The Latest in a Wave of Vegas-Style Haunts, Albi Has Bold Menu to Match its Style

The Latest in a Wave of Vegas-Style Haunts, Albi Has Bold Menu to Match its Style

Wagyu tartare with harissa

BELLY DANCERS WITH flaming candelabras on their heads. A house band playing jazz mixes of pop songs. A DJ on weekend nights until 2am.

What’s this club? It’s Albi, the new Middle Eastern restaurant on West Gray, joining fellow newcomer Zanti and mainstays B19, La Griglia and Perry’s to create a sceney district.

Vegas-style Albi is outfitted with dramatic chandeliers, posh red banquettes, and a few neon lights for good measure. Sibling owners Nano and Jimy Fakhoury of Mary’z Mediterranean worked with architect Adel Sadek, who also did the interiors of similarly vibey Ciel in River Oaks.

Perhaps the best surprise at surprise-filled Albi, though, is the food. Mark Cox consulted on the menu for Executive Chef Christian Hernandez, formerly of March. The pair came up with Lebanese, Greek and Turkish dishes that Nano believes will resonate in the “relaxed but buzzy corridor,” referring to the stretch of West Gray that connects Montrose and River Oaks.

Must-tries include the veal kefta, tender meatballs coated in lemony tarator sauce and served on a cinnamon stick, a la lollipops. And the feta dumplings are as indulgent and delicious as the name implies, served with a citrus labne.

As for the mains, don’t skip the lavender lamb rack served with zhoug, a bright, spicy cilantro sauce from Yemen.

Fun twists on classic cocktails are perfect for washing down all of this deliciousness — and also for sipping while taking in the scene. Try the gin and tonic with a dramatic showing of herbs and flowers on top. And for those there till 2am? The espresso martini with cinnamon vodka and Turkish coffee.

Lebanese Gin and Tonic

Lemon Halva Tart

Spinach and Feta Bulema

Texas Wagyu Ribeye

Turkish Expresso Martini

‘Natural Passion’ Makes Fourth-Gen Houstonian Sarah Callaway Sulma a Realty Star

AS A FOURTH-generation Houstonian, Sarah Callaway Sulma has a unique and invaluable view of the city. Her deep seated connection to Houston led her down the path to becoming one the city's most well-respected, and renowned real estate agents. Sarah's natural passion for the real estate industry from a young age led her to where she is today. "I know that it sounds cheesy, but it is the truth! I wanted to be in real estate from a young age," Sarah shares. "The late-great restaurateur, Tony Vallone, put me together with real estate legend, Martha Turner, and Martha put me together with Cathy Cagle. The rest is history-13 years of success and counting!" Now with over 13 years in real estate and $55M+ in residential real estate sales, Sarah brings a rare combination of knowledge, skill, and advocacy to each one of her clients.

Keep ReadingShow less

Lance McCullers, Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker

AN ANNUAL EVENT to raise funds for some of the top Astros players’ favorite causes knocked it out of the park this year, bringing in a record haul of $600,000.

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places

Hugo Ortega (photo by Gittings Photography)

WHAT STARTED AS a casual watering hole with simple soups, salads and sandwiches — and a popcorn machine in the bar — is now a top restaurant owned by one of the city’s most respected restaurateurs and a James Beard Award-winning chef.

Keep ReadingShow less