Three New Restaurants from Celeb Chefs Open This Weekend! Plus: Free Tacos!

Three New Restaurants from Celeb Chefs Open This Weekend! Plus: Free Tacos!

Bar Bludorn (photo by Claudia Casbarian) and soft serve at Little Rey

MARCH IS SPRINGING forth new dining experiences, and many have been in the works for years. Whether craving modern American, rib-sticking nostalgic classics, or intriguing Northern Mexican fare, snag a table soon.

Bar Bludorn

Bar Bludorn (photo by Claudia Casbarian)

It’s about time that Houston’s top chefs move in on the Memorial area — specifically, charming Hedwig Village. Chef-restaurateur Aaron Bludorn swings open the doors to his newest venture, located in the old Jonathan’s the Rub, today, March 29. And although it sounds like a bar, it’s really a stylish restaurant with a roomy bar serving simple, delicious fare.

"Opening Bar Bludorn in Memorial is a continuation of our journey to create inviting spaces that celebrate food, community and hospitality. And just like Bludorn and Navy Blue, Bar Bludorn will embody an elevated approachability,” says Aaron Bludorn. "Our goal with this concept was to create a space that feels uniquely

‘us’ while also tailoring it to fit seamlessly into the fabric of the neighborhood."

Anticipate modern-American bistro classics, like oysters three ways, Ora King salmon, steaks and fried chicken executed by executive chef Alexandra Peña. She also dishes up a few surprises, like beautiful pasta carbonara with fresh spring peas and poached egg yolk, and cornmeal-crusted snapper with kale and black-eyed peas. The space was designed by architect, design and planning firm Gensler with a sophisticated yet approachable look that blends upscale elegance with a warm tavern vibe.

Little Rey

Tacos at Little Rey (photo by Andrew Thomas Lee)

On April 1, Houston welcomes chef Ford Fry’s (of Superica and State of Grace) newest addition near Highland Village. To celebrate, the fast-casual Northern Mexican concept will host a free breakfast taco pop-up on Sat., Mar. 30, starting at 10am — no kidding!

The restaurant menu features wood-roasted “chicken al carbon” at its core plus staples like al carbon tacos, traditional street style tacos, salads and fresh salsas all on hand-made tortillas. In true Texas style, migas breakfast tacos and cult-favorite pancakes served with buttermilk syrup are offered every weekend. Whole, bone-in chicken al carbon for the family, served every day, is available both in-house and for takeaway.

For a sweet treat, Little Rey offers an assortment of rotating soft serve flavors — think tres leches. Its outdoor walk-up window deemed “Uno Mas!” makes skipping the line easy to order another marg or take-out orders. Designed in partnership with Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, the restaurant’s 7,000-square-foot space boasts an expansive, covered patio for al fresco dining and margarita sipping with scents of smoked wood (and sounds of Willie and Waylon) wafting through the air.

Late August

This highly anticipated newcomer from celebrated chef Chris Williams of Lucille’s Hospitality Group has bowed in The Ion in Midtown, joining other restaurants like Andiron in the complex. Late August takes its name from the building’s history as a former Sears department store, and the annual Sears catalog, which arrived in mailboxes towards the end of August. The intriguing menu executed by executive chef Sergio Hidalgo is based on both chefs’ culinary experiences. For instance, Southern-style gumbo is made with chorizo and garnished with nopales, while pork ribs are finished with achiote glaze, and orecchiette pasta features pureed greens, coconut cream and wild-rice crunch. Hidalgo, formerly with The Original Ninfa’s, brings influences from the Houston classic as well as restaurants he’s cooked at in Arizona and Seattle.

GM-sommelier Danny Davis has curated a wine list spotlighting minority- and female-owned wineries and small vineyards. Gin Design Group drew inspiration from the iconic department store with original Sears terrazzo tile flooring and vibrant jewel tones of teal, burnt orange and salmon. Other elements include curvaceous deco architecture, a custom marble bar with contrasting inlaid marble, and sculptural metallic mirrors. Artwork by Houston artist and Hogan Brown Gallery Curator Robert Hodge overlooks the dining space.

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