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Latest Dish: December 2019

Houston’s best food news, in small bites ...

Katy Freeway commuters have probably noticed the giant neon sign bedecking Goode Company Seafood’s new space, just steps from its former, smaller location. A fifth-generation Texan, owner Levi Goode collaborated with Gin Design Group and Studio Red to incorporate fun fishing-inspired décor and architectural elements throughout, as in a large boat-like raw bar and a hand-painted map of the Gulf Coast. Expect new menu items as well, many developed by Goode himself, like fried-oyster-BLT sliders and impressive new seafood towers. Goode stuff! 10201 Katy Freeway, 713.464.7393

Perry’s in the River Oaks Shopping Center remains a favorite happy-hour-and-beyond destination, and will surely stay buzzy thanks to a handful of off-the-menu items that make the most of the season. Ask for the harvest salad with apple-cider-flax-seed vinaigrette, or the white-bean-pork chili with hatch green chilis and chunks of Perry’s Famous Pork Chop. And the pumpkin cheesecake is enveloped by a pecan-ginger-snap crust and drizzled with salted caramel for an anything-but-basic finish to any meal. 1997 W. Gray St., 346.293.8400

Another River Oaks hot spot, Relish Restaurant & Bar, has also revamped its menu with wonderful wintry dishes. The Cajun hot crab dip and fried pickled okra tickle taste buds to start, and an eight-ounce beef tenderloin — plated with roasted winter mushrooms and served over creamy polenta — is being dubbed “winter on a plate.” 2810 Westheimer Rd., 713.599.1960

H-Town goes MAD for brunch! And now, MAD is serving Sunday brunch from 11am-3pm, with hearty faves like the Tortilla Española, a potato-and-onion omelet. The Salmón Ahumado is a Spanish-savvy take on lox, served on crispy bread. And the Ostras special — best washed down by a Gazpacho Gin & Tonic — includes shucked oysters, horseradish and spicy mignonette sauce for $20. In River Oaks District, 281.888.2770

November saw a couple of highly anticipated openings, including EaDo bakery Koffeteria (1110 Hutchins St.) from Tiny Boxwoods and Top Chef: Just Desserts alum Vanarich Kuch. Expect unique pastries and breakfast bites — Hot Cheetos croissant, anyone? — in a light and bright mid-mod space. And Downtown’s new global steakhouse Guard & Grace (500 Dallas St., 346.326.0789) has bowed. The restaurant boasts several spaces within its 15,000 square feet, including a private dining wing upstairs with its own bar, lounge and kitchen.

Goat-cheese fondue at Whiskey Cake, now open  in Stafford

Goat-cheese fondue at Whiskey Cake, now open in Stafford

Whiskey Cake has opened its third Houston-area outpost, in Stafford. The menu of craveable comfort food includes thick-cut candied bacon, and the Pickled Rachel sandwich with Wagyu pastrami, pickled cabbage slaw and comeback sauce. And take an actual Whiskey Cake home for the holidays! The dessert, made with bourbon anglaise, toffee sauce, spiced pecans and whipped cream, is available through Dec. 24. 12575 Southwest Freeway, 281.729.8333

If you need another excuse to check out the newly renovated Benjy’s in Rice Village, what better reason is there than brunch? The new menu boasts hearty biscuits and gravy (with smoked brisket!) and okonomiyaki pancakes with cabbage, bacon, fried egg and togarashi bearnaise — plus plenty of pretty sips to wash it all down. Bonus: Channel those weekend vibes early — brunch is also served on Fridays! 2424 Dunstan Rd., 713.522.7602

AT TOP: Levi Goode, whose Goode Co. Seafood recently relocated