SUMMER HEAT NEVER stopped pioneering restaurateurs from forging ahead to make Houston’s culinary landscape even more delicious. Read up on five new restaurants to try — and a (not-so-) little something sweet.
Gatlin's Fins & Feathers
The Clucker board at Fins & Feathers (photo by Becca Wright)
In the Independence Heights neighborhood, Gatlin’s barbecue pitmaster Greg Gatlin dishes out a Houston spin on Southern staples at his new Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers. Arrive hungry for expertly fried chicken and fried fish with a variety of fixings (and don’t skip the buttery biscuits); “everything” gumbo packed with chicken, shrimp, crab, and sausage; and the H-Town hot sandwich starring a hunk of fried fish or chicken dunked in spicy Viet-Cajun sauce. Start light with the charred Brussel sprouts salad, and then splurge on the orange Creamsicle doughnut — topped with vanilla ice cream and orange peel. To drink, sip beer, wine or bubbles.
Summer rolls at Dinette
You wouldn’t know it from the name, but Dinette is a modern Vietnamese restaurant and bar. Founded by Jason Andaya and Raymond Chan, owners of Hando and Kanpai Club, the newbie is getting lots of action for its vegan specialties, unique creations like square eggrolls and Vietnamese pizza, and colorful tiki cocktails. Protein dishes including pho rolls laced with steak and seared cod with dill and vermicelli tempt the eye as well as the palate. The sleek, intimate space is split between bar tables and dining tables with pretty rattan wall panels and soft pink lighting, flattering to both the guests and the Instagram-worthy cuisine.
Community-minded California restaurant The Stand will bow in The Woodlands Aug. 10 in the Hughes Landing development. It will be the company’s first Texas location. Described as “American classics redefined,” The Stand serves a wide variety of sandwiches, burgers, big salads and shakes in a fast-casual atmosphere. The restaurant, which was founded in 2003 in Los Angeles, prides itself on using high quality ingredients and offering a more upscale environment than similar concepts.
Pudgy's Fine Cookies
Pudgy's owner Van Teamer
What was once a pop-up cookie shop featuring crave-worthy, super-fat cookies created by owner Van Teamer is now her own Pudgy’s Fine Cookies brick-and-mortar in the Heights. Its original Pudgy cookie boasts a crispy exterior and chewy interior with gooey chips of Callebaut chocolate. New flavors on offer include Bonanza brûlée, a caramelized banana cookie with a creme brûlée center; Thickerdoodle; PB Sensation, Double Trouble (read: lots of chocolate), and more decadence.
“What began as a family pandemic project has become so much more," Teamer said in a news release. "Our goal was to create an amazing cookie made with high-quality ingredients that made people smile. We’ve been blown away by how we’ve been received by Houston, and can’t wait to share even more Pudgy cookies with our city and beyond with our new space.”
Jersey diner fries and more at The Upside
The Upside Pub in Garden Oaks from husband-and-wife team Andy and Paige Lujan will hold its grand opening Aug. 9. Paige, who serves as the bar's managing partner, has major cred in the craft-beer industry, including opening myriad bars in California. “Every neighborhood deserves a neighborhood pub, and after a lot of hard work, we are finally ready to bring this pub to the GOOF neighborhood,” she said in a statement. Expect 15 beers on its initial tap list from area breweries such as Eureka Heights and 8th Wonder, along with wine, cocktails, and pub noshes like queso, Jersey diner fries, and spicy boiled peanuts. Look for a variety of board games, a shuffleboard table, and TV sports.
Photo by Raydon Creative
A new concept that'll appeal to foodies, night owls and restaurant-industry folks alike opens this week on Washington. Rosland's Grill & Bar will serve seafood, salads and sandwiches into the wee hours of the morning — 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2am all other days. Proprietors Don and Kim Cristopher of DKC Companies hope guests will "settle in" to a booth and stay a while. The inviting 6,000-square-foot space features murals by local artists. In developing the menu, chef Cameron Cain prioritized quality ingredients — think aquaponic greens — and modest pricing. He adds that the bar is "built around the historic style of the 1880s Brunswick bar with high craft cocktails, finest liquors, frozen drinks, curated wines and select beers from local breweries."
“We’re thrilled to offer an early-morning dining option where service guests, along with our neighborhood guests, can sit down and enjoy a meal, fine drink or mocktails once they have finished their late-night shift,” said Don in a statement.
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