaimed Houston rapper Slim Thug. Donkeeboy is the resident artist at 8th Wonder Brewery, where Slim Thug has his own beer, BO$$ BEER. A longtime customer and proponent of Burns Original BBQ, Slim Thug accompanied Bourdain at the eatery during Bourdain’s 2016 tour through Houston for his popular CNN food show, “Parts Unknown.”

“Cory was very involved with the vision for the mural,” Donkeeboy said. “He wanted something to represent the story of Burns Original BBQ and where they’re from. For me, this was a special project because I love working with places that have history like that.”

The mural features unique elements representing the history of Burns Original BBQ, including a portrait of Bourdain; Burns Original BBQ Sauce; Crawford’s brother and former professional baseball player Carl Crawford; and the 44 Acres Homes bus route logo along with the state of Texas. Completing the lower half of the mural are images of the old and new Burns Original BBQ locations on both sides of the restaurant’s founder, Roy Burns Sr., Cory and Carl Crawford’s grandfather.

Open since 1973, Burns has been a fixture on the Northside of Houston for decades. Bourdain visited the restaurant in 2016 and in 2004 for a Food Network segment.

“It’s really cool to do work with a business that’s from Houston and has gotten worldwide exposure,” Donkeeboy said. “There were times when I was painting there and people from Germany, China and Korea would show up — people from all over the world.”

Holiday Cocktails Add to Party Ambiance

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, the last months of the year are for enjoying time with friends and family. William Grant & Sons, a family-owned distillery with a diverse portfolio of award-winning spirits, knows how important family is and has tasty and festive holiday cocktails to spice up your party and get-togethers all season long.

Pumpkins and fall go hand in hand. Enjoy this festive pumpkin cocktail featuring Drambuie, a full-strength, premium Scotch liqueur made with aged Highland whisky, heather honey, herbs and spices. www.drambuie.com

Prince Pum King

1 part Drambuie

1 ½ parts Pumpkin Puree

⅛ part Ground Cinnamon

⅛ part Ground Nutmeg

4 parts Steamed Whole Milk (Or choice milk-base) 

Steam milk, pumpkin puree and spices together until hot. Double-strain into Irish Coffee Mug. Stir in Drambuie. Garnish with steamed milk foam and freshly ground nutmeg dusted on top

Fall in love with this simple and delicious cocktail made with Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask, the first whiskey to be finished in hard apple cider casks. www.tullamoredew.com. 

Fallen Apple – created by Tim Herlihy, National Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W.

2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask

Fresh-pressed Apple Juice 

Build in a highball glass over ice, garnish with an apple wedge.

You can have your pie and drink it too with this Highland Orchard cocktail. The smooth and refined taste of Milagro Añejo is the result of it aging for 18 months in American oak barrels – six months longer than most añejos. www.milagrotequila.com  

Highland Orchard – created by Jaime Salas, National Ambassador for Milagro 

1 ½ parts Milagro Añejo        

½ part fresh lime juice         

1 barspoon tamarind concentrate  

2 dashes Angostura bitters  

3 parts Sidral Mundet apple soda

Red apple slice  

Combine ingredients except soda and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass and top with apple soda. Garnish with a red apple slice.

Enjoy Pre-Thanksgiving Bash at Goode Co.  Armadillo Palace

Be thankful for some time off and join Goode Co. Armadillo Palace for “Goode Times with Friends” pre-Thanksgiving Bash on November 21 from 3 p.m. – 12 a.m. 

Enjoy an extended happy hour from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. with live music in the backyard, then stay for a free show by The Broken Spokes. Catch up with friends and loved one before getting stuffed on Thanksgiving.

Happy hour menu includes $1 off all beers and wines by the glass and small bites like their Pork & Green Chile Empanadas and Cornmeal-Crusted Oysters. 

Photos courtesy of Goode Co. Armadillo Palace

Old World, New Cuisine at Neo Baguette Cafe and Coffee Shop in The Heights

Neo Baguette is spicing up the Heights with a dash of Moroccan flair.

Founder and culinary director Karim Kasri, a Moroccan native who attended culinary school in France before moving to New York City 24 years ago, worked as an executive chef, general manager and Front of House Manager at restaurants including Felice on Wall Street, Levama, a Kosher restaurant, and the Russian Tea Room. 

He chose to open his first restaurant in Houston after a 10 day visit.

What was originally going to be a salad and sandwich shop morphed into a counter service bistro and coffee shop when the renovations of the former auto parts store in the Heights inspired him to offer more exciting menu featuring French and Italian favorites, with a gentle kiss of Moroccan spice.

Star Anise Creme Brulee at Neo Baguette

Neo Baguette Café and Coffee Shop offers counter service and is fast casual. It’s located at 201 East 20th Street. Reach by phone at 281-888-5130.

Hours are 10 am until 9 pm Monday through Sunday.   All coffee drinks are made with La Marzocco Espresso machine. BYOB corkage fee: $5 per table.

More information at http://www.neobaguette.com. 

Photos by V. Sweeten; Featured photo at Neo Baguette.

THE GROVE HOUSTON TO HOST FINAL SUNDAY SUPPER

The Grove hosts its final Sunday Supper of the year on Nov. 11 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in downtown Houston next to Discovery Green.

The series will culminate in a nostalgic supper featuring curated wines and a chef-driven menu including osso buco with tomato ragu and fig and walnut conserve with ricotta and honey.

Dinner is $100 per person and includes wine pairings, a welcome cocktail, valet and gratuity. Tickets are available online here. Photographs for Sunday Supper are here and the menu will be added soon.

Fall flavors have made their way onto the menu at The Grove. Guests can now enjoy dishes like sweet potato and kale enchiladas with black lentil, queso oaxaca, red chile sauce, and cabbage slaw; pan roasted gnocchi with winter squash, mushroom, spinach, parmigiano, and toasted pecan; and pork butcher’s cut with roasted squash and chestnut and sage-butter emulsion.

For dessert, The Grove is serving up spice cake with candied sweet potatoes, yogurt, Texas whiskey, marshmallow flakes, walnuts, and sweet potato-maple gelato; stout float with whiskey butter gelato; and affogato with Texan kulfi gelato, espresso and pecan biscotto. 

The Grove will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23.

Photos courtesy of The Grove

Spirit Hound Distillers Craft Spirits Arrive in Houston and Texas

Straight from Colorado, Spirit Hound Distillers are making their mark in Houston with their Straight Malt Whisky and Gin. Find them both throughout the Greater Houston Area at local liquor stores and Specs. They are also sold throughout Texas.

RECIPES: Biggio’s Home Base:  Spirit Hound Whisky, lime juice, lemon juice, simple syrup mint – Shaken and strained into a rocks glass over ice with mint sprig and lime garnish.

Outfield:  Spirit Hound Gin, cucumber syrup, lime juice. – Shaken and poured into rocks glass over ice with a cucumber wheel garnish.

photo: Spirit Hound

About Spirit Hound:  Spirit Hound embodies the enterprising character of the old west: They have a passion for fine spirits and a hardworking, can-do attitude. 

Their spirits are made with local Colorado ingredients such as freshly-picked juniper berries.  They custom built much of their own distillation equipment, including the beautiful signature 150 gallon copper still,  to capture all of the purity and flavor and make sure it gets into every bottle they sell – and every glass you drink.

Due to the significant problems caused by the 2013 Colorado flood, Spirit Hound’s whisky production was interrupted and the distillery’s next local release of aged whisky did not take place until early 2016.

Spirit Hound was founded in 2012 by friends, Lyons, CO residents and Boulder County businessmen Craig Engelhorn, Wayne Anderson, Matt Rooney, Neil Sullivan.

Awards:  Straight Malt Whisky 93 Rating, Brilliant.  2017 Whiskey Bible; Double Gold, 2018 “The Fifty Best” American Malt Whiskies; Grand Champion, 2016 Boulder County Spirits Competition; Silver, 2016 Breckenridge Craft Spirits Competition; Bronze, 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; Gold, 2015 Breckenridge Craft Spirits Competition

Gin, Silver, 88 Rating, 2015 Beverage Testing Institute; Silver, 2014 Still on the Hill, Breckenridge Colorado.

Master Chef Frédéric Perrier Brings Continental “Kiss” to Global Fare at Bisou in River Oaks District

Clé   Group,   the   Houston-based   team   of   hospitality entrepreneurs who have made national headlines with perennial hotspots, Clé and Spire are expanding into the restaurant realm on October  22 as they  unveil  Bisou  in the  River  Oaks District.   Bisou,   which   translates   to  kiss,   is   located   at   the   entrance   of   the   tony   mixed-use development at 4444 Westheimer Road, adjacent to Steak 48.

photo by Vicheka

Bisou   will   be   open   Monday   and   Tuesday   from   11:00   AM   –   10:00   PM, Wednesday thru Saturday from 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM, and Sundays from 10:00 AM – 10:00PM.

For more information, please visit www.bisourestaurant.com or call 713-955-3855.

DANTON’S GULF COAST SEAFOOD AND STEAKS ANNOUNCES MOVE

Houston Staple has Big Plans for 2019 Including a Rebrand and a New Location 

Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood and Steaks has been serving up some of Houston’s freshest and most delicious Gulf seafood since 2007 in its Chelsea Market location. Early 2019 brings numerous changes for this Houston hotspot including a new location, menu and name: introducing, Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine.

“When we switch to Eugene’s we will continue to convey what is truly important to us: family values, excellent food and fantastic service. We want it to reflect a true southern upbringing,” said Kyle Teas, Proprietor of Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood and Steaks. “Eugene is my father’s name, so our core values will remain the same, but guests can expect refreshing updates.”

Danton’s last service will be New Years’ Eve and Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine is set to debut in early 2019.

Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine will be taking over a storied and classic space on 1985 Welch Street, which previously housed Mockingbird Bistro. This 4,600 square foot space is full of unique details and intricate design. Interior updates are currently being made to the new location. Once completed, the décor, just like the food, will combine the traditional and vintage aspects of gulf coast culture with a contemporary flare.

Fan favorites and classic offerings from Danton’s will still have a home on the menu at Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine and include Kyle’s Crab Salad, Shrimp and Grits, Seafood Gumbo and the Debris Sandwich. Most importantly—famous cocktails like the Bloody Danton and the Puerto Rican will still be served at Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine.

Chefs in the Field Dinner at Hope Farms Raises Funds for Recipe for Success

Once upon a time there were two pigs…But unlike the classic children’s tale, these two piggies didn’t escape and became dinner for 65 partygoers at the recent Chefs in the Field pig roast.

Hosted by Recipe for Success Foundation at Hope Farms, the evening featured farm-fresh produce and heritage pigs from Jolie Vue Farms. The event, held on the bucolic grounds of the farm, raised more than $10,000 toward RFS’s mission to combat
childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food.

Chef Erin Stewarts Fall Slaw

ABOUT Recipe for Success Foundation:

Since 2005, Recipe for Success Foundation has worked to combat childhood obesity by changing the way our children understand, appreciate and eat their food, and by educating and mobilizing the community to provide healthier diets for children. Learn more at www.recipe4success.org.

HOUSTON’S NICE WINERY RELEASES VINTAGE WINE BENEFITTING THE PERIWINKLE FOUNDATION

30% of the proceeds will benefit The Periwinkle Foundation’s Camps, Arts and Survivor Programs

Nice Winery of Houston, Texas is proud to announce the newest limited release charity wine—a 2015 Periwinkle red wine from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley—benefitting  The Periwinkle Foundation.

Periwinkle Foundation Nice Winery

Thirty percent of the proceeds from each bottle sold will fund The Periwinkle Foundation’s Camps, Arts and Survivor Programs. These programs benefit children, teens and young adults at Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer and Hematology Center who are challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Periwinkle programs play a vital role in the overall healing process for children and teens battling cancer. Each year more than 14,000 children, teens and families are touched by Periwinkle programs. In honor of Periwinkle’s mission and art programs, the charity bottle label will feature artwork by Making A Mark® artist Claire, age 6.

Chuy’s Vintage Park Location to Offer First 50 Guests Chuy’s For a Year on Opening Day, October 16th at 11 a.m.

Vintage Park is 10th Houston Area Chuy’s Restaurant location

Chuy’s, the Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant known for its made-from-scratch dishes and fun-loving, eclectic atmosphere, will open its newest Houston location at the corner of Hwy. 249 and Chasewood Park Dr. near the Vintage Park Shopping Village, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 11 a.m.

To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant is offering the first 50 guests in line on opening day Chuy’s for a year. Winners will receive a punch card redeemable for a free appetizer, entrée and dessert for 12 visits.

Chuy’s Vintage Park, located at 20322 Tomball Parkway, will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner: Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm.

On weekdays from 4pm to 7pm, the restaurant will offer happy hour drink specials and their famous Fully-Loaded Nacho Car; an unlimited build-your-own nacho station with free chips, salsa, queso, ground sirloin and more, all served from the trunk of a classic car.

For exclusive updates visit Facebook.com/ChuysVintagePark. For more information on Chuy’s, visit www.chuys.com.

Shun Japanese Kitchen is slated open on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Second-generation Japanese cuisine, DIY sushi bar and Houston’s largest sake program highlight offerings at innovative new restaurant

Dr. Chef/Owner Naoki Yoshida’s restaurant will offer second-generation Japanese cuisine along with Houston’s first Do-It-Yourself sushi bar and the city’s largest sake program. Located next door to Houston Wine Merchant, Shun will be BYOB for several weeks during its soft opening phase. The restaurant is located at 2802 S Shepherd.

Nihon Curry Hushpuppies

Shun, which translates to “peak of season”, will feature Japanese-inspired dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients and sustainable produce.

Shun will be open for dinner six days a week, with Bento Box brunch and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. While the restaurant will be BYOB for its first several weeks, its bar program offers much to look forward to. Shun will feature the largest sake selection in Houston and an array of Japanese whiskey, Shochu and beer, along with Sake Sangria and Sparkling Sake Mimosas during weekend brunch.

Umi Salad

Coming from a family of Japanese chefs, Yoshida is excited to apply his years of experience to bring new flavors to life for Houston diners.

“We don’t want to serve food that you can find down the street,” he said. “Every dish executed here will be unique. I’d like to attempt to make food that would be contemporary in Japan. We’re trying to reimagine the experience for Japanese restaurants in Houston.”

Owned by Chef Naoki Yoshida and wife Renee Yoshida, Shun will be open for dinner on Tuesday-Saturday from 4-10 p.m. and Sunday from 4-9 p.m., with Happy Hour Tuesday-Friday from 4-6 p.m. and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit www.shunkitchen.com.

photos by Kirsten Gilliam

Celebrate National Gumbo Day on October 12th at Treebeards 

Friday, October 12th is National Gumbo Day, and Treebeards is celebrating with a big discount.  In honor of their 40th anniversary, they will be offering 40% off their gumbo at all locations. Run don’t walk to Treebeards to get your gumbo fix.

Founded in 1978, Treebeards is a classic Southern eatery specializing in Gulf Coast fare with a Louisiana twist with five locations across downtown Houston.

All locations are open Monday through Friday — Market Square, 11 am to 2:30 p.m.; The Cloister, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; The Tunnel, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; The Shops at Houston Center, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Pennzoil Place (in the tunnel), 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Opening in October, Bisou at River Oaks District will feature an eclectic menu of dishes for lunch, brunch, and dinner.

It’s classic continental array of appetizers, small plates, shareables and desserts will feature a serious “wow factor” in presentations of signature dishes like arancini-wrapped escargot in spicy butter sauce, whole roasted chicken, and cylinder-shaped crispy crabmeat mac & cheese, to name a few.

Bisou will open up its doors to a see-and-be-seen patio flanking the sides, allowing revelers to bask in the River Oaks sunshine. It will feature optimal dining and drinking areas to enjoy the fine culinary delights of Chef Frederic Perrier, while also enjoying the upbeat, DJ-spun tunes.

More information, go to http://bisourestaurant.com. 

OLIVE & VINE, Houston’s Premier Oil and Vinegar Shop, Moves To The Heights

photo: Olive & Vine

After seven years in west Houston, OLIVE & VINE has relocated to the Houston Heights.

