From ‘Fuzzy Balls’ to Barbecue: What’s Hot in the Heights Now
THIS SUMMER, THE Heights has become a literal hotbed for restaurateurs and bar owners opening new doors. Here’s a look at newcomers to try, plus what’s on tap this summer at other favorites in the ’hood.
This new sushi spot in the M-K-T Heights mixed-use development checks all the boxes: sustainable seafood, vegan offerings, and vibrant fare and ambiance. From the Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group, the restaurant participates in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, which ensures that all of its fish has been responsibly caught and/or humanely raised — the menus even provide the sourcing. Its happy hour is a great way to fight inflation!
Agricole Hospitality is at it again – this time in a 1950s-era building right next door to Coltivare. Slated to open late summer, EZ’s will be a playful, laid-back bar with a vintage feel. Inspired by co-owners Matt Tanner, Morgan Weber, Ryan Pera, and Vincent Huynh’s collective love of a good neighborhood dive, the menu features well made cocktails (including on-tap and frozen), beers on tap and in bottle, a thoughtful wine selection, and no-frills bar snacks like Frito pies, chips and dips, and wagyu hot dogs.
Pho at Moon Rabbit
Modern Vietnamese headlines the menu at Moon Rabbit, a colorful new café and bar with a tropical look and mellow vibe. Expect five pho choices as well as vermicelli bowls, sandwiches and cool starters like spring rolls and beef carpaccio. For entrees, the peppery Shaken Beef served with white rice and a mouthwatering lime dipping sauce is a standout.
Cocktails at Heights & Co. (photo by Alex Montoya)
Owned by Brian Doke of Savoir and Patton’s across the street, Heights & Co. aims to offer an extraordinary outdoor experience. The dog-friendly, 100-seat patio features shade from a pergola, large trees, and umbrellas. Inside, guests will find seven booths and a 10-seat bar. Elevated bar bites include queso, dips, corn and sweet potato hush puppies, and main plates like pork schnitzel and an over-the-top Bordelaise burger.
This little Chinese joint in the Heights has a menu that should grab your attention. Although the food is quite classic, you wouldn’t know it: Dishes here have names like Numb Ass Shanky Leg (a.k.a. lamb stir fry); Perfumed Eggplant, Fuzzy Balls, Adam & Eve (spicy chili oil beef); and Comfort Combo (fried rice).
Things are getting peachy at Sweetgreen as its new early summer menu just went live. Expect bowls like Summer Teriyaki with blackened chicken; the peach and goat cheese salad with cucumbers, toasted almonds, herbs and balsamic vinaigrette; and a Peachy Green Goddess. A cool, substantial salad saves the day during summer, and thankfully, there are now locations all over town, including the newest in Cypress.
Brunch at Trattoria Sofia (photo by Jenn Duncan)
Berg Hospitality’s newcomer just launched its all-new weekend brunch menu. Italian-inspired brunch dishes include Uovo al Purgatorio (tomato sauce, sesame croutons, corona beans, poached eggs and Prosciutto di Parma); Polenta Fra’diavolo (creamy polenta, spicy tomato sauce, pan seared shrimp), and Focaccia di Mora (blackberry focaccia French toast with whipped mascarpone). Cheers to five new cocktails by James Beard-awarded mixologist Alba Huerta!
The latest project from restaurant group Delicious Concepts shines the spotlight on Korean barbecue. The restaurant’s focus is on “prime” graded proteins and dry-aged beef and pork, along with a vast selection of infused soju and Asian-inspired craft cocktails. Expect homemade kimchi and banchan, or side dishes, to accompany meats that are grilled at the table.
Since its opening during the early days of the pandemic, Heights-area Kin Dee has rolled with the punches and continues to evolve. It features daily food and drink specials, seasonal desserts and cocktails, as well as a beautiful brunch. Mark your calendars for its National Fried Chicken Day July 6.
What’s new at this hip wine cafe? Postino Wine Cult, a membership-only club, is the way to have great wine delivered to your home, get invitations to buzz-worthy experiences and catch other exclusive perks. Almost every neighborhood has a Postino (the newest is in Cinco Ranch) and its food menu should not be overlooked — try the baby gem lettuce Caesar and the grilled chicken skewers with yummy yogurt sauce.
Happy hour at Loro
Not only is the happy hour a steal for a late lunch or early dinner, there’s a new rib special on Sundays and Mondays starting at 4pm. Tuck into smoked baby back Duroc pork ribs prepared by the team behind Austin-based Franklin BBQ and Hai Hospitality (a.k.a the Uchi empire). Need to cool down? Don’t sleep on the slushies!
Strawberry salad at Verdine
Everyone knows a foodie who just happens to be vegan. Send them to chic Verdine in the Heights. The restaurant now offers breakfast, lunch, brunch and catering, as well as weekly specials during happy hour.
Squable's new corn mace choux
Belly up to the bar for the updated happy hour menu or dine on new dishes including hearty pappardelle con ragù bianco e funghi finished off with an aromatic truffle butter. Its new corn maque choux is a rich and creamy corn stew made with onions, red bell pepper, an array of spices, and — oh, yes — butter always makes everything better.
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