FROM UPSCALE ITALIAN and Thai to Tex-Mex and more casual fare, there are many new ways to get your taste buds primed for a new year of eating in H-Town. You’ve been cooped up too long — here’s where to pull up a chair!
Fajitas at HiWay
Agricole Hospitality’s EaDo concept Indianola recently morphed into a lively Tex-Mex bar and grill. Highlights include mesquite grilled fajita plates; tamarind grilled quail; chipotle glazed shrimp brochette, and Guerrero pozole, a flavorful version of traditional Mexican soup. Count on seven margaritas, all kinds of cool cocktails, and an impressive menu of tequilas.
Craving expertly fried chicken? Make a quick stop at the newest Layne’s in Montrose, a fast-casual spot hailing from Bryan, Texas. The Aggie favorite flaunts crispy chicken tender sandwiches, crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, potato salad, and milkshakes. Tenders can be paired with one of four dipping sauces for the ultimate midnight snack. Dine-in or drive-thru.
Vinny's Pizza at Lightnin's
Come for the live music but stay for the well-crafted cocktails and mouthwatering food from Vinny’s pizza joint next door. From the team behind EZ’s Liquor Lounge, the divey bar offers plenty of entertainment including a large dance floor, pool tables, darts, pinball games, and TVs to watch all the games.
Lombardi's Risotto Limone Capesante
This posh newcomer to Uptown Park comes from Dallas-based restaurant group Lombardy Family Concepts. Residing in the shuttered The Tasting Room space, the modern, luxurious restaurant specializes in freshly made pastas alongside shareable sides like meatballs, wood-grilled octopus, and entrees including steaks, osso bucco and whole branzino.
Maine-ly lobster roll
Inner-loop seafood lovers will rejoice when this New England-style sandwich shop opens its second location in Sawyer Yards on Jan. 27. Luscious lobster rolls (including new specialty rolls like fried lobster tail), clam chowder, fried clam strips, shrimp or crab rolls, meatball subs and fish ‘n chips await. “I’ve always admired Maine cooking, especially my mom’s,” owner Buddy Charity said in a press release. “There is little Maine or New England cooking in in Houston, and we wanted to change that.” Guests can BYOB at both locations.
Street to Kitchen (photo by Richard Casteel)
In case you missed it, Benchawan Painter, recently awarded James Beard Best Chef Texas, opened her newly relocated Street to Kitchen over the holidays in The Plant. Expect an exotic and much larger space than her tiny original and a concise menu of Thai classics done her way. Top-notch dishes to consider: Green curry chicken; steamed pork and shiitake dumplings; Drunken noodles chicken or veggie; garlic chive pancake.
Tavola's linguine with lobster
Voila! La Table is now Tavola, from The Bastion Collection and Berg Hospitality. The concept explores the various culinary regions of Italy with exec-chef Luca Di Benedetto helming the kitchen. Expect lovely salads such as Crab Avocado and Tavola Caesar with options to add proteins like prime sirloin or prawns. Pasta dishes including luxe lobster linguine, veal Milanesee, and Prawns Buzara headline the entees. The glamourous new design in rich coral hues features a gallery, brasserie-style bar and enclosed patio.
Beef short rib at Wild Oats (photo by Becca Wright)
The newly relocated Spring Branch spot from Underbelly Hospitality has introduced brunch service and new daily hours of operation. On the Texas-style family-friendly menu, anticipate Armadillo eggs, campechana, a giant short rib, chicken fried steak, queso fundido, and a new seafood boil.
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