This Week in Food: New Restaurants Galore, Middle Eastern Mania and More!

Salatim at Hamsa (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

MAY IS BLOWING in restaurant newcomers, duplications and comebacks. Roll up your sleeves and dig in!



New EaDo Café with Culinary Cred

Strawberry Matcha, Ginger-Turmeric Spritz and Rosemary Caramel Iced Latte at Cafe Louie (photo by Becca Wright)

After much anticipation, Café Louie, an all-day cafe inspired by Mediterranean flavors, debuts today in EaDo. It’s from Angelo and Lucianna "Louie" Emiliani, the brother-and-sister chefs behind popular Angie’s Pizza. “It’s kind of like we’re pinching ourselves the whole day, to make sure this is really happening — and it is,” chef Louie said in a statement. “Because of the pandemic, we’ve been waiting and talking and planning for over a year.”

Angelo — a veteran of Uchi Houston, Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc, and Tartine in Los Angeles — and Louie, who worked at Tiny Boxwoods and Tartine, are bringing their A-game with a menu of inventive pastries and savory items laced with French, Mediterranean, Italian and Israeli flavors. Think roasted vegetable sandwiches; nutted Adventure bread with soft boiled egg; chef-driven kolaches, and chicken liver parfait. Anticipate creative lattes, matcha and natural wines to drink, as well as a more upscale dinner menu.

Rice Village Adds Another Gem

A skewer at Hamsa (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

Finally, modern Middle Eastern Hamsa owned by Sof Hospitality, who also operates Doris Metropolitan and Badolina Bakery, is open. Expect an exotic culinary experience with a sophisticated vibe, and dishes rich with vegetables, spices and one-of-a-kind flavor profiles including a variety of salatim dishes followed by small plates for sharing. Chef Yotam Dolev will dish out Eggplant Balady, Arak Muscles and a variety of hummuses and skewers. Soon-to-be lunch favorites include the Cauliflower Couscous Salad, Shakshuka and Grilled Branzino.

Its six-seat chef’s table offers the ultimate experience called “Yalla Yalla,” a curation of top chef selections. The table offers a prime view of the brick oven baking fresh pita throughout the day; also unique is its charcoal grill used exclusively to cook skewers.

Loro Asian Smokehouse Expands

Table spread at Loro

Hai Hospitality’s Loro Houston, located in the Heights, is spawning a twin this summer, also in Rice Village. Founded by James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole of Uchi fame and pitmaster Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbeque, the menu blends the robust flavors of traditional Texas BBQ with the fresh acidity of Southeast Asian sauces, herbs and finishes. The new location’s menu will include all the core dishes from Loro, along with signature boozy slushees, batch cocktails, beer, wine and sake.

“Houston is the ultimate foodie community,” said Cole in a release. “Not only do they embrace and support new concepts, but they’re not afraid to try new things and break from tradition. That’s what Loro is all about, so growing our presence in Houston felt natural.” Last week, we reported that Hai Hospitality would be opening Uchiko on Post Oak on May 23.

New Goode Co. Concept Opens in The Woodlands

Gulf Snapper Crudoa at Fish Camp

Levi Goode, president of the Goode Co. Barbeque empire, has introduced his newest concept in The Woodlands. Dubbed Fish Camp, the place is inspired by Goode’s family excursions to their fish camp on Christmas Bay. The menu highlights a fresh take on Gulf seafood and regional faves with dishes like Texas striped bass with salsa verde; hearth roasted yellowfin tuna with Gulf shrimp in Veracruzana sauce; and center table-worthy sides including crispy crab-boiled potatoes and blue-crab claws in mojoverde. Margarita pie for dessert! Goode also has reopened Goode Co. Barbecue in The Woodlands, which shuttered during the pandemic.

Uptown Park Gets Even Sweeter

Gelato at Rocambolesc USA

Spanish import Rocambolesc USA chocolatier and gelateria recently bowed in Uptown Park from pastry chef Jordi Roca, his wife Aejandra Rivas, and the Torres family, who run BCN & MAD in Houston. Roca’s mind-bending creations are a must-see: There’s a popsicle that looks like a Sci-Fi flower in bloom; frozen yogurt with milk-caramel sauce and guava jam surrounded by a puff of cotton candy; and a fancy ice cream sandwich sealed in brioche. Yes, really.


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