With over 50 products to choose from, the new shop offers the widest selection of extra virgin olive oils, infused olive oils, and aged balsamic vinegars available in this region of Texas. The European style “tasting bar” allows customers to sample the oils and vinegars before making a selection. It is then bottled on the spot to take home.

Olive & Vine continues to only offer products from the most recent harvests in the northern and southern hemispheres. In late fall/early winter, oils are imported from Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, and California. The late spring/summer harvests bring oils from Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, and South Africa.

Their line of balsamic vinegars are made in Modena, Italy in the centuries old manner. The selection includes an 18-year old Traditional Balsamic Condimento, a 12-year old White Balsamic, and a wide variety of infused vinegars.

Owners Wayde and Susan Burt are excited to be a part of the explosive growth taking place in The Heights. “We owned our first home here in the ‘80s and are amazed at how much has changed since those days. We are delighted to be back in the neighborhood  – it’s like coming full circle,” said Susan.

Olive & Vine is located at 508 W. 19th Street in The Heights Marketplace, three doors down from Penzeys Spices. Store hours are Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  For more information visit www.oliveandvineshop.com.

Taboonette “Middleterranean Kitchen” Targets Houston in Franchise Program Launch  

Taboonette Middleterranean Kitchen has launched its exclusive franchise program in select markets across the United States including Houston, Texas. The Taboonette franchise is set to offer carefully developed menu items as uniquely “Middleterranean.”

Taboonette

The Taboonette franchise program is heralded by Danny Hodak, president, and capitalizes on the success of its critically-acclaimed New York City flagship restaurant Taboon. Their  menu is inspired and created by Taboon’s award-winning Executive Chef Efi Naon, an Israeli native and classically trained chef. Look for slow-cooked, healthy cuisine in a quick-service restaurant community.

“We created Middleterranean fusion cuisine 15 years ago, and the demand has consistently grown. Houston is a major metropolitan city rich in international cuisines and culture. We know that Taboonette’s Middleterranean quick service level would be a win-win for consumers and franchisees alike,”said Hodak.

For more information, contact Gary Occhiogrosso at Franchise Growth Solutions at 917-991-2465 or at info@frangrow.com.

18th Annual Texas Hot Sauce Festival Welcomes Visitors with Real Heat on September 22 & 23

Find hot sauce, salsa, chips, dips, peppers, spices, marinades, rubs, jams/jelly, pickled products, condiments, soup mixes, chili mixes, wing sauces, … chunky, spicy, smooth, garlicky, sweet, fruity, peppery, smokey…  HOT  and  MILD!   Hundreds of hot and spicy products to try out from around the country.

There is also plenty of food and cold beverages, ongoing stage entertainment, a chile-dren area (including some free and some ‘pay as you go’ activities for the kids), retail vendors, arts & crafts and pepper merchandise.

Cool off with vendors such as The Exotico Tequila Raspados (shaved ice) cart, who will be present at the festival serving tequila shaved ice cocktails to attendees with flavor options Raspberry Lime, Watermelon Mint Margarita Granita and Tequila Sunrise.

Hours are Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. / Sun. Noon to 5 p.m. Event will be Bayou City Event Center at 9401 Knight Road.

Tickets $12, Kids 12 and under free, FREE parking. More information, go to http://texashotsaucefestival.com. 

INTERNATIONAL SMOKE launches weekend brunch and lunch service

Since its highly-anticipated opening, International Smoke has been firing on all engines, wowing guests with its lively happy hour and dinner offerings. The restaurant is excited to announce the launch of an all-encompassing weekend brunch and daily lunch service in CityCentre.

“FUEGO’S BRUNCH”:  International Smoke’s new, buffet-style brunch service coined “Fuego’s Brunch” will be available Sundays from 11AM to 2:30PM. The seasonally-inspired menu will incorporate bold and eclectic ingredients from around the globe in fresh baked pastries, featured breakfast specials and hearty proteins.

Priced at $35 per person and $12 for kids under 10 and under, the  chef-inspired, dining experience allows guests to take a journey through the many robust flavors of International Smoke.

LUNCH:  Guests can choose a la carte selections or enjoy a three-course business lunch priced at $29, Saturdays from 11:30AM to 2PM.

The three-course business lunch groups together some of International Smoke’s house favorites, allowing diners to enjoy a convenient CITYCENTRE power lunch. Kicking off with the Red Curry Cornbread and the choice of a soup or salad, guests can pick from American Pork Ribs, Broiled Redfish or Sinaloa Chicken with a generous helping of mac & cheese before finishing up with a chocolate chip cookie.

Tacodeli in the Heights Announces September Specials 

Tacodeli Breakfast Special of the Moment // My Morning Taco
Inspired by Spyglass (Austin) General Manager Kevin’s favorite breakfast creation, Tacodeli presents its latest Special of the Moment, “My Morning Taco”. Organic scrambled eggs topped with Tender Belly housemade sausage (or chorizo), grilled corn, roasted peppers & queso fresco. 
Tacodeli Lunch Special of the Moment // Chile En Nogada   
“Chile En Nogada” makes its triumphant return as Tacodeli’s Lunch Special of the Moment! Featuring a roasted Anaheim chile filled with HeartBrand Beef – Certified Akaushi Beef picadillo (Harwood, TX) topped with Cheesemakers.com (Cleveland, TX) chévre goat cheese, pomegranates, and cilantro.
For more information, go to https://www.tacodeli.com
photos courtesy of Tacodeli

HAAK VINEYARDS & WINERY NAMED TEXAS WINE TRIBUTE’S “TALL IN TEXAS” RECIPIENT

“Tall in Texas” Award to be presented as part of Grapevine’s 32nd Annual GrapeFest® – A Texas Wine Experience

On Saturday, September 8, Grapevine’s 32nd Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience will open festival week at the Texas Wine Tribute. This prestigious annual Texas Wine Industry event will features the presentation of the highly-anticipated “Tall in Texas” award.  

This honor is bestowed upon a Texas winery in recognition of the winery’s leadership role in the dedication to, support of and promotion of the Texas Wine Industry. The 2018 recipient of the Tall in Texas award is Haak Vineyards & Winery of Santa Fe, Texas.

Over the years, Haak has also worked very closely with Texas A&M University’s AgriLife, in the development of the standardization of working with Blanc du Bois, as well as the Black Spanish varietal, also known as Lenoir or Jacquez. He has also mentored many winemakers and others within the Texas Wine Industry and served as a Regional Director of the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association (TWGGA), as well as serving on many of the TWGGA’s committees.

Haak has earned a national reputation for the production of Blanc du Bois and is easily considered a Texas pioneer in wine production with this varietal. Resistant to Pierce’s Disease, this variety is a Spanish blend and grows very well in the coastal region of Texas.

Haak has also earned an impressive international reputation for the production of Madeira wines. He has studied in Portugal, eventually returning to Texas to build a temperature controlled production facility, specifically for the production of Madeira wine. Haak Vineyards & Winery was the first winery in Texas to win awards for Madeira wine. Haak Vineyards & Winery is one of the most awarded and recognized wineries within the state of Texas.

For more information about the Texas Wine Tribute or the 32nd Annual GrapeFest, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 817-410-3185 or visit www.GrapeFest.com.

LEGACY RESTAURANTS ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR MAMA NINFA’S TACOS Y TORTAS IN 2019

FIRST LOCATION TO OPEN AT CAPITOL TOWER DOWNTOWN WITH MULTIPLE LOCATIONS COMING AFTER

The first location will open in 2019 at Skanska’s Capitol Tower (800 Capitol St.) inside Understory, a 35,000-square-foot community hub and culinary market at the base of the building. 

Legacy Restaurants CEO Jonathan Horowitz said, “With the history surrounding The Original Ninfa’s brand and the public’s appreciation for the tradition and quality associated with The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, we think Mama Ninfa’s Tacos y Tortas will find an enthusiastic audience in Houston and in the surrounding areas.”

The menu at Mama Ninfa’s will consist primarily of Mexican street-style tacos and tortas (Mexican sandwiches), along with more traditional Tex-Mex dishes. In keeping with the spirit of The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, diners will be able to enjoy Mama Ninfa’s famous tacos al carbon, red and green salsas, chile con queso and signature handmade tortillas. Alex Padilla, Executive Chef at The Original Ninfa’s, will create the menu for the new concept and will adapt some of the recipes from the original restaurant to be served in the new restaurants.

The concept will serve four dayparts: breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night, with hours varying depending on location. The design for both Understory and for future locations will include a convenient area for take-out or third-party delivery services, and future locations will feature patio seating whenever available.

With a planned opening in early 2019, Understory at Capitol Tower will include a culinary market with seven chef-driven concepts – including Mama Ninfa’s — and a cocktail bar. A central feature of Understory is the open-air blending of the street and tunnel levels, facilitated by the “Great Steps,” a 30-foot-wide monumental staircase and gathering place that will create the first true street-level gateway to the tunnel network.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ORIGINAL NINFAS

WAREHOUSE 72 RISES FROM THE ASHES OF HURRICANE HARVEY AS SPAGHETTI WAREHOUSE ANNOUNCES NEXT-GENERATION CONCEPT ON FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF EPIC STORM IN HOUSTON

SPAGHETTI WAREHOUSE MAKES GOOD ON PROMISE TO RELAUNCH IN THE BAYOU CITY

Warehouse 72 – a new hospitality concept from Spaghetti Warehouse Restaurants, Inc. – will uphold the storied restaurant’s time-honored tradition of uniting families and making memories around a great meal while ushering in a new era of communal dining for the now generation when it makes its Winter debut at Houston’s Marq*E Entertainment Center (7620 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024). The name pays homage to the year 1972 when Spaghetti Warehouse first opened in Dallas.

“Exactly one year ago, Spaghetti Warehouse faced a turbulent and uncertain future after the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey – including the destruction of the longtime Spaghetti Warehouse home in downtown Houston,” commented Michael Kim, President of Spaghetti Warehouse Restaurants.

He added, “With the Houston location being in a flood zone, we lost the entire operation – a crippling blow to the overall Spaghetti Warehouse brand.  It has been a very difficult circumstance in the months that ensued, but we really wanted to come back despite the many challenges associated. Spaghetti Warehouse leadership made a firm commitment that we would return to Houston; Warehouse 72 not only represents that promised homecoming but also an opportunity to re-engage loyal Spaghetti customers while attracting a new generation of fans to the re-imagined concept in the process.”

The robust family-style dining experience at the 8,650-square-foot restaurant will feature American fare with Italian flourishes made up of high-quality protein dishes, traditional pastas, and handcrafted pizzas.

Vibrant Now Open in Montrose

The idea for Vibrant started in 2013 with a vision from owner/creator Kelly Barnhart. Not a chef or restaurateur, Kelly is just a regular woman who saw a void in the marketplace and wanted to create a beautiful place about honoring the consumers wellbeing, where eating for your well-being is equally about pleasure.

Vibrant will serve food for everyday that tastes delicious and makes you feel your best.

Breakfast will be available all day from 7AM-4PM; Lunch will be available at 11AM with plans to roll out a full dinner menu in September.

The menu is 100% gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. Vibrant will source local from their onsite garden and organic whenever it’s available. Bread, yogurt, and milks are all made in house. 

The menu features sweet and savory breakfast items, fresh seasonal salads and bowls for lunch, and an all-day kids menu.

Beverage menu features a variety of adaptogenic potions, elixirs, tonics, organic coffee and teas and natural organic and biodynamic wines.

For a look at the full menu, please visit: www.wearevibrant.com/menus.

photo credit: Kirsten Gilliam

Sodexo and Houston Museum of Natural Science Offer New Dining Experience for Museum Patrons

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to improving Quality of Life, will begin service at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) in November.  

The partnership will bring a variety of new dining options for museum patrons, including a café marketplace, a food truck with seasonal and local offerings, and a new burger concept supported by self-order kiosks and online ordering.

“We are thrilled to work with the Houston Museum of Natural Science to bring our shared vision of providing healthy and sustainable food options to life,” said Moses DeBord, vice president, Sodexo Sports & Leisure. “We will offer a wide variety for guests from artisan inspired dishes, quick service dining, and local favorites from our food truck.”

Sodexo’s approach to meeting consumer needs is one that includes listening for what is required to have the best culinary experience and finding ways to creatively implement them.

“We are looking forward to the beginning of a great partnership with Sodexo that will provide new culinary experiences for our guests, community and museum staff,” said Stephen Sachnik, CFO, Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Sodexo Sports & Leisure is a premier provider to cultural destinations and event venues around the world and in the U.S. including The Jules Verne restaurant at the Eiffel Tower, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and the California Academy of Sciences.

GREEN PLATE FOODS’ NATURALLY SMART COOKIES NOW OFFERED IN WHOLE FOODS MARKET STORES THROUGHOUT SOUTHWEST REGION

Green Plate Foods’ Naturally Smart Cookies are now into all 43 Whole Foods Market stores throughout their Southwest Region, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. 

Cookie flavors include Chocolate Chip with Zucchini, Almond Butter with Sweet Potato, and Cranberry Almond with Pea Protein. Green Plate Foods’ Naturally Smart Cookies are delicious, nutrient-rich and perfectly portioned. The cookies are made with clean ingredients and are certified gluten-free. These products will be sold in a single-serve package at Whole Foods Market in their Cookie Aisle.

“There is a growing number of consumers actively seeking healthy, nutritious products made with clean ingredients that taste great,” said Lisa Pounds, Chief Executive Officer of Celebrate Brands and the Founder of Green Plate Foods. “Customers visit Whole Foods Market searching for these innovative products, so we are delighted to partner with the store in providing options, like our Naturally Smart Cookies, that enable customers to enjoy a delicious treat while maintaining a clean diet and healthy lifestyle.”

Green Plate Foods (GPF) was founded in 2010 by Pounds. LGPF got their start selling to local farmer’s markets, catering, making prepared meals and offered school lunch programs.

Today, Green Plate Foods offers healthy snacks through its retail, food service and online channels. For more information on Green Plate Foods, visit www.greenplatefoods.com.

photo: Green Plate Foods

THE CLASSIC ALL DAY DISHES UNIQUE ELEVATED AMERICAN STAPLES

VETERAN RESTAURATEUR BENJY LEVIT OFFERS CRAFTED MENU AND A TOUCH OF RETRO CHARM AT ‘EVERYDAY’ CONCEPT

The Classic All Day, located at 5922 Washington Avenue, is a new American restaurant by Houston native Benjy Levit (benjy’s, Local Foods). 

With subtle flavors and techniques that have traveled across oceans and generations as well as the team’s own family tables, the reliably sturdy menu by Chefs Mike Potowski and Maria Gonzalez features a little something for everyone – the sum of which will unabashedly feel like an American Bill of Goods with simple and pristine food, sophisticated cocktails, intelligent service, and warm hospitality.

“We wanted to create a no-rush, no-fuss neighborhood spot that effortlessly pivots from daily coffee mainstay to date night spot. Our goal for The Classic is to deliver elevated yet-simple dishes, all of which will be executed exceptionally well,” Levit commented.

Highlights from the All Day menu include a curated selection of small plates like Matzo Ball Soup with pulled chicken and Shaved Brussels Sprouts with watermelon, pure luck goat cheese, and walnuts. Medium plates harkening back to Levit’s and Chef Mike Potowski’s Russian roots like Pelmeni – ear-shaped dumplings steeped in tradition and stuffed with savory fillings – and Salmon Pastrami with cucumber, capers, tomato, and ramen egg toast.

Feel good large plates in the form of family style neighborhood specials from the Rotisol Rotisserie. Think: Beef on Weck – a New York-style prime rib sandwich served on rye with au jus and horse radish – and The Classic Chop served with iceberg, beef salami, cow’s milk cheese, garbanzo & champagne vinaigrette. 

Adult beverages from the bar program will feature modern takes on three-ingredient classic cocktails like the Old Fashion and Sidecar; classic brunch cocktails such as the Revolver and Harvey Wallbanger; and new classics, including Gin & Juice – London Dry Gin with choice of fresh squeezed cold pressed carrot, beet, or apple juice with garnishes that complement each combination served in a large rocks glass over ice.

