Michelin-Starred Chefs Announce Plans for New Restaurants at MFAH’s Kinder Building

Salvatore Martone, Jonathan Benno and Alain Verzeroli, photo by Shannon O'Hara

THE MFAH'S NANCY and Rich Kinder Building, which first opened in November, will soon be home to two concepts by two different Michelin-starred chefs, both with the New York-based group Bastion Restaurants.


The first, Cafe Leonelli, is scheduled to open in mid-March, with traditional Italian cuisine by Jonathan Benno. Expect friendly environs and an accessible price-point, with items like house-baked focaccia, polenta and more, served buffet-style. Within, there will be an outpost of famous pastry chef Salvatore Martone's Miami-based ice cream shop Frohzen; the creations are almost as artful as the masterpieces on display throughout the rest of the building. (And, for what it's worth, in the restaurant itself: Trenton Doyle-Hancock's wall-size mural, "Color Flash for Chat and Chew, Paris Texas in Seventy-Two," depicts an abstracted forest. And Spencer Finch's Moon Dust (Apollo 17) hangs overhead.)

The second concept, Le Jardinier, a full-service restaurant from chef Alain Verzeroli, will open about a month later, with a menu inspired by "the rhythm of nature," as portrayed through seasonal, vegetable-forward plates. Al fresco dining will take place amid the Sculpture Garden.

Bastion, which is behind the successful La Table on Post Oak, sought out Houston as a destination for additional locations, citing the city's friendly culinary climate. "We have seen firsthand how this city is such a great incubator of culinary talent," said Antonio Begonja, chief operating officer. "To that end, we wanted to bring the brands we developed in New York and Miami to this culturally-diverse community so they can continue to grow."

Food

READY TO MAKE some changes to your outdoor space? Want to create the backyard paradise you have been thinking of? Refresh your spring and summer setting with Brixos.

Keep Reading Show less

HOUSTON, WHICH WAS just last week named by Rolling Stone as the "Hot Scene" of 2021 in an article highlighting the city's resurgent rap community, seems to be making it onto a lot of "best of" lists recently, and yesterday we made it onto another one. TIME revealed yesterday its annual list of the "World's Greatest Places," and Houston made the cut.

Keep Reading Show less
People + Places

Sherry Mary made with Sherry and Madeira wine grown only on an island off the coast of Africa

POSTINO WINE CAFE, the beloved, Arizona-headquartered collection of beer and wine-focused restaurants with buzzing Houston outposts in the Heights and Montrose, just rolled out its first-ever cocktail menu. And although all of the cocktails on the refreshingly low alcohol content menu are spirit-free — think cocktails crafted from fortified wines, aperitifs and exotic beers instead of the usual, throw-your-afternoon-off-track fare — the spirited menu is bold in both vision and flavor.

Keep Reading Show less
Food