Devouring Houston 2024: A Tasty Round-Up of What’s New and Notable

Devouring Houston 2024: A Tasty Round-Up of What’s New and Notable

Alexandra Peña (photo by Jhane Hoang)

THE CITY'S DINING scene has never been bigger or better. Step inside the trendiest and tastiest H-Town restaurants now!

Du Jour: Turning Blue

Alexandra Peña (photo by Jhane Hoang)

The industry pros behind Bludorn and Navy Blue — bolstered by a James Beard nod for Best Hospitality — are opening their latest project in Hedwig Village soon. Bar Bludorn will be led by chef Alexandra Peña, a bombshell who is responsible for turning the Bludorns’ fine-dining fare into that of a more approachable, neighborhood-staple tavern. Peña, 30, was raised in Cypress, and draws inspiration from her kitchen-savvy grandmother.

Du Jour: Going Big

The Miss Moneypenny martini at Little’s (photo by Arturo Olmos)

Pristine seafood and a happening bar — what’s not to love about buzzy seafood palace Little’s Oyster Bar from Pappas Restaurant Group? Chef Jason Ryczek, a California transplant and caviar expert, continues to wow with his elegant and reverent culinary style incorporating the top seafood of the moment. Don’t miss hits like Texas Redfish with Castelvetrano olive salsa verde; chicken-fried American red snapper; and blue-crab-broiled oysters with Parmesan, breadcrumbs, and sauce choron.

People: Mideast Magic

Yotam Dolev (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

Inspired by the Shabbat dinners of his childhood, Hamsa’s exec chef Yotam Dolev fuses classic and modern Israeli cuisine to brilliant effect, from silky tahini cleverly blended with butternut squash to gorgeously grilled shrimp skewers in vivacious lemon chimichurri. Hamsa’s owners received a 2024 James Beard nod for Outstanding Restaurateur.

Du Jour: Call It a Comeback

Linquine Pescatora at Sorrento

A beloved Italian stalwart is reborn, as Sorrento Ristorante refreshes under new owners: Robert and Melissa Salim are former patrons who loved it so much they bought it! Think not only classics like lobster tortellini with handmade pasta, but also new pizzas, salads and desserts. Holy cannoli! And it’s not just for fancy dinners anymore. The ideal spot for biz lunches thanks to its graciously spaced-out seating, Sorrento adds brunch March 3. Expect a new top-tier player in the elegant upper echelon of Sunday Funday.

People: Girl Power

Benchawan Painter, a.k.a. Chef G (photo by Jhane Hoang)

Chef Benchawan Jabthong Painter, who won the 2023 James Beard for Best Chef: Texas, couldn’t have known what her future held when she opened Street to Kitchen in the East End during the height of the pandemic. But her “unapologetically Thai” food acquired lines out the door, and she just moved into a three-times-larger space down the street. She also recently opened Th Prsrv, the world’s first Choctaw-Thai restaurant, in Kemah.

Du Jour: Endless Summer

An explosion of flavors at Jūn

Still on the best-new-restaurant lists across the nation after opening a year ago, Jun charms with its fusion menu and laid-back setting. Its most recent accolade is a semifinalist nomination for the 2024 James Beard Awards category of Best New Restaurant. Together with biz partner Henry Lu, chef Evelyn Garcia weaves dishes that nod to her Mexican-Salvadorian heritage and his Chinese heritage. Witness wonderous plates like roasted carrots with salsa matcha and Top Chef-lauded lamb shank with curry.

Du Jour: Numbers Game

Key lime pie at Steak 48 (photo by Woncho Lee)

A sceney steakhouse issues a challenge: Can you save room for this delightfully dense, triple-layer key lime pie with fresh whipped cream and lime “caviar”? At Steak 48, where the menu boasts decadence like chicken-fried lobster tails and Thai-chili-braised pork belly (those are just the starters!), it’s a must.

With Expertise in Blondes, Extensions and More, the Janelle Alexis Team Is a Go-To Salon

YOU CAN'T LIMIT Janelle to one title – Hairdresser. Her career and business has been established and built on a strong foundation. Using her two business degrees + one more in-process, this enables Janelle and the team to deliver not only a customer-focused experience, but a foundationally solid business. There is much more than meets the eye, and in sharing a little bit about Janelle, she was not only an international hair extension educator for over 14 years, but brings extensive expertise to blondes. She rounds this out with her previously launched namesake cosmetic line, which is a perfect complement to her belief that “Beauty is our Business”.

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Jack Vielhauer, Cher Baker, Lindsay Yates, Sarah Smith, Aaron Matthews, Mario Gudmundsson

SEVERE WEATHER — NO, not the Derecho or Hurricane Beryl, but one of the other storms that have battered Houston this season — did its best to derail CityBook’s second annual “Cool 100” party. But hundreds of H-Town’s most notable VIPs and influencers braved the elements and made the event a smash.

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HOUSTON WAS DEALING with crisis levels of pet homelessness before Hurricane Beryl wreaked havoc on the city. But this week, Houston PetSet coordinated with The Babinski Foundation, an animal shelter in Minnesota, to provide relief across multiple channels.
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