For more information, please call 713-868-1131 or visit www.theclassicallday.com.

photos by Amanda Calderon

BCK EXPANDS OFFERINGS WITH LUNCH, WEEKLY SPECIALS

Heights hotspot launches $2 Taco Tuesday and Wednesday Pasta Nights  

BCK: Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures, the Heights neighborhood bar and eatery, is expanding its offerings. BCK is now serving lunch, along with weekly specials that include a $2 Taco Tuesday and Wednesday Pasta Night with half-off all bottles of wine and champagne. BCK also offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday and Happy Hour Monday-Saturday from 3-6 p.m. Chef Jeff Fernandez’s lunch menu is available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Highlights include the Tuna Melt on Texas toast, Sweet & Sour Meatball Banh Mi and Steak Quesadilla with hand-carved ribeye. Others include a classic Tomato Soup with grilled cheese, Roasted Corn & Bacon Bisque topped with Fritos and Don’t Kale-Ifornia My Texas salad with kale, avocado, lemon, cucumber, tomato, onion, goat cheese and olive oil. The new Spicy Chicken Pasta (Korean chili, ginger and garlic tossed with asparagus and parmesan) is a nod to BCK’s Backhand Shrimp.

For Taco Tuesday, starting each week at 3 p.m., guests can enjoy $2 tacos including Chicken Tinga, BCK Beef and Peking Duck, along with $4 Modelos and $8 Blood Orange Margaritas. Every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to close, Pasta Night at BCK features $12 fresh pasta plates including Bolognese, Lemon Garlic and Veggie with Mushroom Cream Sauce, with half off all bottles of wine and champagne.

For more information, visit www.eatatbck.com or @eatatbck, or call (832) 831-7155.

photo credit: Kirsten Gilliam

CHUY’S CELEBRATES 30TH ANNUAL GREEN CHILE FESTIVAL

Four New Menu Items Available for a Limited Time, Made with Green Chiles Straight from the Fields

Chuy’s, the Austin-based restaurant known for its authentic Tex-Mex menu and fun-loving atmosphere, is celebrating their 30th Annual Green Chile Festival at all locations, kicking off Monday, Aug. 13 and running through Sunday, Sept. 2. 

Chuy’s founders were the first to bring Green Chiles from New Mexico to Central Texas. They were passionate about the unique peppers they found in the fertile fields of Hatch, New Mexico and created a special menu of scratch-made dishes to serve during the heat of the harvest. That’s when the first annual Green Chile Festival was born.

The restaurant will feature four new menu items for a limited three weeks during this year’s celebration – all made with legendary Hatch Green Chiles.

The menu includes Green Chile Chicken Flautas, stuffed with green chiles and fresh spinach, and drizzled with Crema Especial. One of the most unique items on the menu is the King Carne Burrito, stuffed with ground sirloin, bacon, green chiles and French fried potatoes. Also featured are the Chicken Velvet Enchiladas and the Cosmic Combo, complete with a house favorite, Chile Relleno.

During the festival Chuy’s will also feature drinks that include their famous New Mexican Martini, made with Green Chile infused el Jimador tequila, along with a Frozen Watermelon Margarita and Tito’s Cherry Limeade.

Green Chiles are an annual crop, meaning they are only picked during their peak season, starting in August. This year over 3.5 million pounds of peppers from Hatch, New Mexico will be harvested for Chuy’s restaurants.

photos courtesy of Chuy’s

thinkKIDS Protein Bars Getting Ready for Back To School with Healthy Snack Choices

It’s nearly back to school time, which means that parents packing their kids’ lunchboxes or handing out after school snacks will have to face the dreaded tug of war between healthy and tasty.

Luckily, thinkKIDS, a new line of kids protein bars with 45% less sugar than the leading national granola bar, checks off both boxes.

Available at Target, Kroger and other retailers, thinkKIDS bars are packed with 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and only 4 grams of sugar per serving.

Additionally, each bar is gluten free, GMO-free and made with no artificial ingredients, flavors or colors. Kids love the five flavors: Chocolate Chip, Cookies & Crème, Peanut Butter Cup, Cinnamon Sugar Cookie and Vanilla Cupcake.

photo courtesy of thinkKIDS

TERIYAKI MADNESS COMING TO WOODLANDS® WATERWAY SQUARE®

Teriyaki Madness brings an authentic Seattle Teriyaki House experience to The Woodlands as the fastest growing Asian restaurant concept in the nation. Big, bold bowls are what Teriyaki Madness is famous for, as guests can customize their made-to-order entrees, Entrées include fresh, stir-fried vegetables and quality proteins like all natural, fresh chicken, beef or tofu.

photo: Teriyaki Madness

“We are excited to announce the new addition of the popular Teriyaki Madness,” said Rip Reynolds, Vice President of Retail and Commercial Land for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “This unique concept is set to open this fall and will certainly be a diverse and welcome addition to the eatery options surrounding The Woodlands Waterway®.”

This is the franchise’s first location in The Woodlands. For information, visit www.teriyakimadness.com/locations/woodlands.

THE UNION KITCHEN, JAX GRILL EXPANDING TO KATY IN 2019

GR8 PLATE HOSPITALITY ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR NEW LOCATIONS

Elvis Waffle at Union Kitchen

Paul Miller and Gr8 Plate Hospitality are bringing their popular Inner Loop concepts to Katy. 

Miller, a longtime Katy resident, has signed a lease to open his sixth The Union Kitchen and third Jax Grill at NewQuest Properties’ Stableside at Falcon Landing, a 34.4-acre development at Gaston Road and Falcon Landing Boulevard in the Cinco Ranch area.  Both restaurants will feature large patios with ample outdoor seating overlooking a shared green space. 

Jax Grill

Construction is expected to be completed by early 2019. 

“The Katy area has been growing for a long time, and we really feel like with the demographics and the families that we have out here, it will be a good fit for our concepts,” Miller said. “We’re very connected and committed to the communities and neighborhoods that we serve, and we look forward to continuing that in Katy.” 

photos courtesy of Gr8 Plate Hospitality

Third Coast Restaurant Introduces Late Summer Menu

Chef Buchanan adds seasonal dishes to “Modern Houstonian” menu

Executive Chef Jon Buchanan has added a variety of dishes to the new late-summer menu, available now at lunch and dinner at Third Coast Restaurant, a fine dining restaurant located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center.

Third Coast’s “Modern Houstonian” menu not only highlights natural, sustainable and local ingredients tied to the variety of culinary traditions found in diverse Houston, it takes full advantage of seasonal produce as well.

“Summer is great because it gives us the chance to serve chilled and room temp dishes such as our Yellow Tomato Gazpacho and Jerk Tuna which are perfect in the summer heat,” says Executive Chef Jon Buchanan.  “It’s also a time of the year that really lets the ingredients speak for themselves, and brings us one of my favorite fruits: peaches, which inspired our new Peach Tea Ice Cream dessert.” 

The “Modern Houstonian” menu, under Buchanan’s direction, includes different flavor profiles from the local community and culture, while sourcing from local vendors including: Covey Rise Farms, Brazos Valley Cheese, Copper Shoals Red Drum, Dallas Mozzarella Company, Houston Dairy Maids, Homestead Gristmill, Katz Coffee, Moonflower Farms, Flora Cocina Flowers, Painted Hills Beef, and others. Buchanan also ferments, smokes and cures his own meats in house.

Third Coast is located at 6550 Bertner at Moursund, on the sixth floor perched atop the water wall of the John P. McGovern Commons.

For more information, go here.

photos courtesy of Third Coast

Union Venture Group to Open Two Concepts in Midtown This Fall

Jack & Ginger’s Irish Pub and 77 Degrees Rooftop Bar Are on The Way

Union Venture Group announced plans to open two new concepts in Midtown this fall, 77 Degrees and Jack & Ginger’s Irish Pub. Both bars will be located on the main block of Brazos Street alongside two other concepts, Unicorn Disco and Electric Feelgood, from Austin-based Carmack Concepts. “It was the right place at the right time,” said Jeff Van Delden, co-owner of Union Venture Group. “Houston delivered on walkability, and we’re proud to offer two of the four new spaces in Midtown’s resurgence. We’re eager for people to come back to an area they’ve always known to rediscover a whole new scene.”

Outfitted all in white, the breezy 77 Degrees is a 14,000 sq. ft. rooftop bar that has perfected cocktailing and plans to offer uniquely refreshing specialty drinks and Caribbean inspired tapas, along with four levels of comfortable cabana-style seating.

7,000 sq. ft., Jack & Ginger’s Irish Pub is a modern twist on the traditional pub experience and will offer over 80 beers on tap, Irish and American comfort foods, and a large covered patio featuring community-style seating.

Both concepts are scheduled to open in September and the palate-pleasing menus will be available closer to the openings.

Summer Menu at Fig & Olive

Catch Fig & Olive Coastal Mediterranean restaurant’s seasonal summer menu

Menu newcomers include Pan-seared Diver Scallops finished with Caramelized Leek Puree and Citronella Sherry Vinegar Dressing; Roasted Sweet Corn Risotto prepared with Grilled Fresh Corn, Spiced Popcorn, Fava Beans, and Pea Shoots; and New Zealand Rack of Lamb coated with a Rosemary Garlic Marinade and accompanied by Eggplant Caponata, Roasted Cipollini Onions, and Eggplant Licorice Puree.

Guests can also enjoy a fleet of new seasonal specialty cocktails including the Pastèque, a refreshing mix of Absolut Elyx, Watermelon Juice, Ginger Purée, Lemon Juice, and Cucumber and the Riviera Punch — reminiscent of the Mediterranean Beach — which combines Light & Dark Rum, Velvet Falernum, Luxardo Maraschino, Grenadine, Lime, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, and Angostura Bitters.

Fig & Olive is located at 5115 Westheimer Rd suite c2500. More information at www.figandolive.com. 

photos: Amanda Calderon

HOUSTON RESTAURANT WEEKS LAUNCES WEBSITE WITH 2018 PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS

Houston Restaurant Weeks, announced today the launch of its 2018 website on
July 15th. Mirroring prior years, several hundred thousand hits are expected on the site’s launch date as Houston restaurant patrons browse hundreds of participants’ menus.

Photo credit: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

As other restaurants are added through Tuesday, July 31, their names and menus will also be showcased on the site. Houston Restaurant Weeks, the most anticipated
food event of the year, returns August 1st and runs through Labor Day, September 3rd.

Diners can visit www.HoustonRestaurantWeeks.com to view the ever-growing list of restaurants that have committed to participate in the fundraiser, along with their Houston Restaurant Weeks menus.

As commitments come in, restaurants will be added to the website until August 1. From fine dining to casual neighborhood restaurants, diners can sample some of the best Houston’s culinary scene has to offer. Some participating restaurants may require reservations, although walk-ins will be accepted at most locations. This
information will be noted on each restaurant’s menu page on the website

THE GROVE HOUSTON AT DISCOVERY GREEN® LAUNCHES ‘BRUNCH ON THE GREEN’

New menu includes cocktail specials with one cent refills

The Grove Houston, downtown’s destination dining concept nestled in Discovery Green, launches “Brunch on the Green” in its main dining room.  

The Sunday-only buffet consumes the bar and lounge area with towering displays of freshly baked breads and pastries, savory brunch favorites, salads, fresh fruit and meat-carving stations.

Putting a twist on bottomless drinks, The Grove offers mimosas, mojitos, red and white sangria, and margaritas for $15 with one cent refills.

The expansive buffet includes brunch classics as well as house favorites like BBQ brisket benedict, savory crepes, pastrami and sweet potato hash, pork belly sliders and from-scratch buttermilk biscuits with chorizo gravy.

The buffet also includes a customizable omelet and breakfast taco bar, as well as a carving station where chefs slice whole strip loin, herb roasted rack of lamb, smoked ham, jalapeño sausage, rotisserie chicken and fillets of red snapper to order. Meyer lemon pancakes, bananas foster French toast, donuts, pastries and a variety of desserts are made in-house to satisfy any sweet tooth. 

In addition to the brunch cocktail specials, the restaurant’s full list of wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages is available. The Grove has recently overhauled its coffee program, and now offers hot French press coffee made from a custom blend of roasted beans in place of drip coffee.

Overlooking Discovery Green in the heart of downtown Houston, The Grove Houston has offered restaurant-goers a unique dining experience since it opened in conjunction with the park’s dedication in 2008. Now guests can enjoy Sunday brunch favorites against the stunning backdrop of the park.

Brunch is available Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $35 per person and $15 for kids aged 2 to 12, not including tax, gratuity or drinks.

Brunch is Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please visit www.thegrovehouston.com.

Beat the Summer Heat at Bridgeland’s Friday Night Bites with Local Food Trucks on July 13th

Event will be held at Lakeland Village Center from 6-10 p.m.

photo: The Cuban Spot

Bridgeland invites you to Friday Night Bites which occurs on the second Friday of every month. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, family and friends, and appetite for fun! There will be Food Trucks, activities, and entertainment for all! Activities include DJ – Powered by Sound, Wii Sports Competition, Car Show, Cypress Photo Camper, and Nervous Rex.  

Food Trucks include: 

Pokéworks Coming to Baybrook Gateway

Pokéworks has leased 1,800 SF at Baybrook Gateway located off Bay Area Boulevard and I-45 in Webster and is coming soon.

Pokéworks, a fast-casual restaurant, created by founders with a vision to bring an island favorite to the Mainland for all to enjoy, has been busy sharing this flavorful food since their first tiny location opened in Midtown Manhattan, December of 2015.

With a unique variety of protein, sauces, and toppings to choose from, you can “Poké your way” or build-your-own poké bowls, burrito, noodle or salad.   There are 2 locations open in the Houston area, one in The Heights and the other is in the Montrose area.

The Baybrook location is scheduled to open December of 2018 and will be one of 36 opening in the US.

TRENTINO GELATO SECURES EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH TEXAS GROCERY GIANT

Following more than 13 successful years in the wholesale gelato business, Houston-based Trentino Gelato is taking its expanding operation directly to consumers with a permanent spot for its handcrafted goat milk Gelato Pops in H-E-B freezers across Texas. 

The brainchild of founder Marcelo Kreindel, Trentino’s unique Gelato Pops have garnered
legions of loyal fans since their 2014 debut – picking up high marks along the way, including the top prize at the American Dairy Goat Association’s Dairy Product Competition and first prize in Rodeo Houston’s 2016 Best Bites competition in the dessert category.

The award winning silky smooth pops combine creamy whole goat milk with Kreindel’s signature gelato ingredients to create a fleet of rich flavors, including Sweet Milk, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Cajeta (Mexican Caramel), and Strawberry — all of which are now available at more than 190 H-E-B stores across Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.

“I have been passionate about creating fantastic gelato flavors that our customers have
loved for over 13 years and with our goat milk Gelato Pops, I feel that we have created
something really special. Our expansion into H-E-B stores marks a major milestone for the
Trentino brand,” Kreindel noted.  

Trentino’s goat milk is also certified Kosher and is naturally gluten-free. Each pop is crafted with just two or three simple ingredients — which means there are no artificial colors or flavors, added hormones, or stabilizers — and clocks in at 130 calories or less.

Boxes can be purchased in-store for $5.48/box at H-E-B locations or online for delivery or curbside store pick-up at www.heb.com.

photo credit: Amanda Calderon

Treebeards’ Offers 40% Off Summer Salads until June 29 at All Five Locations

When Treebeards opened 40 years ago they primarily served salads and sandwiches so for this anniversary special,Treebeards will offer 40% off all their salads starting the first day of Summer. The 40th anniversary special will go until June 29. Valid at all 5 Treebeards locations. 

“In honor of our 40th anniversary and the first days of Summer, we will pay homage to our original menu and offer all of our salads for 40% off,” said President of Treebeards, Jolie Stinneford. “We so enjoyed our Spring promotion and look forward to serving up some of our favorite salads for our Summer promotion.”
Some salad options include:
  • Pear, Walnut & Bleu Cheese Salad
  • Shrimp Salad
  • Watermelon & Tomato Salad
  • Chick Pea & Black Bean Salad
  • Salmon Salad
  • Farmers Market Pasta Salad with fresh corn, peaches, zucchini, red bell pepper, roasted chicken and grape tomatoes

Founded in 1978, Treebeards is a classic Southern eatery specializing in Gulf Coast fare with a Louisiana twist with five locations across downtown Houston. In its 40th year of operation, Treebeards continues to serve a revolving menu of dishes made fresh daily utilizing premium seasonal ingredients. For more information, go to www.treebeards.com. 

