New ‘Storage Closet’ Bosa Nova Lounge and Pera’s Pimento Cheese and Hot Dogs Top News for Foodies

Ben Berg of Emilia's Havana (photo by Leah Wilson)

WELL, HELLO NOVEMBER! Whether you’re hungry for exotic eats, craving more barbecue, or thirsty for nostalgia, here’s the latest dish on the everchanging H-Town food scene.


Tim Ho Wan

Dim sum enthusiasts have been anticipating the first Houston-area opening of Tim Ho Wan for more than a year, also known as the “World’s Cheapest Michelin-Star Restaurant.” The good news? Fans only have a few more weeks to wait. When Tim Ho Wan opens, nearby Katy will be joining the ranks of Las Vegas, New York's East Village and Hell's Kitchen Honolulu and Irvine, Calif. Globally, the chain operates 60 restaurants in 13 countries.

The Katy restaurant spans nearly 5,000 square feet — much larger than the original Tim Ho Wan. Like its other outposts, the dim sum menu is more focused on quality than quantity. Guests shouldn’t expect roving dim sum carts that are popular at spots such as Ocean Palace in Houston’s Asia town. Instead, dumplings are hand-folded and steamed to order. Turnip cakes are fried until they’re golden on the outside. Thin egg noodles coated in sweet soy sauce are tossed in a wok until just crisp on the ends. And the surprises just keep coming.

Emilia’s Havana

Alba Huerta and Ben Berg (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

Discreetly located next to The Annie Café & Bar in what was originally a storage closet, the latest from Berg Hospitality Group is a 50-seat lounge reminiscent of a vibrant 1950s Cuban club with a luxe Latin vibe. Guests can anticipate interpretations of classic and contemporary cocktails designed by mixologist extraordinaire Alba Huerta, chef-driven small plates, as well as nightly live “bossa nova style” music and tunes by local DJs on weekend nights. “When presented with this small space by my landlord, which was formerly a storage closet, my immediate thought was to create an intimate, speakeasy style lounge with live music every night. This is something I feel Houston is still really lacking,” says Benjamin Berg, Berg Hospitality CEO & founder.

The Pit Room

(photo by Jenn Duncan)

Sambrooks Management Company (SMC) is on a smokin’ hot trail. The company will expand The Pit Room hand-crafted barbecue concept to Memorial City making this the second location for The Pit Room. SMC also owns The Patio at The Pit Room, 1751 Sea and Bar, and Candente, as well as Andiron modern steak house opening late this year. The Pit Room Memorial City will occupy a 6,240-square-foot space with an attached 2,610-square-foot patio.

It will mirror the rustic-casual original Montrose location serving the same Central Texas-style barbecue, plus its popular tacos, desserts, a full bar and more. “The Pit Room is our original concept, really our baby, and we look forward to serving the residents in Memorial and on the West side,” said Michael Sambrooks, owner of the Pit Room, in a press release.

Burger Bodega

Bodega Burger owner Abbas Dhanani (photo by Michael Ma)

Abbas Dhanani will open his first brick-and-mortar location of his popular smash burger pop-up Burger Bodega on Washington Ave. Nov. 3. Houston will be now able to indulge in these juicy epic burgers at its permanent location and can anticipate new menu additions along with the classic double smash burgers, chopped fries, and a fun New York-inspired bodega atmosphere.

EZ’s Liquor Lounge

Hillbilly Highball (photo Mikah Danae)

Agricole Hospitality just opened a new bar right next door to its Coltivare in the Houston Heights. Matt Tanner, an Anvil alum with experience at Pappas Restaurants as a concept beverage manager, co-owns the new bar. Tanner says in press release that his vision is “a place that people want to hang out day or night, with something for everyone. Our hope is for EZ’s to be that go-to, comfortable place where you watch sports, play games and be with friends.”

Expect a Texas roadhouse dive bar vibe with well-crafted takes on classic cocktails — yes to the freezer martini — and other cheeky libations. Nosh on bar food from notable chefs Ryan Pera and Vincent Huynh like pickled-jalapeno dip and pimento cheese with pickled okra, as well as four inventive hot dogs, and homemade chili. The Caliente Dog features a R-C Ranch Wagyu dog, jalapeno cheese spread, onion, habanero-honey mustard and garlic celery. Hot diggity dog!

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