Restaurants Offering Healthy Options to Kickstart 2021

Hard Seltzer Cocktail at FM Kitchen & Bar

TWO LOCAL HOT spots are serving up new menu items to help Houstonians actuallyenjoy sticking to their resolutions.


Washington Ave's FM Kitchen & Bar, which is set to open a second location in Montrose in the spring, has refreshed its happy-hour offerings and has rolled out new rotating daily specials and a late-night menu. Lighter dishes now available for 25 percent off during happy-hour — weekdays from 3-6:30pm! — include jalapeno-pea hummus, crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon jam, and shrimp remoulade with housemade potato chips. Chef Bety Berrera has also added grilled salmon tacos and salsa-verde-topped flank steak to the main menu.

Shrimp remoulade with housemade potato chips at FM Kitchen & Bar

Low- and no-alcohol cocktails, while introduced during Dry January, will remain on the menu even as the calendar pages turn. Some are made with hard seltzer in lieu of liquor, like the low-ABV cosmo or mojito. And FM Kitchen is now pouring the non-alcoholic spirit brand Seedlip, as in the Bachata Barbara tiki cocktail made with Seedlip Grove 42, passion fruit, lemon and ginger beer.

Meanwhile, Bellagreen's seasonal menu touts two chef's specials, available during dinner only. The Paleo Prime Ribeye is topped with avocado-chimichurri sauce and served with bacon-jam-tossed Brussels sprouts. And the new seared almond-crusted snapper is plated atop lemon-cilantro mashed potatoes.

Other new menu items available all day include a broccoli-smoked-gouda soup, Paleo salmon tacos, and a pear-and-cranberry salad with roasted butternut squash and goat cheese. (Wash it all down with Bellagreen's full-bodied winter sangria!)

Food

“I WISH I came here sooner to experience this amazing city,” says advanced sommelier Rachel Van Til of her move to Houston just one year before the pandemic lockdown. When Covid appeared in 2020, along with layoffs and closings, it led to a career swerve for Van Til, a working mom who was a sommelier at Pappas Steakhouse. She took over the wine program at The Clubs at Houston Oaks, a posh (initiation fees can range into the six figures) members-only club northwest of the city with 10 lodges, 17 lakes, 900 acres and six dining options. Speaking of lots of good food and vino, the club’s 2022 Wine and Food Classic is this February 12 — it’s a great chance to taste hundreds of wines from around the world and learn about them from winemakers and professionals. “It’s our largest event of the year and it’s open to the public.” In our Q&A, Rachel dishes on her favorite date night, best wines to try this year and her brush with the me-too movement!

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