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Celebrates the Season with Summer Selections Menu

June brings delicious new flavors and returning favorites to the menu at Grimaldi’s

Warmer temperatures have finally arrived and to usher in the new season, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is pleased to launch the Summer Selections Menu.

The Summer Selections Menu features: Barbecue Chicken Pizza, a food lover’s favorite with Sweet Baby Ray’s ® Barbecue Sauce with chicken, smoky bacon, red onion, and garnished with cilantro; Strawberry Spinach Salad with baby spinach, feta cheese, red onions, toasted almonds, and sliced strawberries tossed in a strawberry vinaigrette; Blueberry Cheesecake, a vanilla cheesecake with blueberry swirl and topped with house-made granola and fresh blueberries; plus Strawberry heesecake served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  

The thirst-quenching new lineup of cocktails includes Berry Ginger Fizz made up of Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, raspberries, Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, fresh lemon juice, cane syrup, and garnished with fresh blueberries; Watermelon Crush, perfect for tequila lovers with Casamigos Blanco tequila, Cointreau, Monin watermelon puree, fresh lime juice, basil leaves, and garnished with watermelon chunks and fresh basil; Spiked Strawberry Lemonade ideal for summer sipping with Grey Goose Le Melon Vodka, Aperol, Monin strawberry puree, water, fresh lemon juice, cane syrup, garnished with strawberry slices and lemon; and the return of Summertime Sangria, a crowd pleaser with berry sangria garnished with fresh strawberries and blueberries.  

For more information, visit www.grimaldispizzeria.com or like them on Facebook at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

photo credit: V. Sweeten

Yauatcha Houston has Negroni Week Covered through June 10th

Yauatcha Houston will participate in Imbibe magazine & Campari’s annual Negroni Week, June 4 through June 10.

The Galleria restaurant will feature its White Negroni ($14), which is prepared with Plymouth Gin, Lillet Blanc, and Tempus Fugit Gran Classico Bitters. One dollar of every White Negroni sold will be donated to the James Beard Foundation.

Executive Chef, David Chang’s Blue Onyx Bistro Showcases Steak, Seafood & Sushi in shadow of Transco Tower 

Opened in April 2018, Blue Onyx Bistro is a reflection of Chang’s passion for cooking and creating new dishes using only the freshest ingredients and the cooking techniques he has mastered over the past 30+ years. 

Chang is known for his unique and creative plating. “Presentation is as important as taste because we feast with our eyes first,” he said. Salad greens come from local organic farm, H2O, in Hockley, Texas, and are grown aquaponically, and without chemicals.

Signature Dishes include:

  • 35-day House-Dried Aged Ribeye Steak in a Peppercorn Cognac Demi-Glace
  • Chef Chang’s Special Sea Bass:- Parmesan dusted Chilean Sea Bass in a Red Wine Reduction Sauce
  • Grouper and Bacon Wrapped Scallops: Fresh filet of Grouper topped with 3 grilled Bacon-wrapped Sea Scallops in a Creamy Ginger- Key lime Sauce
  • Ocean Smokehouse: Fresh snapper topped with scallop and shrimp in Buerre Blanc Sauce, it’s covered in a dome with cedar smoke and customer will smell the aroma when the server opens the dome.
  • Hot Chic Roll: flash fried salmon roll, Kani, Avocado, Jalapeno, with Salmon, Snapper, Tuna, Masago, Tobiko (red masago), Wasabi Masago, and Salmon Roe, topped with Chipotle Sauce and Balsamic Vinegar.

Blue Onyx Bistro is located at 4720 Richmond Ave., #A. For more information, call 713-808-9518 or visit www.BlueOnyxBistro.com.

photo credit: V. Sweeten

Hugo’s Restaurant Hosts Chef Michael Mina’s International Smoke Pop-Up in Anticipation of CITYCENTRE Debut

On May 20th, Celebrity Chef Michael Mina debuted his sneak peek at his International Smoke menu at Hugo’s Restaurant with fellow James Beard Award winner, Chef Hugo Ortega. The pair became fast friends during a culinary tour that Ortega gave Mina of the city during last year’s Super Bowl festivities.

Chef Mina and his culinary team took over the entire restaurant to showcase a selection of International Smoke signature dishes, representing an array of cultures and cooking styles.

Dishes featured included a sampling of Ribs and Rocks-ribs with barbecued oysters; Gulf Snapper with fermented black bean and fried rice; Instant Bacon Steamed Buns; Tom Kha Shooters with curry cornbread; Burrata with sugar snap and speck; Shaking Beef Lettuce Wraps; and Galbijjim Korean Short-rib. Desserts included Ayesha’s Key Lime Parfait and Mango Shaved Ice with Lemongrass Jelly and Coconut Pudding.

For more information on International Smoke, which is slated to take over the space formerly occupied by Straits in CITYCENTRE this summer, go to https://internationalsmoke.com.

photo credit: V. Sweeten

Crown Royal Introduces Texas Mesquite, a Blend of Crown Royal Deluxe and Infused with Locally Sourced Texas Mesquite Wood

 

Give it a try with these recipes developed by Texas Mixologist, Brian Floyd

Texas Mesquite Mule:   Ingredients:  1.5 oz. Crown Royal Texas Mesquite;  ½ oz. lemon juice;  ½ oz. agave syrup; 4 oz. Ginger Beer      **Combine Crown Royal Texas Mesquite, lemon juice and agave syrup in a shaker. Strain over ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lemon wheel or slice of candied ginger.

Texas Mesquite Old Fashioned:   Ingredients:  1.5 oz. Crown Royal Texas Mesquite;  ½ teaspoon of wildflower honey;  Dash of orange bitters    **Add honey to a rocks glass and top with Crown Royal Texas Mesquite. Stir for 30 seconds to mix in the honey, then add ice. Add a dash of orange bitters and stir again. Garnish with an orange peel and mint sprig.

Mesquite Paloma:   Ingredients:  1.5 oz. Crown Royal Texas Mesquite; 3 oz. Grapefruit soda; Grapefruit wedge garnish.   **Combine Crown Royal Texas Mesquite and grapefruit soda into a shaker and pour into a glass over ice. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

photo credit: V. Sweeten

Fresco! Café Italiano’s Executive Chef Roberto Crescini Creates Fresh Pasta Daily

Executive Chef Roberto Crescini’s fresh food includes nearly a dozen different pastas

This casual Italian cafe, located at 3277 Southwest Fwy, provides extensive choices such as Bucatini, Spaghetti,  Fettuccine, Tagliolinii, Fusilli, Rigatoni, Macaroni, Tagliatelle, and Linguine, and also a few of the many different fresh pastas made throughout each day.

Chef Roberto describes his cuisine as traditional, classic Italian. His daily appetizers and entrees specials are from recipes he learned from his mother, and four decades of cooking in Italian restaurants and hotels throughout every region in Italy.

His sauce options include Alfredo, Marinara, Pesto & Sundried Tomato, Meatballs, Texas Raised Lamb, Beef Bolognese, Spicy Pork Sausage and Amatriciana.

Before opening Fresco! Café Italiano, Chef Crescini was the executive chef at the critically acclaimed Enoteca Rossa in Bellaire, Texas.

All breads, pizzas, pastas, raviolis, meatballs, sauces, dressings, and desserts are made from scratch in house daily from grains and cheeses imported from Italy. 

And what makes Chef Roberto’s pasta so special? He makes his pasta using the traditional Northern Italian recipe: whole eggs and flour. “And no water,” instructs chef, “the perfect recipe for a pasta with great flavor and texture.”

Also on the menu are incredible salads, pizzas and more.

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/Fresco-Cafe-Italiano.

photos by V. Sweeten

International Gambero Rosso names Top Italian Restaurants in Houston

International Gambero Rosso, the Italian equivalent to Wine Spector and the Michelin Guide, named Houston’s Top Italian Restaurants

Amalfi’s Giancarlo Ferrara and Lisa Ferrara

International Gambero Rosso characterized the Italian cuisine in Houston as “where Southern Italian flavours lead the way in the most densely populated city in Texas.”

The winners in the fine dining, traditional restaurants, pizzerias and wine bar categories are the following:

  • Best Authentic Italian FINE DINING RESTAURANT AND Best DESIGN: AMALFI
  • Best PIZZA:  CANE ROSSO –  THE HEIGHTS
  • Best CANTINA: VINOTECA POSCOL
  • Best TRADITIONAL Restaurant: SUD ITALIA

POITÍN SETS MAY 14TH OPENING DATE AT SAWYER YARDS

Mussels a la Plancha

Poitín – located at 2313 Edwards Street in the heart of the burgeoning Washington Avenue Arts District – will open at Sawyer Yards on Monday, May 14th.

The 9,600-square-foot full-service restaurant and bar is the brainchild of restaurateur Ian Tucker, who last year launched Balls Out Burger in the Heights following  16 years of experience owning and managing successful concepts in his native Dublin.

“Poitín celebrates the diversity of Houston with its menu, cocktail program and overall unpretentious atmosphere,” Tucker said. “Just as the City of Houston opens its doors to immigrants from around the world, Poitín welcomes all-comers. As an immigrant myself, I have been embraced by the Houston community and have envisioned this restaurant to be a culinary embodiment of the city’s inclusive spirit.”

Executive Chef Dominick Lee

As such, Tucker has assembled a veritable dream team, starting with Executive Chef Dominick Lee – the rising star former sous chef at Kiran’s – whose inspired menu draws influences from his New Orleans roots, culinary experiences in Houston, and bold flavors from culinary capitals around the world.

For more information, call 713-470-6686 or visit www.poitinhouston.com.

Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café is Now Open in Katy

Newest location will make the world a sweeter place

The two founders of this stylish restaurant, Allison and Ivan Chavez, have made it their personal mission to “revive the art of eating crêpes.” They’ve traveled the world searching for flavors and new ways to bring this popular street food to the market. 

They feel that a crêpe is a canvas, and a perfect delicious crêpe is the result of artistic cooking and using the best and freshest high-quality ingredients. The menu has grown to include waffles, salads, paninis, soups, milkshakes and hot drinks.

The new 1,824 square foot restaurant seats 93 inside & out, features a beautiful patio and is located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

photos by Shannon O’ Hara

Yauatcha Adds New Cocktails and Desserts to Contemporary Menu

With one year under its belt on the Houston food scene, Chinese dim sum teahouse, Yauatcha is shaking up its contemporary menu with the addition of 10 new cocktails and three new desserts. The new patisserie fleet includes the Malted Milk, made with malted milk crémeux, caramelized honey panna cotta, and an Anzac biscuit; the Matcha and Yuzu Tart fashioned with green tea mousse, yuzu curd, and hazelnut ganache; and the Banana, Peanut Caramel featuring a peanut butter cookie and banana caramel. 

As for the revamped cocktail menu, Yauatcha has enhanced its offerings with 10 new libations: The CrescentWallace CupThe Forgotten PathSzechuan MargaritaMezcal PalomaJapanese HighballNY SourCobra BiteShiso Szechuan Spritz (mocktail), and Matcha Latte

Innovative program trains teachers in food studies curriculum for high-schoolers at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture’s Teachers Institute 

From July 22-August 2, 2018, teachers from Houston and three other metro areas will participate in an immersive food studies curriculum training at Stone Barns Center’s 80-acre farm and campus in the beautiful Hudson Valley (NY). Scholarships will cover most costs for accepted teachers.
The Teacher Institute takes advantage of widespread interest in food, health, school gardens, composting and other related topics and combines hands-on, farm-based experiences with training in a full-semester food studies curriculum.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer the Teacher Institute, a life-changing professional development experience, to teachers from the Houston area,” said Jill Isenbarger, Stone Barns Center’s CEO. “Teachers tell us they are looking for immersive, inspiring materials and curricula to bring to their students, and food provides a framework for them to connect with their students in new ways.”

Blue Onyx Bistro’s Soft Opening Prime Beef, Sushi and Seafood

Owner and Executive Chef, David Chang, will begin the soft opening stage of Blue Onyx Bistro on Wednesday, March 28th, 2018. Lunch will be served from 11 am until 5 pm, followed by dinner until 10 pm.  

Blue Onyx Bistro is located at 4720 Richmond Ave., just inside the West Loop and close to the Galleria.Blue Onyx Bistro’s signature dishes include prime beef, Sushi and seafood. The Grand Opening Date is TBD. To view menus, visit: www.blueonyxbistro.com.

photo credit: Epicurean Publicist

RAFAEL GONZALEZ NAMED EXECUTIVE CHEF OF FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HOUSTON
Chef Gonzalez brings his depth of Four Seasons culinary experience and knowledge to Houston Four Seasons Hotel Houston announces the appointment of Rafael Gonzalez as Executive Chef, where he will oversee and lead the culinary operations of Quattro, catering and banquets, and partner with Richard Sandoval in spearheading Bayou & Bottle.
After spending over ten years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Chef Gonzalez will continue his tenure infusing the culinary departments with innovative creations and new spins on traditional offerings.

FIG & OLIVE LANDS AT PREMIER NEW DINING DESTINATION IN HOUSTON’S FAMED GALLERIA

The spirit of the French Riviera debuted in Uptown Houston as Fig & Olive opened behind the curved Philip Johnson-designed façade of the former Saks Fifth Avenue space at The Galleria on March 9.

credit: Shannon Ohara

Featuring authentic Mediterranean ingredients, and a Joie de Vivre synonymous with the coastal regions of France, Spain, and Italy, Fig & Olive is bringing its unique blend of fresh flavors, seasonal dishes, and signature premium olive oils to Texas for the first time.

The brand’s centrally-located 7,000-square-foot Houston home comes complete with multiple unique dining experiences, including an expansive 160-seat dining room, a 24-seat bar and lounge, two private dining rooms with full state-of-the-art audio-visual components,  and a 40-seat al fresco terrace that emanates a casual chic ambiance reminiscent of summers spent on the Mediterranean.

For more information, visit www.figandolive.com.

Grimaldi’s® Pizzeria Launching Fresh Cut Flavors Menu March 5  

New Spring Menu Includes Salad, Pizza, and Cheesecakes

Spring is on the way, and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is pleased to launch the Fresh Cut Flavors Seasonal Menu on March 5. These limited-time selections reflect the tastes of the season.

The menu includes the Watermelon Rocket Salad, Prosciutto Arugula Pizza, Banana Cream Cheesecake, Caramel Coconut Cheesecake, new cocktails, and seasonal Italian sodas and lemonades.

“Spring is one of the busiest seasons in Houston and this new menu is one of our most innovative,” says Executive Chef, Cory Lattuca. “This seasonal menu offers a classic favorite pizza with the addition of a few new menu items we know our guests will love! There is light and zesty flavor seasonal salad with the delicious combination of watermelon, feta, and mint, white pizza topped with ribbon-thin slices of prosciutto and two decadent desserts. There is something new for every appetite.”

Vibrant Coming Soon in the Spring to Montrose Area

All day café with food for feeling good

Owner and creator Kelly Barnhart has collaborated with Alison Wu (creator of popular food and wellness blog Wu Haus) to create the menu.

Savory Toast
photo credit: April Valencia

The soon to open Vibrant is about craveworthy food for every day, that tastes great and makes you feel great too. It is open all day so that it works for your routine however you need it to, your healthy home away from home.

Founder Kelly Barnhart’s vision for Vibrant is simple: “Eating for your heath can often be a sacrifice to pleasure, eating for pleasure can often be a sacrifice to your health. Why not have a fun place with food that tastes amazing and is entirely accountable to your well-being?” She will quickly tell you that she’s not a chef or restaurateur, rather just a consumer who saw a hole in the market place.

