Here's the Dish: Five Exciting Restaurant Openings to Jumpstart Your Holidays

B.B. Italia (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

HUNGRY FOR KOREAN, Italian, sushi, Tex-Mex, or maybe just not sure? H-Town restaurants are on a roll, so read up on the newbies to whet your appetite!


TEN Sushi + Cocktail Bar

TEN (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

TEN Sushi + Cocktail Bar just swung open its doors in the 200 Park Place building in River Oaks. The Southern California hotspot from Daily Dose Hospitality Group — the team behind Bosscat Kitchen & Libations — is serving up a sophisticated full-service sushi bar, signature black-rice rolls, wok specialties and an elevated cocktail program. The sexy, 2,800-square-foot space, with a patio overlooking Mid Lane, is a collaboration between co-owner and chief designer Leslie Nguyen; Josh Weisman, owner of the Houston-based builder Construction Concepts; and California artist Jason Roose. This second location for TEN weaves unique Houston-inspired imagery into its Southern California design. "TEN will be a great complement to the River Oaks food scene,” Nguyen said in a release. “We bring a lot of energy and stunning views throughout the restaurant, and we can’t wait to show Houston what we’re all about.”

Zanti Cucina Italiana

Zanti's Scampi Aglio Olio & Peperoncino

River Oaks Shopping Center touts a sprawling and stylish newcomer just in time for large holiday gatherings and festivities. The original Woodlands-based Zanti Cucina Italiana was founded by restaurateur Santiago Peláez, who is passionate about Italian food and wanted to exemplify the art, architecture and food of Italian culture with a second location. Contemporary and open, his newly constructed space is designed with several dining options including the open kitchen with wood burning oven, large patio, and a luxurious bar tucked off to one side of the restaurant (don’t miss the daily happy hour). Standout dishes include the grilled Zanti artichoke with pancetta, sundried tomatoes, white wine and stracciatella cheese; wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas; and housemade pasta such as luscious lobster tagliolini with saffron sauce, and the pappardelle al ragú di ossobuco. Mains like rib-eye Tagliata are easy to share, and to keep the experience authentic, the wine list touts myriad interesting Italian reds and whites by the glass and bottle.

Karne Korean Steakhouse

Karne (photo by Jenn Duncan)

In the works for years, glitzy Karne Korean Steakhouse is now heating up the Heights with tableside grilling and top-notch beef. Founder Jason Cho, of Houston’s Dak and Bop and Tom n Toms Coffee in the Galleria, has appointed Korean-born chef Yurum Nam as exec chef and partner. Prime-grade beef and American and imported Wagyu dry-aged in-house is the star of the menu, with each steak cooked tableside and seared on a grill inset at your table. Steaks are served with kimchi and pickles, a scallion salad and dipping sauces. But it doesn’t stop there: Seafood lovers can anticipate showy seafood towers, crudos, seasonal oysters and poached jumbo tiger shrimp, as well as other plates like rib-eye hot pot and pork belly with micro green kimchi salad and maple cream.

Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina

Goode Co. Restaurants has opened its newest and third location of Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina in the Heights. The menu created by Levi Goode honors his Mexican-immigrant grandmother, Emma Longoria Goode. She became a Tex-Mex pioneer from her life cooking for her family with ingredients found on both sides of the border. “We want our guests to feel like they are pulling up a seat at our family’s table,” says Goode. Expect comfort food favorites like seafood campechana, mesquite-grilled fajitas, carnitas, Texas quail, redfish on the half shell, and more. The casual, Southwestern-chic space is brightened with tall windows by day and handcrafted Mexican pendant lights by night, booths with handmade punched tin light fixtures, and a sleek stone bar top with leather barstools.

B.B. Italia

Arancini at B.B. Italia (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

Recently debuted in Sugar Land Town Square, B.B. Italia Bistro & Bar serves classic Italian-American food with modern twists in a lively setting. “Growing up in Manhattan, I ate at incredible Italian-American restaurants which not only inspired several of the dishes on our menu but also the overall design of the space,” says Benjamin Berg, founder and CEO of Berg Hospitality Group. To design the interior, Berg tapped Sam Governale, an operating partner at Berg Hospitality, and local architect Isaac Preminger. With more than 60 dishes made from scratch daily, expect shareable appetizers including a hot antipasto tower; homemade soups and salads; pastas; pizzas; and Italian plates with chicken, veal, lamb, beef and fish. B.B. Italia’s cocktails were designed by James Beard award-winning mixologist Alba Huerta of Julep.

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