While there are plenty of “healthyish” places out there, Barnhart wanted to take it a step further with a transparent community spot you can fully trust—no hidden ingredients or marketing gimmicks. No diet dogma either, it’s simply plant based dishes that are the best for you versions of themselves.

Vibrant will open in the former McGowen Cleaners building located at 1931 Fairview.

Treebeards, a downtown Houston institution, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary milestone as a pillar of Southern cuisine

In honor of their 40th anniversary in March, Treebeards is offering an original menu item for the same price it was 40 years ago.

Stop by Treebeards Market Square location (315 Travis St.) and enjoy their popular Red Beans & Rice Plate for only $1.95.

Back in the day Treebeards served their red beans and rice on an oval plate and they will do that once again for this throwback special. The meal includes a sausage link and onions if you want them! The price also includes complimentary French bread. This offer is only good at the Market Square location and for dine-in only diners. The 40th anniversary special will go from March 1 – March 16.

Founded in 1978, Treebeards is a classic Southern eatery specializing in Gulf Coast fare with a Louisiana twist with five locations across downtown Houston. In its 40th year of operation, Treebeards continues to serve a revolving menu of dishes made fresh daily utilizing premium seasonal ingredients.

In its 40th year of operation, Treebeards continues to serve a revolving menu — made fresh daily utilizing premium seasonal ingredients. The extensive menu still boasts original favorites, including red beans and rice with link sausage — often topped with shredded cheddar cheese and green onions — Treebeards Jambalaya, Shrimp Etouffee, and homemade soups alongside specials such as Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Fried Chicken, and a collection of whole cakes and pies — all of which are available for both dine-in and takeout.  Treebeards’ signature recipes are documented in the restaurant’s eponymous cookbook, which is currently in its 13th printing.

The Four Seasons Hotel will host Ketcham Estate Wine Dinner on March 14th at 7 p.m.

The Four Seasons Hotel Houston will collaborate with winemakers Allie and Mark Ketcham of Ketcham Estate Winery for an extravagant six-course wine dinner. Guests will enjoy a selection of the California-based winery’s finest bottles alongside a special curated menu.

Price is $98 per person plus tax and gratuity.

The evening will begin with passed Hors d’oeuvres (think Smoked Salmon & Caviar and Fingerling Potato with chive, Créme Fraiche, Maine Lobster Salad) and Beau Joie Champagne followed by a selection of meat and seafood offerings on the main course menu. Culinary and wine descriptions will be provided during the evening to enhance the guest experience.  

Tickets Now on Sale for Tacos Over Texas

photo credit: The Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund

Tickets are now on sale for the Tacos Over Texas event a friendly competition celebrating Houston’s passion for the taco al carbon, popularized by “Mama Ninfa” Laurenzo, which  will be held on Sunday, April 8, 2018 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

The Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund (TNLSF) is sponsoring the event in collaboration with The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation and El Tiempo Cantina.  The event will take place at the outdoor area between the two restaurants in Houston’s East End.

To date, the participating celebrity chefs are:

  • Terron Henry, Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill
  • Nirman Shah, Nirmanz Food Boutique
  • Domenic Laurenzo, El Tiempo Cantina
  • Alex Padilla, The Original Ninfa’s
  • Juan Arellano, Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen
  • Johnny Carrabba, Carrabba’s
  • Justin Martin and Elliot Roddy, Fuel Kitchen & Health Bar
  • Max Torres and Jeff Weinstock, Cake and Bacon
  • Charles Bishop, Presidio
  • Michael and David Cordua, Cordua Restaurants
  • Lee Ellis and Jim Mills, State Fare Kitchen & Bar
  • Robert Del Grande, Café Annie
  • Donny Navarrete, Laurenzo’s
  • Greg Gatlin and Michelle Wallace, Gatlin’s BBQ
  • Hayden Hulings, Your Table
  • Sandy Tran and Anne Le, Tout Suite

The event will include libations, festive entertainment, live music, an exciting silent auction featuring many unique travel opportunities, and of course, abundant mouthwatering tacos.  Proceeds from Tacos Over Texas will be used to provide scholarships and education-related assistance through TNLSF.

The public is invited to attend Tacos Over Texas. Purchase tickets at https://bit.ly/2fF Bequ.  Visit www.tacosovertexas.info for more details.

GARRISON BROTHERS DISTILLERY CELEBRATES TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH BOURBON-INFUSED CHEF SPECIALS ACROSS THE STATE 

Twenty-one chefs in four cities to spike stunning specials with Texas finest bourbon

On Friday, March 2, Garrison Brothers Distillery is partnering with 21 chefs and mixologists across the state to celebrate Texas Independence Day in style. Hand-selected tastemakers will showcase their culinary love for the Lone Star State by incorporating Garrison Brothers’ 2018 vintage of their Small Batch bourbon into a unique, limited-time culinary special.

Four of Houston chef’s will celebrate our Texas Independence, so make plans to get their special creations.

They are:

  • Westin Galleymore — Spirits Director, Underbelly– Hay Merchant
  • David Keck — Master Somm., Owner, Goodnight Charlie’s
  • Ryan Lachaine — Executive Chef, Riel
  • Bobby Matos — Executive Chef, State of Grace

Dubbed “The Bourbon Takeover of Texas,” the one-night-only event will take place at choice restaurants in some of Texas’s largest cities: Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Each chef has been tasked with creating a dish (or cocktail) reflecting their restaurant concept and encapsulating the bold, proud spirit of Texas.

Can’t make it out? Make your own Bourbon Pecan Tart by Chef Bobby Matos 

Tart Dough: 1# Butter, Room Temperature, 1 c.  Powdered Sugar, 12 ea. Egg Yolks, ½ TB Vanilla Bean Paste, 1½ tsp. Salt, 6 1/3 c. AP Flour, 1 ea. Orange Zested

Directions: Cream together the butter and sugar with a paddle attachment until it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the yolks and vanilla bean paste.  Scrape the bowl and mix until combined. Add the flour until a soft dough forms.  Flatten into disks and chill for one hour. With flour, roll out the tart dough and form into the shells.  Chill for 30 more minutes.  Make the filling.

Bourbon Filling: 1½ c.  Sugar, 1½ c. Corn Syrup, 2/3 c. Melted Butter, 6 ea. Eggs, 2 oz.  Bourbon, 1 ea. Orange Zested, 2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste, ½ tsp. Salt

Directions: Whisk all the ingredients together. Mix together with 4 cups of chopped pecans and pour into the chilled tart shells.  Bake for 10 minutes and rotate.  Bake an additional 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the tart shells.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce: 4½ c. Sugar, ½ TB Cream of Tartar, 1½ c.  Bourbon, 3 1/2 c.    Heavy Cream, 1/2 c.  Bourbon, 1 TB Maldon Salt, ½ # Butter

Directions: In a large pot combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt and 1 ½ cups bourbon.  Cook to medium amber color.  Take off the heat and slowly whisk in the cream and the second bourbon.  Finish with the butter.  Strain and allow to cool completely.

Bourbon Ice Cream: 750 ml  Bourbon, 6 c .  Heavy Cream, 4 c. Milk, 2 ½ c. Sugar, 30 ea. Egg Yolks, 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract, 2 tsp. Kosher Salt

Directions: Reduce the bourbon to 1 ½ c. Add the milk and cream and bring to a scald. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Temper cream into egg yolks. Whisking constantly, cook to 82C. Remove from the heat and quickly strain through a chinois. Chill completely and spin

POSTINO WINECAFÉ MAKING TEXAS DEBUT IN HOUSTON HEIGHTS

ALL DAY WINE CAFÉ OPENS AT HEIGHTS MERCANTILE SPRING 2018

Adjacent to the Heights bike trail, Postino’s new digs at Heights Mercantile are already being hailed as the most walkable in the neighborhood thanks to a pedestrian- and bike-friendly design that incorporates abundant green space, public art, walkways and bicycle parking.

The restaurant is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside with a decidedly vibrant menu offering shareable charcuterie and cheese boards with large slices of toast and bountiful options for toppings like brie and apples with fig spread, ricotta with dates and pistachios, and roasted peppers with goat cheese; a variety of its famous bruschetta; healthy salads with customizable proteins; hand-pressed paninis; and mix-and-match sandwich, salad, and soup combinations.

SHAKE SHACK TO OPEN ITS DOORS IN RICE VILLAGE ON WED., FEB. 28

Shake Shack expands its Houston footprint with third Shack

What’s shakin’ Houston?! Shake Shack® is thrilled to announce it will open its doors in Rice Village on Wednesday, February 28th at 11 AM. The Rice Village Shack will be situated in a prominent corner location at 6205 Kirby Drive. This marks Shake Shack’s third Houston Shack, with existing locations at The Galleria and Minute Maid Park.

In addition to the Shack classics, The Rice Village Shack will be spinning up a selection of local frozen custard concretes: Pie Oh My (vanilla custard and slice of seasonal pie from Fluff Bake Bar), West U-nicorn (vanilla custard, unicorn bait cookie from Fluff Bake Bar, strawberry puree and salted caramel sauce) and Chocolatee Minted Marshmallow (chocolate custard, minted marshmallow sauce and chocolate truffle cookie dough).

The menu will also feature the Texas-exclusive Lockhart Link Burger, a cheeseburger topped with griddled Kreuz Market jalapeño cheese sausage link, pickles and ShackSauceTM.

Guests can wash their burgers down with brews from Karabach Brewing Co., Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Back Pew Brewing and Shiner, plus Shake Shack’s exclusive Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister® Ale. Wine lovers can enjoy a glass of Charles and Charles Cabernet and Pacific Standard Sauvignon Blanc.

As part of Shake Shack’s mission to Stand For Something Good®, The Rice Village Shack will donate 5% of sales from its Pie Oh My pie concrete to Houston Humane Society, whose mission is to end cruelty, abuse and the overpopulation of animals while providing the highest quality of life. Shack team members will also volunteer at events run by the organization.

Learn more at: shakeshack.com | facebook.com/shakeshack | @shakeshack | @shakeshack

ARNALDO RICHARDS’ PICOS BRIGHTENS MORNINGS WITH EXPANDED GOURMET POWER BREAKFAST FAVORITES SEVEN DAYS A WEEK

Huevos Ranchero

For decades, Picos regulars have clamored for breakfast favorites like Huevos
Rancheros and Huevos Montuleños from the weekend breakfast menu during lunch and
dinner. Now, Executive Chef and Owner Arnaldo Richards will offer guests breakfast seven days a week — weekdays from 7 – 10:30 AM and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 AM – 3 PM.

“Breakfast is something we’ve always enjoyed doing at Picos; now, with more demand, it is time that we offer it on a daily basis,” commented Arnaldo Richards.

He added, “I think the newprogram is ideal for a diverse set of audiences. It is expedient for businesspeople conducting meetings because of the efficient nature of the menu; it is also perfect for a more leisurely outing amongst friends and family members.”

Migas Con Huevo a la Mexicana

The menu will boast several savory options, such as Huevos a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, and tomatoes); Chilaquiles Enmolados (pulled chicken with mole, cotija cheese, creama Mexicana and onions); a variety of omelets; and lighter options that include a fruit plate, hot cakes, granola and several delicious juices.

In addition, Picos offers a gourmet brunch spread from 10:30 AM – 3 PM on Sunday as well as specialty buffets during holidays – including New Year’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Massive Mole Brunch, and Christmas Eve.

The breakfast menu is a la carte; regular weekend brunches are $32/person, $21/seniors, $16/children, and children under six eat for free. For premium holiday brunches, it’s $42/person, $29/seniors, $18/children, and children under six each for free.

For more information, visit www.picos.net or call (832) 831-9940.

photos by Nick de la Torre

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen and Stages Theater Host Dinner and a Show

photo courtesy of The Epicurean Publicist

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen and Stages Theater are partnering  together to offer a pre-theater three-course prix-fixe dinner menu featuring the signature menu items which have have made Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen famous during the next two upcoming shows: Ann, and We Are Proud, running from February 15 through April 7, 2018.

Cost: $40 per person, plus beverages, tax and gratuity.

To purchase, please call the Stages Patron Services Center at (713-527-0123) and the box office will make your reservation. Or purchase your show tickets and dinner online at www.stagestheatre.com. Reservations will be made 2 hours before the performance time either at 5:30pm or 6pm. For additional information, please call Stages Patron Services Center at 713-527-0123.

Yauatcha Kicks Off Premier Celebration of Chinese New Year with Special Menu and More

Crispy Prawn Dumpling
photo courtesy of Yauatcha

This February, Yauatcha celebrates its first Chinese New Year in Houston with a festive food and art activation that channels the core tenants of the annual celebratory holiday.  The London-based restaurant, which made its U.S. debut last year, has commissioned two London-based artists to create innovative Chinese lantern installations for not only the Houston location, but all of its outposts across the globe — from Mumbai to Waikiki. Yauatcha Houston’s ornate lantern installation will be installed throughout the restaurant, and made its official debut on Monday, February 5th.

Yauatcha Houston will also serve a celebratory Chinese New Year menu — also set to debut on February 5 — with dishes inspired by the annual celebration and featuring ingredients that are traditionally believed to bring good fortune — Think plates like a Chilean sea bass roll (symbolizing financial prosperity) and golden fortune prawn in lime sauce (seafood has connotations of good luck).

Yogurtland Celebrates Seventh Annual International Frozen Yogurt Day On February 6, 2018

Guests Can Enjoy Free Yogurt, Ice Cream and Toppings, Including Limited-Edition Hershey’s® Flavors at Houston locations at Memorial City Mall, Vintage Market Place, Westchase, Houston Montrose & Houston Galleria

The popular self-serve dessert spot, Yogurtland announces plans for the seventh annual International Frozen Yogurt Day celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 6 where fans can enjoy free frozen yogurt, ice cream and toppings from 4pm – 7pm at all participating locations.

This year, Yogurtland’s celebration of dessert creativity will include two new handcrafted flavors made with Hershey’s®:

  • Chocolate Malt Ball Ice Cream made with Whoppers®- This tasty treat combines delicious real Whoppers, cocoa and malt powder to serve up a creamy ice cream. Similar to the chocolate covered malt ball with a yummy malt center, this flavor leads with delectable malt and is followed by notes of milk chocolate.
  • Chocolate Wafer Bar Frozen Yogurt made with KitKat®- Bringing together milk chocolate followed by delicious wafer cookie, this flavor combines all the things we know and love about KitKats. This flavor combines real KitKat, cocoa and malt powder to serve up a delicious froyo.
  • For more information, visit www.yogurt-land.com or www.facebook.com/ yogurtland.

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen Spring Specials

From February 1st through April 30th, 2018,Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen will be offering the following Daily Specials.

Everyday – Happy Hour from 11am to 6:30pm

Sundays – Kids eat FREE*

Mondays – 50% Off Bottles of Wines

Tuesdays – $1 Oysters on the Half Shell

Wednesdays – 50% Off Cocktails

Thursdays – 50% Off all Whiskey and Scotch

Kids Eat Free from the Children’s menu; 12 years-old or younger, with the purchase of an adult entree.

For more information, please call 713-528-3474.

January 14th pays tribute to the birth of the undisputed father, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins of Americana old-school tattooing

January 14th marks Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins Day, the birth date of a legendary American tattoo artist and Navy vet who built his rep inking soldiers and sailors in WWII-era Honolulu.

  • Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was created to honor him and strives to embody his independent spirit and unapologetic attitude. Toast Sailor Jerry with Ginger Spiced Negroni and Sailor Jerry Hot Chocolate. Recipes below:
  • Ginger Spiced Negroni:   Ingredients:  1 part Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum; 1 part Campari®; ½ part ginger liqueur; ½ part sweet vermouth.   Directions: In empty mixing glass, measure Sailor Jerry.  Add Campari®, ginger liqueur & sweet vermouth. Add a few chunks of ice and stir to blend flavors and dilute. Add more ice and repeat.  Strain into empty chilled old fashioned glass. Add fresh ice block and garnish with candied ginger.
  • Sailor Jerry-Hot Chocolate:  Ingredients:  1.5 part Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum; 1.5 part Butterscotch Schnapps; 3 parts hot chocolate; Whipped cream (as desired), Chocolate shavings, candy cane, or cinnamon stick garnish, dash of orange bitters.   Directions:  In a warm beverage, mug add equal parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum to Butterscotch Schnapps, then add hot chocolate, top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or candy cane, or more chocolate, then complete w/ a dash orange bitters.
  • Snappy Salads Giving Away Free Food in Houston
  • “Salad Swap Challenge” January 2-31
  • Snappy Salads, the award-winning, nutrition-focused restaurant, wants your receipts.
  • Both Houston locations are launching a “Salad Swap Challenge”. From January 2-31 guests who dine at other Houston restaurants can submit their salad purchase receipts, and Snappy Salads will match the price up to $8 to be used towards any Snappy Salads purchase.
  • “For most of us, there is a desire to eat better,” said Chris Dahlander, CEO. “The idea behind this promotion is not just to give away free food, but to use this opportunity to change your lifestyle. We want to prove to Houstonians that Snappy Salads is the freshest dining option around.”
  • Receipts must be submitted within two weeks of purchase from a competitor restaurant. Limit one per person.
  • Snappy Salads was recently nominated for “Best Healthy Lunch” by A-List and been named “Best Place to have a Healthy Lunch”, “Best Salad Shop”, and “Best Salad”.
  • Snappy Salads has two Houston locations:  19111 Katy Freeway and 1920 Fountain View Drive.
  • SALATA TO REOPEN IN KINGWOOD AFTER HURRICANE HARVEY
  • After closing only six weeks after its initial grand opening on July 12 due to Hurricane Harvey, Salata reopened in Kingwood, Texas on December 14.
  • The Kingwood restaurant is the brand’s 38th location in Houston, and the second Salata restaurant for franchisee Grafton Way Restaurant Group.  The Kingwood eatery will be open from 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday.

“Grafton Way’s second Salata will be an extension of the progressive and community-involved lifestyle that the brand represents. We are thrilled to be opening our doors once again and growing our presence in a community we already call home,” said Karim Haji, Chief Executive Officer of Grafton Way Restaurant Group.

More details at www.salata.com.

Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café to Open New Locations

The Vegan
photo by Julie Soefer

Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café has announced it will open three new Texas locations in College Station, Katy at La Centerra at Cinco Ranch and The Woodlands. Made from scratch, the dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful. These locations represent a strategic planned expansion for the very popular and successful restaurant concept. Opening dates for all are expected to be Spring of 2018.

benjy’s on Washington to take Final Bow on New Year’s Eve 2017 to make way for New American Tavern, The Classic-All Day

  • NEIGHBORHOOD DINER SLATED TO DEBUT EARLY SUMMER 2018
  • benjy’s on Washington (5922 Washington Avenue) – the second location of restaurateur Benjy Levit’s eponymous benjy’s brand that opened on Upper Washington Avenue in 2008 – will serve its last Sunday Supper on New Year’s Eve – December 31, 2017 – to make way for a complete redesign and metamorphosis into The Classic – All Day – a fresh take on the classic neighborhood diner launching early Summer 2018.

“The decision to take benjy’s on Washington in a new direction was not an easy one, but I feel that it is the right one,” commented benjy’s founder Benjy Levit.  He added, “Following damage caused by a kitchen fire in March and then  flooding during Hurricane Harvey, I saw a unique opportunity to cultivate an entirely new concept in the space that will offer exciting new dishes while staying true to the existing level of excellence that benjy’s customers have come to appreciate.”

The Houston native will strategically navigate the closing and subsequent opening of The Classic by shifting current employees from the Washington location to the latest installment of the wildly popular Local Foods brand at Heights Mercantile mixed-use development when it debuts in January 2018.

For more information, call 713-868-1131 or visit www.TheClassicAllDay.com.

NEW YEAR’S PLANS AT LE COLONIAL

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE TRUFFLE MASTERS COMING IN JANUARY 2018

 

DR Delicacy and Silver Stone Events are thrilled to announce The Truffle Masters 2018 will take place on Monday, January 29th 2018 at The Astorian.

Top chefs from Houston’s best restaurants will compete to create the most delectable, mouthwatering dishes using DR Delicacy’s aromatic and flavorful truffles. Previous first place winners include David Cordúa from Cordúa Restaurants (2015) and two-time winner Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi from Kata Robata (2016 & 2017).

Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Casa de Esperanza, House of Hope for Children in Houston.

VIP Cocktail Reception – 6-7 pm: Featuring lite bites provided by The Truffle Masters reigning champion Chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi from Kata Robata

General Admission – 7-10 pm: General admission tickets are priced at $175 and VIP tickets are $275.

Complimentary Valet is included for both VIP and GA tickets. For more information on tickets, visit www.thetrufflemasters.com/tickets-information.

“MAYBE CHRISTMAS DOESN’T COME FROM A STORE…MAYBE CHRISTMAS MEANS A LITTLE BIT MORE!” – THE GRINCH

Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café wishes you a Merry Grinchmas with its December Crêpe of the Month, The Grinch. Prepared in a Grinchinspired green batter and filled with crème brûlée, red strawberries, green M&M’s & dulce de leche, this sweet and delicious crêpe can be enjoyed and shared for only $8.95, beginning on Dec. 1. Sweeten your Instagram feed and holiday cheer this season by ordering The Grinch, available one month only!

LePeep set to open new Galleria-area location in late November

Alcohol program added to menu for first time in 30 years in Houston

LePeep Restaurant, serving Houston for breakfast and lunch since 1987, will open its new Galleria-area location at 4340 Westheimer Rd. in late November.

Moving just 0.3 miles down the road from its storied 28-year-old store at 4702 Westheimer into a new-look space in the Westheimer Oaks development, LePeep also is entering a new era in the restaurant’s history – initiating an alcohol program for the first time.

House specialty Bloody Marys, mimosas, Bellinis, local craft beers and wines will complement LePeep’s familiar menu of breakfast and lunch favorites at the new location. Alcohol sales also will be introduced at the recently renovated LePeep in Memorial City (9807 Katy Fwy) by the end of 2017, with LePeep’s three other Houston locations soon to follow.

The new Galleria-area LePeep will be similar in size to the old Westheimer location, with 4,100 square feet and 140 seats. Bill Gotsdiner of Houston-based Gotsdiner Architects is giving the concept a fresh new look highlighted by updated furnishings and a 10-seat counter bar. LePeep’s familiar breakfast and lunch favorites will still be available, with new items introduced periodically throughout the year. The entire 27-person staff from 4702 Westheimer and the restaurant’s operating hours will remain the same (6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday).

LePeep at 4702 Westheimer will remain open for business until a few days prior to the opening of the new location in late November. It had been the highest-volume LePeep in the United States, with notable guests over the years including J.J. Watt, Clyde Drexler, George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, NASA astronaut Walt CunninghamSteve HarveyVivica A. FoxBilly Ray CyrusEvander Holyfield, Carl Lewis, Yolanda Adams, U.S. Congressman Ted Poe and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Operators Mark Mobley and Brendon Murphy, Kingwood residents with a combined 58 years at LePeep, are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new to the latest iteration of their concept.

WILLIAM GRANT & SONS INTRODUCE THREE NEW WHISKIES FOR AUTUMN SEASON

Glenfiddich Winter Storm, part of the Glenfiddich Experimental Series of unusual and unexpected variants, is the first-ever single malt Scotch to be finished in ice wine casks. The combination of both pioneering liquids results in a crisp, premium whisky aged 21 years, imbued with a unique layer of sweetness and complexity. Taste the heightened candied sweets and oak flavor of Glenfiddich, complemented by mouth-watering tropical fruit notes and an underlying rich drying sensation from the ice wine cask finish. (SRP: $250) www.glenfiddich.com.

The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 4 is the fourth bottling in the highly regarded Tun 1509 series that marries 23 casks – 13 traditional American oak barrels and 10 European oak sherry butts – in a true expression of whisky craft. The use of both traditional casks and Sherry butts, results in a complex and rich expression that has an initial sweetness that gradually develops into deeper richer oak with some dried fruits and a cinnamon and ginger spiciness. (SRP: $399) www.thebalvenie.com.

Tullamore D.E.W., the original triple distilled, triple blend Irish whiskey, recently released Cider Cask whiskey. This new sophisticated spirit is a marriage between the craft of small-batch cider-making and Tullamore D.E.W’s legendary whiskey. This soon-to-be your new seasonal favorite, is the first whiskey to be finished in hard apple cider casks giving it a taste as rich as it looks with a lovely balance of oak, creamy malt and subtle fruitiness. (SRP: $39.99) www.tullamoredew.com.

 

Texas Artists create Dia de los Muertos Cups at Stripes

Stripes Convenience Stores is celebrating Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that takes place between October 31 – November 2, with a release of two new limited-edition Dia de los Muertos commemorative cups available in Stripes Stores now. Stripes Stores and Coca-Cola® partnered together for their Third Annual Dia de los Muertos Commemorative Cups which are exclusive to Stripes Stores throughout Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The cups are priced at $2.99, and include the first fill free.

  • Each cup was created by two Texas artists; Elisa Kyle Gilp, a 31-year-old South Texas native who specializes in Día de los Muertos art, and 26-year-old Christian Lain, a professional tattoo artist who lives in Corpus Christi. Both artists returned from last year to design the new 2017 commemorative cups.
  • Third Coast Restaurant in Texas Medical Center Introduces New Executive Express Lunch Menu
  • photo by Cody Duty

  • Third Coast, the fine dining restaurant located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, today introduces a new Executive Express Lunch Menu ideal for dining quickly and dining well.
  • The new menu offers quick and easy lunch options, including salads, soups, sandwiches and specials, all unique to Chef Jon Buchanan’s Modern Houstonian menu.
  • Third Coast’s menu not only highlights natural, sustainable and local ingredients tied to the variety of culinary traditions found in diverse Houston, it takes full advantage of seasonal produce as well.
  • The Executive Express Lunch Menu will be offered Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Third Coast is located at 6550 Bertner at Moursund, on the sixth floor perched atop the water wall of the John P. McGovern Commons.

Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado Continues to Halt Beer Production to Can 220,200 Cans of Safe Drinking Water for Flood-Ravaged Texans

In immediate response to the recent flood devastation in Texas, Oskar Blues Brewery and Ball Corporation teamed up with the CAN’d Aid Foundation to can and ship 220,200 cans of clean drinking water to the residents of Houston, TX.

 

Can’d Aid is a 501c3 started by Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery, in 2013 following the Colorado flooding that devastated Lyons, CO, the hometown of Oskar Blues Brewery. What started as a response to the 2013 floods in ColoRADo has now raised more than $2,700,000 to support four program areas: Towns, Tunes, Treads + Trails and Love Yer Mama. 708,200 cans of water have been shipped to communities in need of safe drinking water such as Flint, MI, South Carolina and Louisiana since 2016. The foundation is a publicly funded non-profit and has evolved into an irreverent nonprofit focused on nation-wide “do-goodery.”
  • 708,2000 cans of water shipped to communities in need of safe drinking water
  • $14,000 raised by CAN’d Aid Foundation for TX just this week –Donations accepted here
  • 4,800 cans to Denham Springs, LA arrived last week in response to historic flooding there earlier this month
  • $800K donated to help small businesses + families in Lyons and Longmont recover/rebuild from floods
  • Muck + Gut rebuilding trips to: Lyons, CO (2014), Georgetown, SC (2015), Baton Rouge, LA (2016)
  • HOUSTON RESTAURANT WEEKS EXTENDED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30
  • Entree choices at Ginger and Fork

  • On Cleverly Stone’s September 2, 2017 Saturday morning radio show, she made the announcement that Houston Restaurants Weeks has been extended and will now run through September 30. Stone is the founder of HRW.
  • Houston Food Bank, which receives a donation of between $3 and $7 for every meal sold, is in need of the support in light of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston causing the organization to be in “absolute overdrive” according to HFB president, Brian Greene. HFB will be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to accommodate people affected by the hurricane.
  • RESTAURANT DINING REIMAGINED AT HOTEL DEREK:
  • Internationally Acclaimed Chef Roshni Gurnani has Sights Set on New Cutting-Edge Menu This Fall at Revolve Kitchen & Bar 
  • Gurnani will be tasked with taking the forward-thinking culinary experience to new heights at Revolve Kitchen + Bar along with all culinary aspects of the property.
  • The new chef comes to Hotel Derek with more than 17 years of international culinary experience in a variety of hotels around the globe, including four and five-star properties: Park Hyatt Resort & Spa, The Sagamore Resort, and Thistle Marble Arch Hotel. She joined Hotel Derek in July 2017 and immediately began immersing herself in the mission of perfecting Revolve’s menu, which is set to debut on September 5.
  • H Town Restaurant Group Restaurants Earn Wine Spectator 2017 Restaurant Awards
  • H Town Restaurant Group is proud to announce its restaurants have been honored for their outstanding wine programs in Wine Spectator’s 2017 Restaurant Awards. The restaurants are recognized among 3,592 winners from all over the globe as a top destination for wine lovers.
  • Backstreet Cafe and Caracol have received Best of Awards of Excellence; and Hugo’s, Prego, Third Coast and Xochi have received Award of Excellence.
  • The wine programs at Backstreet Cafe, Caracol, Hugo’s and Xochi are run by Sommelier/Mixologist Sean Beck; the programs at Prego and Third Coast are run by Sommelier/Mixologist David Cook.
  • H Town Restaurant Group has been sharing its passion for food, drink and hospitality since 1983.  They started small, with a simple bistro in an old home on a picturesque corner in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood in 1983. Since opening Backstreet Cafe, the family has grown to include Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi.  Affiliated restaurants include Prego and Third Coast in Houston, and Origen in Oaxaca, Mexico.  
  • “Restaurants continue to raise their game when it comes to wine, and we are particularly proud to present this year’s winners,” said Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator. “As wine becomes more important to diners, the Awards program is thriving—with an increasing number of entries, as well as growing print, digital and social audiences. Wine Spectator congratulates each and every award winner.”
  • Menu Roundup: Three New Menu Changes, from brunch to happy hour
  • Cafe Azur
    photo by Nathan Colbert

  • Cafe Azur:Inspired by the Cote d’Azur and located in the heart of Montrose, recently launched a new happy hour menu featuring a variety of $6 small plates and $5 cocktails. Staples of French cuisine like the croque monsieur are served bite-sized, along with Houston inspired dishes like the Duck Confit Taco. Classic cocktails, including the French 75 and Kir Royal, are $5 each, while house red and white wine are $5 per glass. Happy hour is Tuesday – Friday from 5-7 PM at the bar and on the terrace.  
  • Radio Milano:Weekend’s at Radio Milano have taken a turn for the magical with a Mad Hatter-inspired brunch experience – yes, Wonderland dance sounds are included. Along with the $20 three-course prix fixe menu crafted by Executive Chef Jose Hernandez, featuring favorites like house-made burrata and chicken and waffles, diners have the option to pair their meals with unique Mad Hatter-inspired libations. Brunch runs from 11AM – 4PM on Saturday and 10AM – 3PM on Sunday.
  • Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (5 locations): ​Grimaldi’s recently debuted a first-ever, handcrafted cocktail menu to accompany its extensive line of beverage offerings ​, which guests can now take advantage of​  at Stoking Social Hour every weekday, Monday – Friday, from 3:30PM – 6PM. Guests will enjoy $2 off the new signature cocktails, $2 off draft beers, $2 off glasses of wine (house wines excluded), and $2 off their Bruschetta Trio and Antipasto platters. The popular Coalition ($30) is a pairing of a Bruschetta Trio or a small Antipasto platter with a bottle of wine. 

 

BOSSCAT KITCHEN & LIBATIONS OPENING BCK: KITCHEN & COCKTAIL ADVENTURES IN THE HEIGHTS

The owners of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations are bringing their newest creation to life in the Heights at 933 Studewood St., the space formerly occupied by Glass Wall Restaurant. BCK: Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures, slated to open later this fall, will be a neighborhood restaurant and bar with a completely different menu from Bosscat – offering nostalgic American fare from the owners’ childhoods, along with input from the local community.

“We created this idea two years ago when we were still living in Newport Beach, but we never had a venue for it. The Heights is the perfect neighborhood for this type of creativity. It’s going to give us a great canvas to step outside the box,” said John Reed, Bosscat owner.

LONG-AWAITED EMMALINE SET TO DEBUT NEXT MONTH

The Outdoor-Oriented Neighborhood Kitchen Will be Located in Montrose 

A longtime Houston hangout for al fresco margaritas is being reborn as a casually chic and neighborhood-centric destination for informal all-day dining, coffee catch-ups, cocktails on the patio and late-night bites. The former Teala’s restaurant at 3210 W. Dallas – located in North Montrose on the border of River Oaks and steps from Buffalo Bayou Park – will debut as Emmaline early next month. 

Bringing the concept to fruition are owner Sam Governale, a veteran operator who cut his chops with national food and beverage notables ranging from Matthew Kenney and Mario Batali to John Tesar and Andrea Immer-Robinson, before returning home to operate Fleming’s River Oaks in 2009; and, Executive Chef Dimitri Voutsinas, a recent New York City transplant and alum of Manhattan’s Bar Boulud, Motorino Pizza and La Gamelle.  Governale has brought in Ashley Putman, a Louisiana native whose career in design took root at the corporate offices of Barneys New York, as Emmaline’s Creative Director.

 “We believe in community, so from the moment you walk into Emmaline you will find a lively, comfortable, versatile and well-curated landmark that activates stylish indoor and outdoor spaces with its surroundings, which we believe will contribute to the on-going revitalization of the area and serve as a natural gathering space for nearby residents and visitors,” Governale said. 

Emmaline’s culinary positioning as an American restaurant with European influences also speaks to an emerging trend that blends homegrown heritage and European classicism into something that’s both familiar and fresh. The bridging of the two culinary cultures seeks to provide comfort in cuisine and beverage options, genuine hospitality, accessibility and choice in dining times, as well as an ambience of infectious energy that builds throughout the day.

“In Italy, the classic trattoria is the epitome of a neighborhood kitchen, literally serving as the cultural thread for the people in that township.  This is my vision for Emmaline, a commitment to our neighbors to be, very simply, a place where we will genuinely care for the well-being of our guests while offering a home-away-from-home experience,” Governale added.

photos courtesy of Emmaline

photo by Becca Wright

a’Bouzy To Open

New addition to the Houston Restaurant Scene to POP on August, 2nd

Shawn Virene, owner of a’Bouzy,  announced the restaurant will open on Wednesday, August 2nd. This is Virene’s first solo endeavor as owner. A longtime fixture on the Houston culinary scene, Virene is known for creating the most exciting wine programs in the city. And deftly managing a Who’s Who clientele.

The champagne-fueled concept features a fresh, ripe menu, seasonal seafood, salads, gorgeous greens, prime meats and a large raw bar. Simple, shareable small plates play sidebar to Virene’s jaw dropping wine list that features more than 250 champagnes and sparkling’s priced from $12 to over $2,000.

a’Bouzy is located at 2300 Westheimer. For reservations, call 713.722.6899 (713-7ABOUZY) or visit www.abouzy.com.

Clear Lake/Webster El Tiempo Cantina to Open Before Christmas

photo courtesy of El Tiempo

Roland Laurenzo and Domenic Laurenzo, owners of El Tiempo Cantina, are pleased to announce that they have formed a partnership with the David and Jason Felt Family to complete the construction of and to open the Clear Lake /Webster El Tiempo Cantina, 20235 Gulf Freeway, to be operated by the Laurenzos.

The Grand Opening is expected to be before Christmas 2017.

For more information, visit www.ElTiempoCantina.com or call 713-807-8100 ext 108. View Menus at http://eltiempocantina.com/menu.

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen Debuts New Sunday Brunch

Fried Chicken & Waffles

Owners Phyllis and Tony Mandola’s are pleased to announce that Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is now serving Sunday Brunch from 10 am until 3pm.

“This menu was fun to create,” stated executive chef Juan Arellano.

Crab Cake Beni

“Phyllis and Tony allowed me play and riff on their New Orleans style Oyster Bar with an Italian flair menu. I am sure you will find the perfect dish to kick start your Sunday!”

Additional details or reservations available at 713-528-3474, or visit www.TonyMandolas.com.

photos courtesy of Tony Mandola’s

BOSSCAT KITCHEN & LIBATIONS LAUNCHES NEW LUNCH MENU

Chef Peter Petro at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations has spent the past several months developing relationships with local farmers and gathering feedback from customers after moving to Houston from Newport Beach, Calif., last winter. 

Bosscat’s new lunch menu features beef from 44 Farms, Gulf seafood from Blue Horizon, vegetables from Covey Rise Farms in Louisiana and pork from Black Hill Ranch.

Highlights include:

–        Seoul Bowl ($15), a large bowl filled with 44 Farms Korean-style skirt steak, brown rice, green onions, kimchi, sesame, cabbage and carrots

–        Cowboy Caviar Bowl ($14) with grilled chicken, lettuce, black eyed peas, brown rice, onions, bell pepper and corn

–        Havana Bowl ($14) with BBQ pulled pork, brown rice, black beans, green onions and fried banana

–        Vietnamese Chicken Wrap ($13), a take on a bahn mi with grilled chicken, picked vegetables, jalapeno and cilantro on crisped roti bread

–        Short Rib Flatbread ($12) with slow-roasted beef short rib, jalapeno Greek yogurt and pickled onions

–        Avocado Toast ($11), Gulf ahi tuna and avocado on whole wheat bread

–        Chile Verde Soup ($8) with roasted tomatillo and poblano peppers, black beans and cojita cheese served with a mini-quesadilla

–        Power Spinach Salad ($12) with roasted pears, almonds, red cabbage, onions, grapes and balsamic dressing

–        Eat Slow Salad ($12) with kale, quinoa, walnuts, berries, carrots and blackberry + Greek yogurt dressing

Bosscat is located at 4310 Westheimer Rd. Suite 150 in Houston. For more information, visit www.bosscatkitchen.com or call (281) 501-1187. 

photo credit: China Martin

FAVOR EXPANDS HOUSTON AREA DELIVERY COVERAGE

On-demand delivery app more than triples delivery coverage across Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area

Love getting your food delivered? Favor’s expansion, the Texas-based on-demand delivery app has added Spring, Tomball, Klein, Champion Forest, Firethorne, Energy Corridor, Pecan Grove, Richmond, Pearland, Friendswood and East End to its Houston area delivery zone.

In honor of its Houston area expansion, Favor is celebrating this month with:

To service this increased footprint, Favor is actively surging its Runner base in the Houston market, offering residents more opportunities to earn extra income on a flexible schedule as independent contractors who choose their hours. Houston residents interested in becoming a Runner can visit: https://apply.favordelivery.co m/.

Go to https://landing.favordelivery.com/houston-expansion.html for more information.

Summer’s Trendy Fruit! 

Have you tried Rambutan?

Shoppers this summer will be surprised to see a new and strange-looking item in their produce isles.

Rambutan is taking the US and Canada by storm and quickly being considered one of this year’s trendiest fruits. The sea urchin-lookalike is sweet and juicy; it’s very similar in texture and flavor to grape.

Rambutan is from the tropics and similar to lychee in appearance and flavor, with white pulp and a large nutty seed. Fresh rambutan has a bright red leathery exterior with soft red and green spikes, which give them the nickname “messy hair” in Vietnam. Originally from Southeast Asia, rambutan also grows in Guatemala and Honduras, where the Florida-based importer HLB Specialties sources them from.

Rambutan has an incredible taste. Sweet and refreshing, like a juicy grape gummy, especially when eaten chilled. Rambutan is a fun and healthy fruit that is convenient to eat or carry along for a snack.

Eating rambutan is easy. Consumers can either hold it with both hands and twist apart at the seam, or cut lengthwise. Then either remove the top peel and eat around the pit or pop the whole fruit in the mouth, eating it like a cherry. Discard skin and pit. Even though rambutan is sweet, it has only around 10 calories per fruit. Look for it in a store near you!

FIRST HOUSTON AREA “EXPERIENCE OF THE FUTURE” McDONALD’S RESTAURANT OPENS IN KATY

photo courtesy of MOAGH

Located at Morton Ranch Road and SH 99/Grand Parkway in Katy, McDonald’as first “Experience of the Future” restaurant in the Greater Houston Area debuted in June 2017. The new location is the tenth McDonald’s restaurant for local Owner/Operator David Glaser and his wife, Lindsay. 

“As a second generation McDonald’s owner/operator, I’m proud to bring the first ‘Experience of the Future’ restaurant to Greater Houston,” Glaser said. “McDonald’s has always been a part of my family, and my wife and I are excited to welcome families from across our community to experience the future of McDonald’s.” 

As the first “Experience of the Future” restaurant in Greater Houston, the new McDonald’s features digital ordering kiosks, Bluetooth table locators for dine-in table service, indoor and outdoor digital menu boards, interactive entertainment and video game systems, delivery from UberEATS, an outdoor patio seating area, and a 24-hour drive thru window.

THE FAR EAST MEETS THE FLAVORS OF MEXICO: SUMOMAYA MEXICAN ASIAN KITCHEN PLANS JUNE DEBUT IN HOUSTON’S RIVER OAKS DISTRICT

photo by Debby Wolvos

SumoMaya Mexican Asian Kitchen – the immensely popular Scottsdale restaurant under the purview of Osio Culinary Group and principal German Osio – is bringing the concept’s high-quality and vibrant ingredients, succulent flavors, artful cocktails, and decadent interior design elements to Houston’s posh River Oaks District and is slated to open in June.

SumoMaya combines the flavors of Asia with the robust culinary traditions of Mexico, with subtle extension into Latin America, into a dynamic fusion concept that is driven by world-class chefs who concoct high-quality tapas-style menu items, including tacos, sushi, noodles, prime steaks, and fresh seafood. SumoMaya will offer a full sushi program with a comprehensive menu for traditional sushi lovers alongside unique fusion rolls for the more adventurous palate.

SumoMaya will open in June in the River Oaks District at 4444 Westheimer, Suite C180, for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 11 AM to 11 PM, Friday from 11 AM to 12 AM, Saturday from 3 PM to 12 AM, and Sunday from 3 PM to 9 PM. SumoMaya has Brunch service on Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 3 PM and “Social Hour” hours Monday through Sunday from 2 PM to 6 PM. The Late Night Bar is open Monday through Thursday from 9 PM to 11 PM and Friday through Saturday from 10 PM to 12 AM.  For more information, visit www.sumomaya.com

AGU, a ramen bistro, Unveils New Dishes, Cocktails and Happy Hour Menu

​With the season changing, Chef Hisashi Uehara is shaking things up with new offerings for the summer! 

The perfect shareable starter to any meal, Parmesan Brussels Sprouts, lightly fried Brussels sprouts coated in a panko parmesan cheese crust and served with Yuzu citrus sauce ($6).

New ramen offerings include a lighter, healthier option, the Vegetarian Ramen, made with zaasai (Japanese green cabbage), kikurage (Japanese mushroom), corn, fresh negi and nori. Gluten-free noodles ($3) are also a new dietary offering available at AGU.

For diners not afraid to bring on the heat, the Chili Cilantro Tori ($14) a light and clean chicken broth topped with fresh, house-made chicken char siu, aji tamago, crunch menma, fresh negi, nori and topped with a mountain of fresh cilantro and finished with Thai chili.

Kick off the evening early with AGU’s “Piggy Hour” menu, available 7 days a week from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. The menu’s drink specials include all specialty cocktails ($6), house wine ($3), domestic beer ($2.50), import beer ($3.50), draft beer ($4) and carafes of house hot sake ($4). Pair your drink of choice with a variety of small plates ranging from $3 – $6.

​Select  AGU Ramen locations serve beer and wine only. ​L​ocations ​offering a full bar include Washington, Westheimer and Nassau Bay.

The Ivy & James is Now Open With Limited Hours During Soft Opening

Jamie and Dalia Zelko have opened their newest restaurant, The Ivy & James, in Evelyn’s Park, after several delays. “It is so wonderful to finally be open,” stated Jamie Zelko, “after two long years of building, and too many delays.”

photo by The Ivy & James

During the Soft Opening, the restaurant will be serving lunch, including simple salads and sandwiches for Dine-In and To-Go, and picnic baskets to be enjoyed in the park, from 11 am until twilight, (which is around 8 pm).

Breakfast will be served 7 days days a week from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For more information visit www.TheIvyAndJames.com or call 832-831-6944. The Ivy & James is located at 4400 Bellaire Boulevard on the grounds of Evelyn’s Park.

Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys Introduces New Menu Items and New Downtown Tunnels Kiosk Location

Kiosk Brings “Houston’s Original Sandwich” to Downtown Workers with Grab-and-Go Convenience

photo by Cooper Ricca

The iconic Houston sandwich shop has opened a new kiosk in the Downtown Houston Tunnel System (811 Louisiana St., Suite M130A), directly beneath Two Shell Plaza. Antone’s opened its first kiosk location in July 2016 in the food court at Greenway Plaza, another bustling office community.

Antone’s also has introduced a slate of new menu items at its two standalone restaurant locations (4520 San Felipe, 2724 West TC Jester).

photo courtesy of Antone’s

Developed by Legacy Restaurants’ Executive Chef Alex Padilla, these new offerings include a rotating selection of monthly specials and several new permanent fixtures on the menu, including:

–        Beef Brisket (slow-roasted beef, lettuce, tomato, Cajun mayo, served on po’ boy bread)

–        Cubano (house-roasted pork loin, ham, Swiss cheese, spicy mustard, pesto, dill pickles)

–        Vegetarian Gumbo (dark roux with green and red peppers, onions, tomatoes, celery, okra)

–        Caesar Salad (served with grilled chicken)

–        Pulled Pork Sandwich (house-roasted pulled pork on a soft bun, coleslaw, pickles, jalapeños)

–        Roast Beef & Swiss (house-roasted beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, horseradish, mayo, onions, served on ciabatta)

–        Fried Chicken Po’ Boy (with hush puppies and French fries, served on po’ boy bread)

Cochon555 Houston at Hughes Manor had creative chefs, cocktails, desserts and lots of great food. 

So much to choose from with BCN Taste & Tradition, Ritual, State of Grace Restaurant, Kata Robata Sushi + Grill, Monica Pope, Fluff Bake Bar, Glenfiddich, Three Little Pigs, Divina, Creminelli Fine Meats, Bayou Rum, & House of Angostura

 

Congrats to winner Kata Robata Sushi + Grill!

photo credit: V. Sweeten

BossCat Houston captures prestigious design awards for interior space 

Winning both the Gold award by A Design Award & Competition for Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category, 2016 – 2017 and  Third Prize in Interior Design in the International Design Awards 

Hootan & Associates Design Studio gave Bosscat Houston a winning look in their latest project by recreating a matchless grange scene in the heart of metropolis of Houston. It intended to create a country style atmosphere where people can get detached from their modern lives for a while.

The primary elements of design consisted of: restored, reclaimed, and recycled resources. These materials are adopted throughout the space for all the finishes, furniture, millwork, and decorations. To replicate granges, huge roll-up glass doors let indoor living to expand and blend with the outdoor space. Overall, the design of Bosscat allows people to experience a farmhouse scenery.

Every piece of worn, ragged, and used material was an inspiration in the design process. Importance of Whiskey in Texas culture, inspired Hooten & Associates Design Studio for having a focal point in the project. This center piece created different zones in the restaurant from crowded bar to quiet fine dinning.

 

PELI DELI POP-UP DEBUTS IN DOWNTOWN

Peli Deli, located in downtown Houston in the Esperson Building at 808 Travis, is making breakfast and lunch a happier place with food filled with South African flavors.  

Co-founder, Thomas P. Nguyen took a moment to showcase all the great offerings from Egg Souffle to Naan tacos, Bahn-Nini, Bobotie, Boerewors Sausage and much, much more.

Take note of the “mix of spices”and authentic dishes. Dig into pork belly, curried chicken and veggies, salads all seasoned with a touch of spice making Peli Deli a great addition to the downtown food scene. Don’t miss the 9 month pop-up filled with Peli Deli deliciousness! Check out their Facebook for the latest at www.facebook.com/pelidelihouston.

photo credit: V. Sweeten

 

McDonald’s to launch new Signature Crafted Sandwiches

Get limited edition FRORKS with kickoff on May 5th

To celebrate the launch of their new line of Signature Crafted Sandwiches, McDonald’s will be giving away 100,000 Frorks in restaurants across the country on Friday, May 5.

What’s a Frork? It’s a uselessly useful utensil that allows you to use McDonald’s signature French Fries to scoop up the spillover from your Signature Crafted Sandwich.

Guests that purchase a Signature Crafted Sandwich at participating giveaway locations on Friday, May 5 will get a medium drink and medium fry free plus a Frork, while supplies last. Additionally, any guest that purchases a Signature Crafted Sandwich from May 4 through May 8 will get a medium drink and medium fry free (no coupon necessary).

Choices are top of the line for buns from Toasted Artisan Roll to Sesame Seed Bun and Texas Toast. Include your choice of meat such as 100% Pure Beef Patty, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken and Artisan Grilled Chicken. Toppings clinch the deal, and diner can choose from thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon with Maple Seasoning, White Cheddar, Crispy Onions, In-house Grilled Onions, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole or Crisp Leaf Lettuce. Sauce choices are Buttermilk Ranch, Sweet Onion BBQ and Creamy Dijon.

To see the full list of restaurants participating in the giveaway, visit your local McDonald’s facebook page, McDonalds.com, or call 1-844-MCD-FRORK.

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks in Galveston named OpenTable Diner’s Choice 

photo: Moody Gardens Hotel

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks, located at Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, has been selected as a Diners’ Choice restaurant. Diners’ Choice recognizes outstanding restaurants in numerous categories based solely on OpenTable’s verified diner feedback.

Franco Perez, Shearn’s manager, says this accolade is very special to the Shearn’s team. “We strive for excellence. This award verifies that we have the perfect team in place, ensuring all guests receive first-class service and superior food quality.”

Known as a premier destination for fine dining in Galveston with floor-to-ceiling views of the Gulf waters, Shearn’s is one of only 11 Houston/Galveston area restaurants to receive AAA’s Four Diamond Award of Excellence, which it has won each year since 2004.

YAUATCHA HOUSTON now open in Galleria 

Yauatcha Houston, the local outpost of Hakkasan Group’s Michelin-starred Chinese dim sum concept, made its Houston debut in March 2017. 

The restaurant is in the standalone luxury retail building that is part of The Galleria, Houston’s ever-evolving shopping and dining destination (5045 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77056). Guests are encouraged to reserve tables ahead of visiting www.yauatcha.com/houston  or at 713-357-7588.

Bacon Bros. Public House Opens Farm-Fresh Food + Dine on the Swine Divine

photo courtesy of Bacon Bros.

A new restaurant tucked adjacent to Town Square Place in Sugar Land is giving meat a run for its money.

Bacon Bros. Public House is the new kid on the blockand is the creation of Chef Anthony Gray, restaurateur Jason Callaway together with Eric Bergelson and Mike Porter. The menu features straight forward, made from scratch American cuisine.

Serving as Chef de Cuisine is Houston Chef Joseph Zerwas, who will utilize heritage breed hogs, heirloom produce, old world vision and new world techniques to bring guests a regionally inspired menu.

A self-proclaimed meat mecca, Bacon Bros. will feature comfort food with a strong connection to the land. The chef-driven, seasonally focused menu will change often and feature familiar twists on favorites that incorporate an abundance of local produce and regionally sourced ingredients. Prohibition cocktails, a robust Bourbon and whiskey collection, craft beers and wine are excellently paired with the restaurant’s unabashedly bold menu.

“I hope guests will find the food at Bacon Bros. as addictive as I do,” said operating partner Travis Cook. “There is something instinctual about the effect a whiff of smoke has on your appetite. It’s what gives us a certain funk to our food.”

 

AGU RAMEN OPENS THREE NEW LOCATIONS 
Authentic ramen bistro concept continues brand momentum in Houston with new restaurant openings in Katy, Sugar Land and Nassau Bay

AGU, a ramen bistro, ended 2016 with three debuts, including 1809 Eldridge Parkway in the Energy Corridor, a restaurant/commissary on 9310 Westheimer in the Westchase District and a third at 7340 Washington near Memorial Park.

The expanding ramen restaurant announces the opening of three new locations in March and April, to satisfy the ramen craze in Houston. The Sugar Land location at 2130 Lone Star Dr. and Katy location at 514 So Mason Rd. are slated to open mid-March, and  Nassau Bay at 1360 NASA Parkway is scheduled to open in early April. 

Yuzu Jidori with Yuzu Pepper

 “Houston residents have been great supporters of AGU Ramen, and we’re very excited to continue to introduce our ramen to the surrounding communities,” said Chef Hisashi Uehara, owner and chef of AGU Ramen. “Customers at the new locations can expect to find the same authentic ramen and traditional Japanese dishes that have made our other three locations a success.”

More information is available at www.aguramen.com.

photo credit: V. Sweeten

a’Bouzy coming soon to Houston 

The Houston restaurant scene is about to pop with restauranteur, Shaun Virene, who will launch his first solo endeavor, a’Bouzy in early summer 2017. Virene’s is a champagne-fueled concept featuring a fresh, ripe American menu, seasonal seafood, salads, gorgeous greens, prime meats and a large raw bar. Simple, shareable small plates will play sidebar to Virene’s wine list that will feature more than 150 champagnes perfect for celebrations and every day occasions.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations now open

260+ whiskeys, barrel-aged cocktails & comfort food on tap at 4310 Westheimer

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations – the hotly anticipated whiskey bar with American comfort food from Newport Beach, Calif. – opened on February 22, 2017.

The rustic, industrial-chic interior – with 14-foot ceilings, stained concrete floors and expertly finished reclaimed wood, steel and brick – will seat 220 guests, with 40 additional patio seats on 2,000 square feet of patio space.

“This has been a long time coming, and we have been very fortunate to meet so many great people in Houston who have opened their arms to us over the last several months,” Reed said. “We’re beyond excited to return the favor and open our doors to a city that has been so welcoming to us.”

Bosscat’s signature glass-enclosed Whiskey Room will house one of the largest whiskey selections in Houston with more than 260 offerings ranging from local whiskeys such as Yellow Rose, Balcones, Herman Marshall and TX, to rare, sought-after allocations from around the world. The Whiskey Room also will be home to a limited number of whiskey lockers for VIP guests and a 12-seat table for private dining and private whiskey tastings. 

For more information, visit www.bosscatkitchen.com or call Managing Partner Tai Nguyen at (281) 501-1187.

photos: V. Sweeten

Urban Eats Debuts New Menu Items to Celebrate their Second Anniversary

photo courtesy of Urban Eats

“As we start our third year of business and celebrate the completion of two fantastic years, it’s time to introduce some new favorites to our amazing customers!” stated culinary director and owner Levi Rollins.

“These new items address requests from our regulars, like our Reuben & Rebecca Signature Slider, stuffed full of Prasek’s smoked brisket, spicy pastrami, house-made chipotle coleslaw, creole seeded mustard and crisp dill pickles,” he said.

Rollins stated other new introductions include a deliciously dressed Salmon Filet and the vegetarian Peppadew Mac & Cheese, and The Three Finger Smoked Pork Chop, finished with a bourbon apple and honey chutney.  More details at www.feasturbaneats.com or call 832-834-4417.

Recently promoted Executive Chef, Martha de Leon launches new menu at Pax Americana

photo by Chuck Cook

Pax Americana owners, Shepard Ross and Dan Zimmerman, are proud to announce Chef de Cuisine Martha de Leon’s promotion to Executive Chef and the launch of her new menu. The new menu was created by the 27-year old accomplished chef, who has been with PAX almost since the beginning. Now, she’s flexing her creative chops. “I wanted to find out what my food is – and this is the first stepping stone,” says de Leon. “The inspiration comes from everywhere I’ve worked.”

photo by Erin Hicks

De Leon has a history in Houston beginning at RDG+Bar Annie then onto The Pass & Provisions in addition to her two years in the kitchen at Pax.

“We aim for awe-inspiring vs. ordinary,” says Ross. “Martha’s dedication, work ethic and commitment delivers a unique experience for our guests. She and I are of the same mind-set. “She works as fast and furious as I do to always put true hospitality first,” said Ross.

Top chefs show their stuff at the 3rd annual  Truffle Masters 2017 competition

Over 500 guests turned out for the exclusive event presenting chefs from 23 of Houston’s top restaurants including B&B Butchers, BCN Taste and Traditions, Brasserie 1895, Brennan’s of Houston, Café Annie, Café Azur, Central Market, Culinaire, Eculent, Fieldings Local Kitchen + Bar, Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Hubbell and Hudson, Kata Robata, KUU Restaurant, La Table, Le Mistral, Peska Seafood Culture, Quattro Restaurant At The Four Seasons, Radio Milano, Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Graduca, SaltAir, Sud Italia Ristorante and Triniti.

Each chef competed to create the most delectable, mouthwatering dish using DR | Delicacy’s aromatic and flavorful truffles. Two signature cocktails were made specially for The Truffle Masters event. Abla Huerta of Julep Houston created Sonvilier Jubilee and Artemisia using Robert Del Grande’s RoXor gin.

WINNERS ARE:

First Place: Kata Robata, Chef Manabu Horiuchi – Open Face Truffle Banh Mi: oyster muchroom, tx kobe beef, pickled cucumber and carrot & Honey Truffle Ice Cream: buckwheat truffle powder

First Runner up: KUU Restaurant, Adison Lee – Truffle Kunsei: house cured smoked salmon, maki, black truffle cream, chives, garlic bread and shaved black truffle.

Second Runner up: Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Mark Holley – Snapper Ceviche: kumquat, lime, mint and benne seads. 
People’s Choice Winner: Hubbell and Hudson, Austin Simmons – Oyster & Pearl: oyster & truffle potage, DR Delicacy american sturgeon caviar and DR Delicacy truffle.

Winners photo credit: Daniel Ortiz

LOCAL FOODS MAKES ITS DOWNTOWN DEBUT IN 1934 HISTORIC ART DECO BUILDING ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF PRAIRIE AND MAIN STREETS

LOCALLY SOURCED SCRATCH SANDWICH SHOP ADDS CEVICHE PROGRAM, RAW BAR AND MORE AT LOCATION NUMBER FOUR

Red Snapper Campechana; photo credit: Julie Soefer

Local Foods announced plans to open its 4th Houston location on Thursday, January 12, 2017. The space will be housed at 420 Main Street on the corner of Prairie Street in the 1934 Joseph Finger-designed art deco style building. The historic building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and famously served as the longtime home of Byrd’s Department Store.

“Local” – as the locals call it – is indeed just that. The brainchild of hometown heroes Benjy Levit and Chef/Partner Dylan Murray, the wildly popular and critically lauded scratch sandwich shop hit an immediate chord when it first launched in 2011 right next door to its big brother restaurant, benjy’s in the Village.

Crunchy Chicken; photo credit: Julie Soefer

Levit and Murray’s simple formula of sourcing ingredients, produce, veggies and protein from local purveyors, farmers, ranchers and the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market made for the most flavorful sandwiches, freshest soups, seasonal salads, and sumptuous sides available in the marketplace, and the public took notice.

“I am particularly excited for Local to make its latest home in this rare historic art deco building in downtown Houston,” said Levit. “It’s something of a homecoming given my Houston roots, and we think the concept and its offerings will resonate particularly well in this location.”

Local Foods is a scratch gourmet sandwich shop showcasing local edibles and seasonal salads, fresh soups & homemade snacks for the taking. Their four locations are located at Rice Village at 2424 Dunstan Rd.; Upper Kirby at( 2555 Kirby Dr.; Tanglewood at 5740 San Felipe Rd. and Downtown at 420 Main St.

For more information, please visit www.houstonlocalfoods.com.

 

Liberty Kitchen at The Treehouse opens for Memorial City diners

lkth_sausage_debora-smail

photo credit: Debora Smail

Liberty Kitchen takes its place as a great neighborhood restaurant serving modern, American food. The focal point is a massive 13-foot long handmade wood-fired grill. Diners can see chefs as they work the open flames cooking steaks, chops, ribs and fish.

Some of the favorite Liberty Kitchen staples are on offer such as the Creole Whole Crab, Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo, R&D Test Kitchen: Infamous Burger Bowl, Deviled Eggs and Lance’s Loaded Hushpuppies (The Real Original) served Liberty Kitchen gorilla-style.

Culinary Director and Partner, Lance Fegen, who is often inspired by the tastes and techniques he encounters while on surf breaks describes the new fare at Treehouse

“The menu is my version of comfort food and what I want to eat. It’s influenced by my travels and mood, using great ingredients with respect. It’s straight forward and full of bold flavor.” A recent trip to South America inspired Fegen’s Cazuela of Tender Belly Pork Shoulder, Chorizo and Octopus and Chicken, Andouille, Red Beans and Carolina Gold Rice, which are cooked in individual-size Dutch ovens nestled in the coals.

Details, go to www.libertykitchentreehouse.com.​​

Gift Set_4131.jpg

Hugo’s and Caracol Offer Gift Set to Make  Holiday Giving Easy

Skip the long lines at the mall this holiday season by ordering gourmet gift sets from award-winning Hugo’s and Caracol restaurants this holiday season!

The holiday gift box will bring a taste of true Mexico to its recipients.  Each box includes… One signed copy of Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico, named by Saveur magazine as one of just six essential Mexican cookbooks. 

·         One of Hugo’s restaurant’s housemade chocolate tablets with which to make Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate (or mole!)

·         One molinillo, a traditional Mexican turned wood whisk, used to mix and froth hot beverages such as hot chocolate 

·         Two mugs in which to enjoy your Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate! 

Cost for the gift sets are $60 each plus tax.  The sets are available at Hugo’s and Caracol restaurants and can also be ordered online at www.hugosrestaurant.net and www.caracol.net.  Shipping is $15.45 for 2-3 day air.  Orders placed after December 19 cannot be guaranteed for delivery by December 25.  Local orders can be picked up at the restaurants, but please give advance notice for orders of 5 or more sets.

For more information, call Hugo’s at 713-524-7744 or call Caracol at 713-622-9996.

 

Chef Kevin Naderi of Roost takes home honors in “Beat Bobby Flay” show

Bobby Flay and Kevin Naderi on the Set of Beat Bobby Flay_Photo courtesy of RoostHouston chef Kevin Naderi of Roost took on Food Network’s chef Bobby Flay in “Beat Bobby Flay” and took home the winning dish on July 28. The episode, titled “Stop, Drop & Roll,” had Naderi winning the first round against chef Mark Vecchitto of Connecticut, and then ultimately winning the throwdown with Flay for bragging rights.

Houstonians partook in the viewing at 8th Wonder Brewery. Naderi challenged Bobby Flay to make cabbage rolls. Naderi’s winning dish started with a base of tomatoes and roasted feta in a vinaigrette. The “meat” of the dish was a lamb and pistachio stuffed cabbage roll and it was finished with olives and an herb salad.

“The cabbage is tricky to cook so I chose to use the sous vide,” said Naderi. “The cabbage is placed in a vacuum-sealed bag and then cooked in temperature controlled water. “Time goes by really quickly on the show, so I wanted to cook them low and slow while I focused on other elements of the dish.” Lamb and Pistachio Stuffed Cabbage Rolls_Photo courtesy of Roost

The judges commended Naderi, Chauhan said that his lamb was succulent and Hamilton stated that while the filling wasn’t what she would typically expect in a cabbage roll, she found herself wanting to lick the plate clean.

Houston’s chef enjoyed the experience. “It was a long day of shooting (about 12 hours), but there was a live audience which kept me energized,” he said. As for his opinion of Bobby Flay? “There was a lot of banter while we were cooking which was fun. He’s a stand-up guy and I respect him a lot. I would take him on again anytime,” said Naderi.

Naderi, no stranger to the competition world, is a retired four-time champ of the Houston Press Iron Fork competition and was a finalist in Season 2 of “Guy’s Grocery Games.”

photos courtesy of Roost

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